Thursday, March 8th, 2018 8th Annual Anam Cara Awards (immediately following the Acre Forum) Long Meadow Golf Club
We proudly recognize our loyal soul friends who have made significant contributions within the Greater Lowell Community to the preservation of Irish Culture and Heritage.
The Anam C’ara Award “Is namhaid í an cheird gan í a fhoghlaim.” “A craft is an enemy if not learned.”
The Gaelic term Anam C’ara is translated as Soul Friend. It represents one who has bound themselves to another through an act of friendship and belonging. We recognize the contributions of those who have shared their time, treasures, and talents in giving back to the Community by preserving and promoting Lowell’s Irish Culture, and the Acre neighborhood.
The following are the 2018 recipients of St. Patrick Parish Anam C’ara Award (bios to come later)
Joyce A. Burgess Joyce Ann (Collins) Burgess was born to Harold and Lillian (Fligg) Collins on March 28, 1942, and is the older sister to Beverly (Collins) Nastasia and Patricia (Collins) Roe. She is a true Lowellean, “Born and Raised in Lowell” hailing from the Swede Village section of Lowell. Joyce attended the Sacred Heart Grammar School and still considers herself a “Sacred Heart Girl.” She is also a proud graduate of the Class of 1960 from Lowell High School. She married Charles “Charlie” Burgess in 1962 and they have four children, William, Thomas, Michael, and Barbara. Who provided her with eight grandchildren who think she is the best Nannie in the world.
True to her Catholic Faith, Joyce served as CYO director, CCD coordinator and Lector for OMI staffed Sacred Heart Parish, as well as the Secretary to the Sacred Heart School. Joyce was seen as a leader within her parish and often offered workshops and guidance when needed. Her home was always a place of acceptance; you could always find a seat at her table. Whether it was for a cup of coffee, a meal or a heart to heart talk. Joyce joined the Lowell Public School Staff in the Title 1/Chapter 1 Department after leaving the Sacred Heart School, she filled various roles until finally becoming the clerk for the Murkland Elementary School. Where she continued to reach out to families, offering a listening ear and caring advice.
True to her Irish roots Joyce found her way to, and joined, the Catholic Organization of Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH) and was soon recognized for her leadership qualities and elected to the office of President for six years. During her tenure Joyce served as liaison between the LAOH and St. Patrick’s Irish Cultural Committee. The focus of her presidency was to promote the motto of the Hibernians of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity steeped in the custom of Irish Culture and foster a link with St. Patrick’s Irish Cultural Committee and the LAOH. Currently retired from the Lowell Public Schools Joyce is presently Vice President of LAOH Division 1 Lowell, MA and Secretary for the Massachusetts LAOH State Board. Joyce still continues her quest to promote knowledge of Irish heritage.
Martin J. "Mickey" Finn, Jr. Born in Lowell on September 21, 1928, he was the son of the late Martin and Margaret (Lannan) Finn and was raised in the Acre section of Lowell. He attended St. Patrick's Elementary School and was a graduate of Lowell High School class of 1946. Mickey proudly served in the U.S. Navy following the conclusion of World War II.
Mickey spent 50 years coaching Centralville Little League, where he was honored with the naming of Martin Mickey Finn Baseball Field. In January 2016, he was awarded the Fred Ebbet Award by the Massachusetts Baseball League for his years of dedication to coaching. Martin "Mickey" Finn loved his time as a Little League coach so much that he would sometimes, after a long day at work, stride onto the field still half-clad in his formal clothes, his leather loafers becoming caked in dust while he spoke to players from under an orange baseball cap. He kept every single record book from his five decades of coaching, all intact and legible to this day in organized boxes. Even once he was done coaching, he held in a variety of leadership positions for the league, including president -- as Ed McDermott, the league's current president, put it, Finn "served in every role that could be served in." "You don't find guys like him anymore that stick around after their kids are out of the league," McDermott said. "Any time there was a problem with the league you needed to make a ruling on, we'd call Mickey. "He was always up there," McDermott said. "He loved the sport. He just did everything."
Finn was also a dedicated church volunteer who, alongside lifelong friend Bill Green, would spend several days a month with the St. Vincent De Paul Society bringing food, clothing and financial support to those in need.
John "Jack" McKenzie Jack was born in Lowell to Sidney and Mary (Clancy) McKenzie and grew up in St. Patrick Parish. He graduated from St. Patrick’s School, Keith Academy and Bentley College. Following his graduation from Bentley, he received his CPS certificate. He was employed, as a Certified Public Accountant is Boston and Lowell for many years, and established the firm of McKenzie & Frawley in Tewksbury 23 years ago. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and has been involved in the annual Tootsie Roll Drive for over 50 years. This charity donates funds for “God’s Special Children”, those who are physically or intellectually challenged.
Jack was appointed Master of the Fourth Degree of the Massachusetts District of the Bishop James A. Healy Province and served 2 terms, from 2010 to 2014. As a member of the Color Corps, John participates in religious services such as the Mass to celebrate Irish Cultural Week at St. Patrick’s as well as Confirmations at various churches. He attends wake services and funerals of deceased members of the Knights of Columbus when requested by family members. John was a teacher in grades 7 & 8 for the Religious Education program at Holy Trinity Parish. Since 1995, he has been a lector and Eucharistic Minister at Holy Trinity. In addition to being a daily communicant at St. Patrick’s, John has served on the Parish Finance Committee as president for the past 4 years.
Jack lives in Lowell with his wife Joanne and son Jeffrey. His son John, daughter-in-law Ruth and grandchildren Grace Ellen and John William (Jack) live in Haverhill and attend Sacred Heart Parish.
Frederick L. "Fred" Simon Born in Lowell on December 10, 1936, he was the son of the late Charles and Mildred (Coudy) Simon and was raised in the Acre section of Lowell. He attended Lowell Schools and was a graduate of Lowell High School class of 1954. Fred honorably served his country as a member of the U.S. Army. A man of great faith Fred was an active parishioner of the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, and was a founding member of the Council of Eastern Orthodox Parishes of Greater Lowell. Fred was very proud of his Syrian heritage, but somehow could not escape the influence upon Acre children to give back to the community.
Fred was a passionate leader in civic, charitable and religious causes throughout his life. A month before his passing, Fred, with the help of Family and Friends raised over $40,000.00 for Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Adult Patient Assistance Fund, to help those who could not afford the ancillary costs associated with cancer treatment. Fred will be remembered for his association of many years with the Salvation Army as the honorary chairman of their annual Radiothon. Fred was also a member of the Owl Diner Charities, and the Highland Players, as well as founding Co-Chair of the Tewksbury 9-11 Memorial.
Dan Phelps best described Fred Simon when he wrote “He was just a down-to-earth guy who liked to help people.” “He was a firm believer that one person could make a difference.”
Long Meadow Golf Club 165 Havilah St Lowell MA 01852
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