Introducing the 2016 Irish Royalty for Hudson's St. Patrick's Day parade
PHOTO BY BOB BLACKBURN
(Left to right) Princess Olivia O'Keeffe, Queen Shannon Pine, and Princess Maria Isabel Massironi have been named Queen and Court for Hudson’s 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The excitement was palpable Sunday, February 21, in Hudson’s beautiful Auberge Willow Inn dining room, when an enthusiastic crowd gathered to support the election of the Irish Queen and Princesses 2016. Some of the contestants had supporters there to cheer them on, but the judges - Donna Dodge of the Kennedy Celtic Boutique, Carly Sandquist of Salon Châtelaine, and the Auberge's Lorna Curran - were only influenced by the stage performances of the royalties to be. And what a moving and exhilarating show it was. Seven fascinating presentations. Three glorious winners. And the Queen Mother, gorgeously clad in an immaculate furry cape, in attendance. Here they are in sumptuous regalia. For your eyes only.
A real dynamo. Full of life and laughter. A presence-magnet with the crowd. She immediately elicits sympathy and warm feelings. She is the great sister or friend everyone would like to have. This 28-year-old Ville LaSalle resident has Irish roots going back to Tyrone from her father's side, and Cork from her mother's. With all her energy, she is adept at many sports, actively practicing rugby and Gaelic football. A daycare educator and integration aid at Allion Elementary school, she volunteers as leader in the LaSalle branch of Girls Guide Canada. Her great sense of humour rallied everyone in the audience. When asked as a random question, “What was one memorable moment in your life?” she spontaneously answered, “One? Only one?” That says it all.
Confident in her posture and delivery of her speech, her beautiful and very photogenic smile had already conquered the huge crowd of fans accompanying her that night. The rest of the guests were easily under her spell. This 22-year-old Rosemère resident retraces her Irish lineage from her mother's side in Dublin and Cork. She spent all her youth, however, with her siblings and 10 cousins in the Hudson property of her grandfather, Eamon O'Keeffe, while from the age of six and for the next 10 years she perfected her skill in Irish dancing. These days, she is coaching flag football in McCaig Elementary School and plays with the West Island Lakers basketball team as well as volunteering for three major fundraising events a year for the Wilfrid Laurier School Board. Rejoicing in the new contacts she has made with her fellow contestants during the election process, it ties superbly with her three mottos in life: Love, Loyalty and Friendship.
MARIA ISABEL MASSIRONI
If this name with an obvious Italian connotation rings a bell in your memory, it is because Isabel has been elected for the second time here in Hudson. Last year, she was one of the successful princesses in the pageant. Having been in a terrible car accident in 2010, she lives life to the full, being the only Quebec finalist in Miss Universe Canada in 2014, and winning again the title of Irish princess in Hudson this year. This 24-year-old Brossard resident retraces her Irish heritage from a great-great-grandmother in Dublin. Fraud agent with The Royal Bank during the day, her free time is full of good deeds. Volunteering at St. Luc Hospital in its Rehabilitation Center, she also teaches courses in Latin and Salsa dances for young students, and is involved in lots of community activities. If the adage 'Everything comes in threes' proves it right, her determination to win might see her wearing the Queen's crown in 2017.
Our gracious Queen Mother this year is more than well known in the Hudson community. Spearheading, with her husband Jack, the very popular hardware store in the village since 1969, her smile and competent advice has helped one way or another more than half the population. Her great-great-grandmother was born in Limerick, Ireland,and came to Canada around 1830, marrying in Carillon, Quebec. Born in Alberta, she arrived in Hudson at the end of the 1960s where she met her husband, Jack Crombie, and raised their four children, Alexandria, John, Kenneth, and Patricia-Ann. Having left the store in competent hands 10 years ago, Marge, nowadays, keeps her wonderful shape and energy by walking every morning, at 5.30 a.m. for an hour, and volunteering every other week night at the Hudson Legion for its very popular dinner evenings. Babysitting her four grandchildren keeps her very busy the rest of the time. The crown couldn't fit more splendidly on the head of our new Irish Queen Mom 2016.
Here are some of the gifts they received:
All contestants: A silver bracelet with green gem from Auberge Willow Inn.