• Mireille Lemelin

Your 2017 Irish Royalty


PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Queen Olivia Keeffe (centre) and her two princesses, Samara O'Gorman and Amy Lynn Waugh, are all set to take on their royal duties leading up to Hudson's St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 18.

The beautiful surroundings of the Whitlock Golf & Country Club set the pace and taste of the St. Patrick’s Day Irish Royalty this year. At the opening cocktail hour peppered by scrumptious hors-d'oeuvres and nibbles, courtesy of the renowned Cozy Café, the feverish expectation was palpable. The sold-out Queen and her Court selection night crowd and burst into applause and cheers from enthusiastic supporters at every speech of their respective candidate. Five contestants were aspiring for the royal titles this year and three made the final honour. They will greet some 10,000 people at the March 18 parade, animated this year by three pipe bands and more than 70 groups and associations. A real treat for all Irish and 'Irish for a day' in our community.

Here are your 2017 Irish Royal Highness and Princesses.

The Queen

Olivia O’Keeffe

The 23-year-old Olivia is the living proof of the rewarding result of perseverance and tenacity. Elected princess last year in the Hudson event, she aspired for the ultimate crown, and here it is, Your Majesté! Her witty responses at some tricky questions and her contagious enthusiasm and warm smile earned her the nobility title. A former Hudsonite, now living in Rosemere, her engaging personality gained her lots of friends and splendid results when volunteering at fundraising causes such as the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation. Currently studying Political Science at Concordia University, her dearest project is to visit Ireland this year, for the first time, and especially Dublin were her great-great-grandmother was born.

The Princess

Amy Lynn Waugh

What a coincidence! Without knowing each other, Amy Lynn is also a student in Political Science at Concordia University, adding a course in Canadian Irish Study. Full of pep and energy, this 21-year-old has adored her experience and especially the new contacts made in Hudson. “People here are so welcoming and caring for each other,” she said. “I am eager to develop all those new acquaintances.”

Sports enthusiast and an avid reader, she also finds time to volunteer in Pointe-Claire for the St. John Fisher Church Sunday Elementary School daycare program. Just like the queen, her ardent desire is to visit Ireland this year, also for the first time. Especially Galloway and Kilkenny where both her great-great-grandmothers originated. I think she has already found her travelling companion.

The Princess

Samara O'Gorman

This exuberant 18-year-old contestant studies Professional Theatre at John Abbott College. Full of life and dynamism with a wicked sense of humour, her gregarious personality has gathered a lot of friends in no time. With a name like O'Gorman, her Irish heritage was a given. Her great-grandparents emigrated during the potato famine in Ireland and were given free farmland. Nowadays, this engaging young lady wants to live life to the fullest, meet lots of new people, and explore new communities.

She is sure in the right surroundings here. A devoted animal activist, Samara sings, dances, writes, and even paints. For her, the sky is the limit!

PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Hudson's new Queen Mum Carol Laws (centre) is congratulated by her 2016 predecessor Marge Crombie and emcee Pat O'Grady following her coronation at the Whitlock Golf and Country Club.

Queen Mum

Carol Laws

Long-time Hudson resident and volunteer in many facets of the community, Carol Laws - who founded Le Pont/Bridging Food Bank 20 years ago - is truly deserving of the honour. Always attentive to the needs of others, which will serve her well in her new royal role accompanying and chaperoning the Queen and her Court in the many events leading up to the parade. And as always, with her customary cheerfulness and warm smile.

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