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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Brig St. John commemoration taking place in Cohasset on Sunday, October 9

On Sunday, October 9, 2011, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Plymouth Div. 9, is holding its annual commemoration of the Brig St. John, which sank off the coast of Cohasset, Massachusetts on October 6, 1849, drowning 99 people.

The event starts at 1:00 p.m. with a Mass at St. Anthony’s Church, 129 South Main Street in Cohasset, followed by a reception at the church hall.  Then participants will walk over to the Cohasset Central Cemetery for a brief wreath-laying ceremony at the foot of the large Celtic Cross, which was placed there by the AOH in 1914.

The Brig St. John was traveling with 104 passengers and 16 sailors from Galway to Boston Harbor on October 6, 1849, when it encountered a nor'easter that was wrecking havoc along the coast.  The storm pushed the boat south as the Brig tried unsuccessfully to anchor near Minot Light. 

Local residents made valiant attempts to save lives and spent days trying to recover bodies of the drowned victims.  Most of the passengers were lost at sea, but .he bodies of 45 victims were recovered from the surf and laid to rest in a mass grave in the cemetery. 

This October 9 event is free and open to the public.  For more information please contact Dr. Bill O’Connell at 781 585-8181. Find more information about the Massachusetts AOH.

For more details on Irish-American heritage, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com.

For year round information on cultural activities, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.