There was a sea of green at this year’s Saint-Jean-Baptiste parade in Saint-Lazare, off the western tip of Montreal.
Nearly 30 members of the newly-created Soulages Irish Society (SIS) marched alongside proud Quebecers to mark the organization’s official launch.
“The society stems from the success of the Hudson St. Partick’s Day parade,” Jay de la Durantaye, Hudson parade chair and SIS president, told Global News on Monday.
According to him, the Irish community has grown in Vaudreuil-Soulanges over the past two years.
“It’s all about being involved in the community,” he said.
de la Durantaye explained the SIS will be working hand in hand with the United Irish Societies of Montreal.
They will take on the organization of the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Hudson, as well as other events like the annual Grand Marshal’s Roast & Toast, the Irishman/woman of the Year Gala and the Queen’s Selection Dinner.
The SIS aims to celebrate the region’s Irish heritage by creating a spirit of community and inclusiveness among all residents of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area.
The Quebec and Irish cultures are similar in many ways, said de la Durantaye, adding that they were pleased to be part the Fête nationale’s festivities.
“We are French for a day, like the French are Irish for a day during St. Patrick’s parade,” he said.
The group has grown to almost 50 memberships since its creation a few days ago.
de la Durantaye says the SIS is not exclusively for people of Irish descent; rather, everyone is welcomed to join for an annual membership fee of $20.