WADK - Toyota Tribute to Hibernians

WADK - March 2006

Toyota of Newport salutes excellence in Newport County.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Catholic, Irish American fraternal organization founded in New York City on May 4th, 1836, with its roots traced to an organization of the same name which has existed in Ireland for over 300 years.

The Hibernians were among secret societies aiding and comforting those trying to keep the Catholic faith alive after England implemented its penal laws in Ireland. Once founded in New York City, the Hibernians also helped deal with the influx of Irish immigrants fleeing famine issues in Ireland in the late 1840's.

The Newport division was formed on May 4th, 1874. The first president was Jeremy Sullivan. The local Hibernians met at Smith Hall on Levin St. until the turn-of-the-century.

A building at Thames Street and Wellington Avenue, constructed in 1884 by a Congregational church, was purchased 2 years later by a Presbyterian church who moved it across the street to 2 Wellington Avenue. In 1907 the structure was bought by the Hibernians.

On July 23rd, 1972, the local unit was re-named the Dennis E. Collins A.O.H. after the passing of the former high sheriff, a one-time president and later treasurer of the state Hibernian organization and a world war two veteran who lived on Potter St.

The Newport division, with a membership now more than 550, recently completed a renovation and expansion project that added a second floor which houses a large meeting room, an office and a library. The first floor main hall was enlarged, the kitchen upgraded, as were the heating and cooling systems.

Known for their countless charitable endeavors and unending community spirit, Toyota of Newport salutes the Dennis E. Collins Division-#1 Ancient Order of Hibernians and their ongoing mission of friendship, unity, and Christian charity.

Visit Toyota of Newport and WADK websites.