The 55th Annual John P. Reilly Memorial St. Patrick’s Day Parade is all set for Sunday, March 1, in East Islip.
The parade in East Islip is always the first Sunday of March, and has traditionally been among the first on Long Island each year — if not the first, as it is this year.
The parade steps off at 2 p.m., starting at the East Islip Public Library at 381 East Main Street. It then heads west on Main Street to Irish Lane.
The 2020 Grand Marshal is Tom Davis, who’s an immediate past president of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians Division 7, East Islip, which organizes the parade. (His full bio appears below, courtesy of the Hibernians.)
The Ladies Aide to the Grand Marshal is Cathie Norton Doherty, the incoming president of the Lady’s Ancient Order of the Hibernians, East Islip Division 7, and a U.S. Navy veteran.
“We’re looking forward to the parade,” said Dr. David Ring, who chairs the organizing committee. “We have never cancelled since 1966. The only reason why we ever [cancel] would be if Suffolk County declared a State Of Emergency. So rain, snow, or whatever, we’ll be going on March 1.”
about Tom Davis:
Thomas Michael Davis III was born on October 28, 1959, in Flushing, N.Y. He lived in Queens until July of 1968, when he moved to East Islip, N.Y., with his parents Ethel, Tom and his sister Patricia.
A couple of years later, his brother James was born and then his sister Maureen. Tom graduated from East Islip High School in 1977 and then went on to Suffolk Community College and graduated from SUNY Oswego in 1982.
He met his future wife, Margaret, at Oswego and they were married in 1986. They have three wonderful children TJ, Megan and Kerri.
TJ is 28, graduated from SUNY Geneseo and is a lab analyst for Pace Analytical. Megan is 25, graduated from SUNY Oneonta and lives in Buffalo, NY and works in a clothing boutique and Kerri is 17 and will graduate from East Islip High School this June and will attend college in the fall.
Tom has worked for Mondelez International Inc. (aka Nabisco) for the last 36 years where he began his career as a sales rep and then became a district manager.
He joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 7, in 2001 with his cousin, Tom McHugh, and together they worked their way up the chairs.
He has always been very proud of his Irish heritage and loves being a member of this division and the friends he has made. He held the office of the Sentinel and became President in 2018 and recently finished his term last month.
He has served on various committees and helped out at many events over the years.Tom has always enjoyed meeting Hibernians across the country at all of the conventions he has attended.
Furthermore, his wife, Margaret, is also an active member and his children have all grown up as members of the junior division and are still members today.
Tom is an avid sports fan. His two favorites, as most people know, are the New York Rangers and Mets. Tom still enjoys attending rock concerts with friends and always loves seeing live music — everyone from Zebra, Rich Mahogany and various other Long Island bands and singers.
Tom’s grandparents, Margaret Dolan and Thomas Michael Davis I, immigrated from Ireland in the 1920’s. They came from the town of Caltra outside Galway. Tom’s grandmother worked as a servant for the Heinz family in Islip and his grandfather was a construction worker.
Tom’s grandparents were one of the first couples to be married at St. Mary’s Church so he had ties to East Islip before he was even born. Tom always enjoyed spending time with his Irish aunts, uncles and cousins, the Kellys, McHughs and Davis’s and listening to all the stories along with the irish music that would always be playing. Tom’s father, Thomas Michael Davis II was also a proud member of Division 7 before moving to Florida.
Tom is very honored to be the 2020 Grand Marshal and will be very proud to lead the walk down Main Street this March in the 2020 John P. Reilly East Islip St. Patrick’s Day Parade with Ladies Aide Cathie Norton Doherty and his Aides John Mazzullo, his lifelong friend, and his brother James Davis.
Tap the link below for parade photos from 2019.