Tributes have been paid to one of the original organisers of the London St Patrick’s Day Parade, Bill Aulsberry, who died last week aged 77 after a long illness.
Mr Aulsberry, from Waterford,had a long association with the Federation of Irish Societies and its renamed successor organisation, Irish in Britain, London’s Waterford Association, the Council of Irish County Associations (CICA) and the London St Patrick’s Parade.
A painter and decorator by trade as well as a tower crane driver he volunteered as secretary of Haringey Irish Association where he successfully campaigned for welfare services at the Haringey Irish Cultural Centre.
As one of the original organisers of London’s official St Patrick’s Day Parade he attended every year and often led the parade.
Irish in Britain, formerly the Federation of Irish Societies, said in a statement: “Bill was involved with FIS from the beginning and served as an officer at one point and was a regular well known attendee at Irish in Britain meetings.
“He worked tirelessly for CICA and Waterford Association. He was a stalwart Irish man from Waterford. We will miss his advice on constitutional issues.
“Our condolences to Tess McGuire, Mary Allen and all of Bill’s family and many friends.”
Chair of the the board which advises the Mayor of London’s office on the St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival, Catherina Casey said “On behalf of the Mayor of London’s Community Advisory Board’ I would like to honour Bill Aulsberry. Each year thousands of us enjoy the privilege of celebrating St.Patrick’s Day by parading with pride through the streets of central London. Bill played a key part in laying the foundations of London’s St.Patrick’s Day celebrations during more challenging times.
“Just as we don’t forget our roots, we must never forget those who carved out our path to ease our way. Bill Aylesbury – we salute you. Your work here is done. We will carry the baton forward for you. RIP”
Ant Hanlon, CEO at Leeds Irish Health & Homes, said: “A truly great Irish advocate who will be sorely missed.
“Great craic and a fountain of knowledge. May the road rise to meet you Bill.”
Dermott Lappin added on Twitter: “A small man with a giant’s voice. He will be missed throughout the land. I will miss you my friend. RIP Bill.”
Bill’s funeral will be held on Wednesday 30 August at St Paul’s Church, Station Road, Wood Green N22 7SZ.
Requiem mass 9:30am followed by cremation at New Southgate Crematorium, Brunswick Park Road, N11 1JJ. Family flowers only.
No flowers but donations to Dementia UK welcome.