History of AOH: Division 22
The Chronicles of AOH Division 22
Hibernian is a word that refers to anything characterizing Ireland or the Irish. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is America’s longest-standing Irish-Catholic organization. The order was first established in Pennsylvania and New York City in the 18th Century. The AOH originated from a long-standing parent organization which has existed in Ireland for over 300 years. It has slowly expanded country after country, region after region, state after state, and when the fraternity finally reached Philadelphia in the 20th century, Division 22 was inaugurated. It has dawned a new beginning for the Irish-American community in Philly.
Founders of Division 22 have been serving the Philly area even before it started in 1997. Protecting the community as rescuers were once their priority. It eventually became a twofold endeavor – from protecting homes from life-threatening danger to also protecting and preserving the faith of the Irish-Catholic.
So what started as a brotherhood of firefighters became a commitment to expand their roots. When these twenty-six firefighters decided to look closer to home, it suddenly brought forth a strong and close-knit union. Their commitment and dedication served as a standpoint, setting an example to others who ultimately joined the fraternity. Division 22 has made it a point to keep in touch with their heritage through well-organized and extensively thought-out activities. The fellowship strived to uphold the foundations of AOH which is friendship, unity, and Christian Charity. The order has served as a bridge between the contemporary and the heritage. Through various activities, it has been possible to integrate one’s ethnic background among the heavily diverse society in this digital age.
Twenty-two is a significant number for the organization. It is derived from local 22 of the firefighters union. Engine 22 of the Hibernian House Companies has been in service ever since it was only made up of volunteers. Engine 22 has stood the test of time and still serves far North East Philadelphia until this day.
History Never Really Says Goodbye.
Let’s make the sacrifice of our Irish-Catholic ancestors count. This summarized narrative cannot do justice the rich background of the organization. One way to commemorate the bloodline is to support and participate. We are shaped by our history, the religion and customs of Hibernians will be our driving force. When one decides to be a member, you’ll get to dig deeper on the roots. We will walk hand in hand on the journey of learning the beautiful heritage of the Hibernians and knowing how to apply this to your daily lives. Witness as lives are enhanced as we live up to the essence of being a Hibernian. Awaken your pride by joining us as we serve others through friendship, unity and Christian charity.