Citizen-Observer’s Mike Hanrahan named St. Patrick’s Parade Grand Marshall
<<<<PLEASE NOTE THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN PRIOR TO THE CANCELATION OF PARADE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS PRECAUTIONS>>>>>>
Cameron Newspapers own reporter, Michael (Mike) Hanrahan, has been selected as this year's Grand Marshals for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. The parade is sponsored annually by the Knights of Columbus, Council 1110.
This will be the 40th year for the parade, which will be on Tuesday March 17th. The parade and celebration will start on the north side of McCorkle Park ending on the south side of the park.
The parade will begin promptly at 4:03. Mike explained that the first parade got a late start and every year since then it starts at the same time as the original parade.
Being the Grand Marshall is an honorable position, which comes with several expectancies. Grand Marshall duties include riding in the parade, take an official photo, attend luncheon and sit at the head of the Grand Marshall table, after parade gather at the Blarney Stone for the prayer, give a speech, and assist in giving float winners their prizes.
One interesting thing is that they all just line up for the parade. Mike recalls past parades procedure, “For years the Cameron Band has performed and we are hoping the local bagpipers will perform as they have in recent years, we don’t really line up, people just show up to be in the parade.”
When picking the Grand Marshall it is not required to be Irish or Catholic.
The main factor in selecting a Grand Marshall is the honoree's involvement and contribution to the Cameron community.
Hanrahan has been involved in many aspects of the community and surrounding areas. He is a lifelong member of St. Munchin's Church, he attended eight years of St. Rita's school in Cameron and graduated from Cameron High School.
Serving his community as a Sunday school teacher for over 40 years, he is currently teaching grandchildren of previous students.
Mike served as past president of Dream Catchers of Cameron, has been a member of the State Advisory Panel on Special Education (including two years as president), was a founding member and first state president of the Arc of Missouri, a founding member and first state president of MOAIDD, is a current board member for the CALT (community Advisory Leadership Team) at UMKC institute for human development, is a current member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 1110, of St. Munchkin's Church and a lifelong member of St. Munchin's Church.
There are only two churches named St. Munchin's in the world, one here in Cameorn and the other one located in Limerick Ireland. Mike has actually visited the church in Limerick when he was visiting Ireland one year.
Mike Hanrahan comes from strong Irish roots. "I am proud of my family heritage, but have always felt a connection and interest in Ireland". Mike's paternal grandmother coming from County Kerry, Ireland and his paternal great grandfather coming from County Clare, Ireland. He recounted how his family travelled over to the United States from Ireland. "...Most came over due to another relative already being over here, ..We don't know why my great grandfather Tom Hanrahan came over, but he married Bridget Brown (also from Ireland) and they moved to Leavenworth Kansas and they had one child named John (Mike's grandfather)".
His grandfather wasn't in the country very long before he was unfortunately killed. "Tom was shot as he was mistaken for a Bushwacker, during a raiding party....he had just come over and had not been there long...it was a case of wrong place, wrong time", said Hanrahan.
His great-grandmother then remarried a local area man with last name of Thompson and their family farm was then left to son John Hanrahan. Mike said that he never actually met his grandfather John, as he passed away before he was born. His father Paul quit school at a young age to stay at home and take care of the farm and family. His mother, Esther, was of Dutch and German heritage. He had one brother named Paul Jr., his brother and his parents are all deceased. Mike said he often gets mistaken as being his brother and he doesn't correct anyone, he said his brother was a good guy and had a lot of friends.
When reminiscing about his childhood years on the family farm in Cameron , Hanrahan fondly remembered how close knit his family was, "..We lived in the country and back in a time when people didn't drive here and there all the time, you went to town maybe once a week, so we were a tight knit family. We did a lot of fun things, learned how to swim in a creek, then drove my mother crazy wanting to go swim in the pond after that, we had a big barn with a hay loft and when it was raining we would go play in the barn".
Hanrahan also has strong faith and family values that his father passed down to him.
"When I was old enough to go out at night, I often came home to find my dad on his knees in prayer. This had a profound impact on me." Mike feels that due to this impact he instilled these values and faith onto his own children.
As a working adult he excelled in sales for Merriam-Webster in Massachusetts and retired after 40 years. He was a field representative, Western Sales Manager (Chicago to the West Coast) and National account Manager, and also wrote the company newsletter. "My work took me to most of the United States. But I always looked forward to arriving home to Cameron. My wife is the former Nancy Comstock of Deerfield (MO). We have been married 50 years. I enjoy writing for the Cameron Citizen Observer and meeting wonderful and interesting people in the community."
Mike and his wife Nancy still reside at the family farm north east of Cameron. They have two daughters Kelly Pettijohn and Erin Walker, one son John Hanrahan and four grandchildren.