Thursday, December 07, 2006
Emigrants' NY memoirs published by Aisling Center
"While Mem'ry Brings Us Back Again" is a volume of memoirs by Irish emigrants who moved to the U.S. between 1927-1964. Compiled by Frances Browner, organizer of the Aisling Center’s “Young at Heart” group, the book details the experiences of 35 different individuals from 18 different counties.
“Far from their families, friends and everything they were used to. Every one of them overcame homesickness and the challenges of a new world and built fine lives for themselves in this great country,” said Tim O’Connor, Consul General of Ireland, at the launch of the book on November 28. “These stories will delight, absorb and uplift you. They also underline again the amazing story of the Irish in America and just how good this country has been to millions of our people."
Browner says of the emigrants' recollections: “I was transported back 50 years and plunged into a place that was already forgotten by the time of my own arrival in 1987. Why did I not know all this before? Putting this book together may help keep these memories alive for future generations of Irish Americans to know what it was like to be a new arrival.”
New York's Daily News carries a report on last week's launch, in which it profiles Frank Bergin, an 82-year-old who moved to NY just before the 1929 stock market crash. He recounts being shot in Alsace in 1945 while fighting in World War II; he went on to become the president of the Irish Business Organisation of New York and still works selling real estate.
Order the book at the Aisling Center website.
There's a 30-minute documentaryon the project and its launch available on YouTube. (Well worth watching!)