This year the St.Patrick’s Parade Committee has chosen Mary Anne (Sheehan) Dube as the Grand Marshal of the 35th Annual St. Patrick’s Parade.
Born in Worcester to Michael and Mildred Sheehan, Mary Anne is the granddaughter of three Irish immigrants who came to Worcester in the late 1890’s. She is a graduate of St. Stephen’s High School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Worcester State (College)University. She taught elementary school in Worcester and Millbury, retiring in 2004. Currently, Mary Anne is a Program Supervisor at Anna Maria College, mentoring and supervising student teachers through their Practicum.
Having been enthralled by the first St. Patrick’s Parade in Worcester, she and her good friend, Judy Wilkinson, joined the Parade Committee in 1984. As a volunteer she initiated one of the most enjoyable yet exhausting, fund raisers to benefit the Parade Committee, the Dance Marathon. She and many other committee members danced around the clock at the old Irish Club on Millbury Street, raising thousands of dollars to pay for bands for the Parade. Of course, that was then! Very few of our members now could last one hour, much less 24! Ah..to be young again! Shortly after the demise of the Dance Marathon, the concept of the Grand Marshal Dinner was born. First we celebrated at Holy Cross, then at the Sheraton Lincoln, and then at our long-time home, the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Recreation Center, where Mary Anne chaired the event for over ten years. These Award Dinners became the hit of the Irish community in Worcester, where popular Irish dance bands would keep the crowd on the floor until midnight with jigs, reels, and two-steps.
Mary Anne’s other passion is politics. While living in Millbury, she served as Chair of its Democratic Town Committee, and was a member of the Millbury Planning Board. When she moved back to Worcester, she joined the Worcester Democratic City Committee and served as its Vice Chair for several years. She also was appointed to the Worcester Election Commission and served as its chair for two terms. In 2008 she was elected as a member of the Democratic Electoral College, voting for the first black President in the history of our country. For her work on behalf of Democrats, Mary Anne was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in June of this year by the Worcester Democratic City Committee.
She has been a member of the Board of Directors of St. Stephen’s School, where she can share her love of education and children.
Mary Anne is the proud mother of three: Michael Dube of Acton, Maura Peeler of Grafton, and Matthew Dube of Columbia, Missouri. She’s the proud grandmother to four boys: Jamieson and Brendan Dube, and Jon and Liam Peeler.
Being chosen as Grand Marshal of the Parade is an honor she’ll never forget!
Cathy Donahue Good Neighbor Award: Jean Neale (Jean’s Place)
Agnes Sheehan Community Service Award: Mary Whidden
Judy Wilkinson Parade Award: Justin Beauregard
Virginia Boulay Hospitality Award: Jackie McGrath
Grand Marshal Award: North High School
Chairman’s Award: South High School
Military Color Guard: Oxford High Jr. ROTC
Color Guard: North High School Naval Jr. ROTC with Drum Line
Children’s Marching Unit: St. Peter Central Catholic Elementary School
Adult Marching Unit: Vietnamese community of Worcester
Large High School Band: South High School
Small High School Band: Tantasqua Regional High School
Kilty Band or Pipes & Drums: Worcester Kiltie Pipe Band
Entertaining Bands: Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes and Drum
Upcork Award: Our Lady of the Angels School
Shamrock Award: Friendly House
Killarney Award: Canal District Alliance
Dublin Award: Everyday Miracles Peer Recovery Center
Ring of Kerry Award: Ar dTeanga Fein School of Irish Language
Ann Quinn Award: Little Bites 4-H Club
Harp Award: Knights of Columbus 88 Council
Wexford Award: F.W. Webb
Sligo Award: Mass. College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Galway Award: Early’s on Park Avenue
Mayo Award: New England School of Dance
Best Storefront: National Glass (first), Caola Equipment (second)
Best Crowd (commercial): Park Grill & Spirits
Best Crowd (non-commercial): The Irish Nit-Wits