When Irish eyes aren’t smiling: a quiet Saint ­Patrick’s day in ­Richmond

By Gordon Lambie

As the social world started to shut down last week before the threat of COVID-19, the President of the Richmond St. Patrick’s Society, Erika Lockwood, said that she held on to hope that the whole thing would blow over. By Sunday, however, it was clear which way the wind was blowing. “I think we held off for as long as we could,” Lockwood said, sharing that she gave up on a dream of the Richmond parade being the last event standing as the restrictions on public gatherings became more and more strict. Although cancelling a beloved annual event stretching back decades is not a choice that comes easily, the president pointed out that the Province of Quebec more or less banned all public gatherings only an hour or two after the call was made, meaning that there wasn’t really a whole lot of choice in the matter. Every event outlined on the society’s website for the month of March is listed as being cancelled except for the brunch meant to close out the festivities on the 29. Lockwood said that as far as she is concerned, the parade is postponed rather than cancelled. “It could be that we have one in July, it’s still up in the air,” she said, explaining that because much of the society’s executive committee is over 70 years of age, they have not been able to meet to discuss what happens next. Published in the Tuesday, March 17 edition of The Record.

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