The William B Burke Division was founded on January 20th, 1936 to serve the Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill sections of Northern Manhattan. The first elected officers of Division Three were:
William B. Burke President
Michael A. Murphy Vice President
John E. Byrnes Financial Secretary
Joseph Feely Recording Secretary
John Larkin Treasurer
The meetings for Division Three were initially held in the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights and were then moved north to locations in Inwood, the Trocadero Ballroom, American Legion Hall, Columbia University Boat House, Allen Pavilion and to the current meeting location for over twenty years – Good Shepherd School .
Judge James J. Comerford who had a great influence on Division Three served as President of the Division in 1952 & 1953 and as Chairman of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade from 1965 through 1984. Many members of the Division played prominent roles in organizing and running the parade. A number of Division Three members were elected as Grand Marshal, including Judge James J. Comerford (1957), Rev. John Barry (1969), John Kerry O’Donnell (1970), John W. Duffy (1973), Police Comm. Michael J. Codd (1975), James “Barney” Ferguson (1978), John J. Sweeney (1979), William B. Burke (1980), Bro. Charles B. Quinn (1982) and Cardinal Edward Egan (2002).
Richard J. Cunningham served as Vice Chairman of the Parade Committee and James Cuggy served as the most recent (2009) Division Three Aide to the Grand Marshal. The late Peter Cassels served on the Parade Committee for many years with great distinction.
Barney Ferguson, a member of Division Three for over forty years played a critical role as Chairman of the Division’s Annual Cocktail Social at Coogan’s Restaurant for the last twenty-five years. Barney provided inspirational leadership to Division Three right up to the time of his death in May of 2014.
Our Division Three Annual Hibernian of the Year award will henceforth be known as the J. Barney Ferguson Hibernian of the Year. On March 9, 2014 Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner Emeritus, New York City Police Department will be the inaugural recipient of the award.
Division Three meets on the second Monday of the month at Good Shepherd School, 620 Isham Street, NYC 10034; meetings start at 7:30PM in the Good Shepherd Men’s Club room.