MEMBERS of the Goleen Coast Guard will be travelling as a unit to Portland in Maine to take part in the city’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.
The invitation came about after Capt John Mauger – who is due to be conferred as a rear admiral of the US Coast Guard – visited Goleen last summer.
David Williams, a volunteer with the Coast Guard, told The Southern Star that the visit – plus Capt Mauger’s long-standing friendship with Michael Kingston, a lawyer from Goleen who specialises in maritime law – sealed the deal.
There are 24 active members of the Goleen Coast Guard team, but just ten of them – Patrick Little, Dawn Little, Jethro Little, Colin Wiseman, Tara Chamberlain, Lisa O’Sullivan, Aisling O’Driscoll, Ciara O’Driscoll, David Williams and Jeroen van der Vlugt – will be travelling to the US on Thursday, March 15th for the six-day visit.
The members, who are paying their own way, will be representing West Cork, and will be proudly wearing their formal uniforms for the parade.
In addition to walking in the parade in what must be one of the most scenic locations along the US east coast, the volunteers have also scheduled a visit to a US Coast Guard station for the purposes of forging links between the two organisations.
David said: ‘We have a lot in common and it would be good to see how they do things in the US.’
During the visit, a presentation by the Mayor of Portland will be also made to the Goleen Coast Guard’s officer in charge, Patrick Little.