The Ancient Order of Hibernians was saddened today with the loss of National Life Member John Bownes after a freak accident last week. He was 83.
“He was a dedicated member of the order,” said fellow National Life Member Michael O’Rourke. “He was very active with the Feis, and helped build the stages. He was a worker.”
John joined Division 5 in Far Rockaway back in 1957 and later transferred to Division 3 in the Five Towns. Over the years he held many positions in the Order, including serving as Assistant National Freedom for All Ireland Chair back in the late in 1970s. He also held a few state appointed positions.
In 1972, John was appointed first chairman of the Feis.
In 2002, John was awarded with National Lifetime Membership for his service to the Order and continued to be active with the division and county up until his accident.
He is survived by his nephew former Nassau County President and State Director Ed Friel, three daughters and four grandchildren.
John will be waked this week at Fullerton’s Funeral Home in Baldwin, NY. We will post more information as it comes in.