We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day a little early this year. On Sunday, my whole family came out to watch the 28th annual Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade. There were a lot of great bands and floats this year, and the weather was beautiful and sunny.
This is the 28th year of the parade, and my family has come out for each one! It is the only other big parade in the city besides the Santa Claus Parade, and it is a great tradition in our family. Especially with the passing of our Grandpa Pat this past November, it was even more special this year to keep his memory and our heritage alive and well. We have talked about it in the past, but I think we should seriously consider walking in the Parade next year. I’m sure we could rally a huge group for County Galway.
With our red hair, blue eyes, and freckly pale skin, it’s easy to see that we have Irish roots. I always like to say I am three-quarters Irish, one-quarter Scottish Canadian. I am Irish on both sides, from Galway on my mother’s side and Cork on my father’s side. I’ve pulled my two family crests here to share. Larkin and de Barra, from the name Barry. I get asked a lot about my last name, and if it is Spanish or Portuguese. It’s actually Norman French. There are connections with the Barrymores, the noble de Barry family, and even the Madame du Barry, the mistress of King Louis XV of France. The name of the town of the family seat is Buttevant, from our ancient French battle cry, “Boutez-en Avant!” or “Kick your way through!” Sounds about right. The de Barras: Kick first, ask questions later.
We’re also lucky to have this beautiful De Barra’s Folk Club in Clonakilty, West Cork. Next time I’m in Ireland, I must make a pit stop. Surely, having your name on the door gets you the best seat in the house.
Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, from my family to yours!