St Patrick's Day in Luján, 1912
(The Southern Cross, 22 March 1912)
In the post-Second Vatican Council era
it may be that the opening lines of the well know hymn to St Patrick
are now be somewhat dated, but nevertheless the feast continues to be
celebrated world wide “where ever green is worn.”  In the UK the
late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was accustomed to present
shamrock to the Irish Guards either at Wellington Barracks in London
or at the Guards Depot in Pirbright, Surrey. That was very much a
formal occasion with Her Majesty having her photograph taken with
officers an NCOs (non-commissioned officers). Nowadays when Irish
Government ministers jet off to distant parts of the world to be
present at St Patrick’s Day celebrations, it has become customary for
the Taoiseach to make the trip to Washington to formally present
shamrock to the incumbent President at the White House.
In years gone by where ever the feast
was celebrated more often than not it was Irish clergy who organised
things and in that respect what happened in Argentina a century ago
(as The Standard records) was little different from what took
place elsewhere. In 1905 Manuel Quintana was president, an economic
boom had just commenced and the press was full of news of railway
construction, immigration, public works and urban growth.
'Besides the banquet which prominent
members of the Irish Colony intend holding on St Patrick’s Day, there
will be a dance in the hall of the Hiberno-Argentine Club, in Calle
Belgrano. The dance in order not to clash with the banquet, and that
all who attend the latter may not be deprived of the pleasure of being
present at this first entertainment offered by the Hiberno-Argentino
club will not take place till Saturday night. The floor is polished
for the occasion; the music will be exceptionally good, as a fine
orchestra has been engaged, and included in its repertoire are several
Irish selections. The refreshment department will be also in good
hands, so that, taking all in all, a very enjoyable evening is likely
to result. The members of the Committee of the Hiberno-Argentino Club
are to be congratulated on their zeal in all that tends towards
drawing closer the bonds of union and good fellowship between members
of the Irish community.' 
On St Patrick’s Day the Editor’s
Table noted 'we salute our Irish readers on the auspicious
occasion and wish them every happiness and prosperity' and the
Telephonia column carried an amusing item. 'An enthusiastic
Irishmen has presented the Hungarian Orchestra (at San Martin) with
the music of The Wearing of the Green, which will be played
this evening between ten and ten thirty. Every loyal Irishman in town
should make a point of being present at Luzio’s at the hour
Inevitably it was the events of the day
itself under the title 'St Patrick’s Day' which the newspaper
subsequently reported in some detail. 'Yesterday the Patron Feast of
old Ireland was celebrated in grand style at Holy Cross. His grace the
Archbishop  celebrated Pontifical High Mass at 10 o’clock. The fine
church was filled to overflowing. Such a large and representative
congregation was never before seen at this annual feast. Some fifty
priests were present, among whom we noticed Canon Rasore of La Merced;
the Rector of El Salvador, Dr McDonnell, Fr James M. Ussher etc. etc.
After the first gospel, Rev. Fr Patrick C.P.  preached a most
eloquent sermon that touched all hearts present. Fr Patrick is only a
boy in years, having been born in Salto a quarter of a century ago,
and is now looked on as one of the best pulpit orators amongst the
Fathers. At times this general display of oratory was sublime,
entrancing, witty, but at all times to the point. Fr Patrick has such
an earnest way of speaking, that his words go straight home. It is
freely said that it was the best St Patrick’s Day sermon preached here
for a number of years. After mass all the principal Irishmen present
were invited to meet his Grace the Archbishop in the monastery. After
a few minutes conversation, all were invited to a capital breakfast
served by the famous restaurant Catalinas, the expenses of which were
defrayed by Messrs Tomas Duggan, Patricio Ham, Deputy Dr S.G.O’Farrell
and John Nelson. The breakfast was enjoyed by all present. When the
champagne was uncorked Deputy O’Farrell rose and proposed the health
of his Grace the Archbishop; in words of eloquence such as we rarely
heard, at least at a breakfast party. His Grace responded in his usual
gracious way, stating that it gave him very much pleasure to meet and
breakfast with the Irish people. He laughingly alluded to the fact
that he is sometimes called the "Irish Bishop." His Grace’s speech was
much and heartily applauded. Deputy Dr Argerech also spoke and in the
most eloquent words set forth the bravery of Irishmen, and what he
thought most of, the purity and goodness of Irish women. He said he
was not Irish, but had good reason to know what he said. Mr Emilio
Hansen also spoke, and spoke well indeed. Brother Hughes, who has
recently arrived from Ireland, also made a speech, and at some length
dwelt on the prosperity and charity of the Irish in Argentina. Rev. Dr
McDonnell and Canon Rasore did not speak although asked to do so. The
breakfast was an enjoyable treat.'  The names of 33 prominent
members of the community present are noted and a day later The
Standard commented that there were a total of 125, including a
band of 30 persons, at the Holy Cross festivities. 
St Patrick's Day in Mercedes, 1932
(The Southern Cross, 24 March 1932)
Saturday evening saw the festivities
continue with a formal dinner. 'The handsome room had been suitably
prepared for the occasion; musicians were also in attendance, and the
strains of the orchestra below stairs, blending with those above, lent
an unusual attraction to the festivities. The menu was got up in Aue’s
Kellers usually excellent style, abundance of good things and choice
wines meeting with praise from the assembled guests. About 10.50 the
toast commenced and, with the replies occupied the rest of the
evening. Good humour and general satisfaction prevailed throughout.
Among the guests were many well know Irishmen of the city and camp,
and some of the speeches were eloquent while all were highly
patriotic. As the night wore on and the formalities came to end,
things assumed a more convivial character.
During the evening the photographers
put in an appearance so that the views of the feast and the festival
will be evident in the illustrated weeklies very shortly. The
following were the toasts. "The land we live in" proposed by Mr G.
Bowen, responded to by Rev. Fr Ussher; "Ireland a Nation" - Dr
McDonald and W. Bulfin; "Our Clergy" – Dr M. Bent and Rev. Fr R.
Gearty; "Gaelic League" – Rev. Fr Flannery, Mr P. Cole; "The Irish and
Irish-Argentine Community" – Rev. Fr O’Grady, Mr P. Hansen.'
Celebrations also took place in the
camp and the paper published a 'Dear Standard' letter to the editor.
'18 March 1805. Yesterday was a great day in Rojas… The hotels were
all full and the owners I expect, wished St Patrick’s Day came
oftener. After Mass a most impressive sermon was preached by Fr
Dominic  of the Passionists on the life of the saint. He also
advised his large congregation not to "drown the Shamrock" but to
enjoy themselves at the coming dance in a fitting manner and uphold
the honour of the Irish race…”  Once again alcohol and the Irish –
some things seldom change.
 See Tim Pat Coogan, Where Ever Green Is Worn – The Story of the
Irish Diaspora, Hutchinson, London, 2000.
 The Standard, No. 12,974, Thursday 16 March 1905.
 The Standard, No. 12,975, Friday 17 March 1905.
 Dr Mariano Antonio Espinosa (1844-1923).
 Probably Fr Patrick Walsh C.P.(1876-1919). See Santiago M. Ussher,
Los Capellanes Irlandeses En La Colectividad Hiberno-Argentina
Durante El Siglo XIX, Buenos Aires, 1954, p.221.
 The Standard, No.12,976, Saturday 18 March 1905.
 The Sunday Standard, No.12,977, Sunday 19 March 1905.
 Probably Fr Dominic Moore C.P. (1875? – 19--?) See Ussher Op.Cit.
No. 5, pp.183-184.
 The Standard, No.12,979, Tuesday 21 March 1905.