Parade Grand Marshal: James Lawless

James (Jimmy) Lawless was born in Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland. He lived with his parents, and sister and brother on a 35-acre farm. After leaving the Christian Brothers School, he emigrated to the United States in 1949 on the SS America. On arriving in the United States, he lived with his sister in Wildwood, NJ. Within six months of his arrival, the US Army called upon his services to fight in the Korean War.

Returning to the USA in 1952, Jimmy decided on a warmer climate and headed for sunshine in Hollywood, FL. The Hollywood Beach Hotel was Jimmy's next stop for eighteen years until the hotel closed in 1970. Jimmy worked in northern resorts during the summers, including the Saggamore Hotel at Lake George, the Manor Hotel in Wildwood, and Mount Wasington in New Hampshire, before air-conditioning made Florida a year-round resort. For twenty years, he was the concierge at the Singapore Hotel in Bal Harbor.

Jimmy was a founding member of the local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and President for three years. He has been a member and served on the board of the Irish American Ceili Club. He has been a member on the Hollywood American Legion Post 192 for over sixty years. Jimmy was instrumental in establishing the Irish Rovers Club and the Irish American Unity Conference. Jimmy was President of the Hotel Transportation Men's Association.

Jimmy returns to Ireland every summer to visit family and friends in his native Co. Waterford. Jimmy enjoys playing cards, dancing at Ceilis, and playing Santa Claus at Christmas parties. Jimmy delights all that know him with his wit and wisdom.

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