On Thursday evening, November 10, at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Sister Maryadele Robinson and Billy Higgins, were recognized by The Charitable Irish Society as recipients of the Silver Key Award; for their commitment in helping new immigrants “meet their potential and to contribute to the rich fabric of American life…”

Established in 1737 by merchants and traders, with Belfast backgrounds, this society is the oldest Irish Society in the Americas. The purpose of this organization is to “provide aid and assistance to newly-arrived Irish immigrants in the Boston area as they face the multiple challenges of adjusting to and assimilating into a new city and country.” Always inspired by their motto of “With Good Will Doing Service” this society’s mission of assisting immigrants in need has been constant. Consistent with the Irish traditions of hospitality and charity, the society has expanded its focus and outreach to immigrants from other countries as well.

Two well-known South Bostonians, William “Billy” Higgins and Sister Maryadele Robinson, humbly accepted their awards. Throughout the years Billy Higgins has been generous donating to various educational and athletic endeavors for children in the Boston area. Additionally, after being emotionally moved by a visit to the Southill section of Limerick, Ireland in 1985, Billy “has raised funds to establish and support schools and educational services, including providing computers and other technological support for the schools and afterschool programs.”

Sister Maryadele, who recently retired from the Laboure Center as the Director of Catholic Charities Shaughnessy Family Center, worked tirelessly for twenty-eight years. As director, she expanded its original mission of providing services to immigrant families in need of assistance, providing outreach and other community-based services. So over the years, the Center has evolved, providing job training in health care/home health aide programs, social work for families and individuals, youth programs for teenagers, mentoring programs, along with public health and wellness endeavors. Sister Maryadele remains active at the Center as “Director Emerita.”

Marilyn and Gerard Doherty from Charlestown, who have been active in numerous political, educational, social, and philanthropic endeavors throughout their lives, were also recipients of this coveted award.