The Powers family has always been devoted to our Irish heritage, led by my father – Boston Irishman Joseph Powers (“Papa”). Papa is 100% Irish, was born and raised in Cambridge, MA and lived with his Irish grandmother Hannah Reagan who immigrated from Dunmanway, County Cork, when she was a young girl. Hannah’s love of her homeland and all things Irish had a profound affect on Papa. He passed on this passion for the Irish people and culture to his children and grandchildren beginning with his eldest grandchild Grace Mary Schiller.
When Grace was born in 1995, Papa began singing her the “The Rose of Tralee” – a nineteenth-century Irish ballad about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called The Rose of Tralee. Throughout her twenty years of Catholic school, Irish step dancing, acting and singing – Papa continued to sing “The Rose of Tralee” song to Grace, whom he said would one day travel to his beloved Ireland as the Boston Rose.
Papa’s dream has come true and Grace will now travel to Ireland in August 2016 as the Boston & New England Rose. She will represent the Boston region with pride, and also her family who hails from County Cork. I am sure that Papa will continue to sing “The Rose of Tralee” song to Grace as we cross the Atlantic and disembark on the land of his ancestors – “God’s country” as he has always called his beloved Ireland!