IRISH FUN: Cohen Albrecht all ready for St Patrick's day.
IRISH FUN: Cohen Albrecht all ready for St Patrick's day. Renee Albrecht

Gympie you might be more Irish than you think

ST PATRICK'S Day has arrived once more, to be sure, to be sure, and Gympie will be celebrating along with the rest of the world.

But while more than 16,500km separates Gympie and Ireland, our ancestry is much, much closer.

According to 2011 statistics, an average of about 10-12% of the region's population has Irish ancestry.

The highest proportion was identified around Rainbow Beach, Goomborian, Pie Creek and Moy Pocket.

Upper Glastonbury, Bells Creek, Gunalda and Cedar Pocket also recorded significant Irish history.

In fact, the only areas which seemed to lack any Irish heritage were the forests, which are apparently green in colour but not in spirit.

 

Map of Gympie region population with Irish ancestry.
Gympie's Irish ancestry distribution population in 2011: Deep red is 13.5% to 19.6% of the population, decreases with colour. Contributed

So while Gympie joins the world in its revelry in forming a green army (not the environmental type), who and what is the day about?

Well, the day itself is a celebration of Bishop Patrick, who died a few years ago in 461 AD.

Regarded as the patron saint of Ireland (and, conveniently, also pubs), St Patrick is beloved by cultures across the world.

There are also schools named after him in Gympie, and they will be making the most of the celebrations of their namesake.

Parades before school, concerts, Irish jokes and an Irish dance off will all be in the mix today at St Patrick's Primary School.

Principal Susan Geaney said the celebrations were testament to the saint's legacy.

"St Patrick is known the world over... he's somebody who's loved by worldwide communities," she said.

Mrs Geaney said the students were excited to take part in the festivities.

"The kids adore it," she said.

"It's a day for everyone, staff and students alike."

For those looking to celebrate well into the night, a number of venues in Gympie will be hosting Irish-themed celebrations.

The Mt Pleasant Hotel will be handing out prizes for the best dressed Irishman, and Mitch Ditmer will be serenading the crowd with traditional Irish folk songs.

The Australian Hotel will also be decked out in greenery, replete with Irish food and Irish music, as well as green beer and Guinness.

Out of the city, the Imbil Railway and Rainbow Beach Hotels will host Irish-themed craics, with artists taking the stage from 3pm (Rainbow Beach) and 8pm (Imbil Railway).

 

Photo Renee Albrecht/Gympie Times
Photo Renee Albrecht/Gympie Times Renee Albrecht

Green heritage

Gympie's Irish ancestry in 2011

Rainbow Beach 15.4%

Pie Creek, Mary's Creek 14.9%

Goomborian 14.1%

East Deep Creek 14%

Moy Pocket, Brooloo 13.5%