The week of St. Patrick’s Day is always special for Junction resident Al Clark. On St. Patrick’s Day afternoon he holds his popular annual get together which has become known as Al Clark’s Bar & Grill. It is held just before the annual Friendly Sons of St. Patrick gathering, which this year was the 100th anniversary dinner.
Clark recalls that his late father Patrick Clark attended the annual dinner for decades, before his death in 1947. He says his father remained proud of his Friendly Sons dinner attendance, which began at the very first gathering in 1914.
At the 2002 dinner, Al Clark was Man of the Year at the celebration that attracted about 640 guests. Famed NBC network news figure, the late Tim Russert, was principal speaker.
Friday of last week was another day of celebration, as Al Clark marked his 96th birthday with a family gathering at his Junction home. Pictured on St. Patrick’s Day afternoon with the birthday boy are part of his family, including from left, son Brian, daughter Mary Kenny, and sons Michael and Albert, Jr. Other sons not pictured are John, San Diego; Kevin, San Francisco; and Patrick, Columbia, South Carolina. Clark has 24 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. His wife of 68 years, the late Mary Jordan, died in 2012.