Cathedral of the Holy Spirit parishioner in Palmerston North and past national president of the Hibernian Catholic Benefit Society Ian Bailey is appealing to the families of the owners of eight Hibernian ceremonial collars to come forward and claim them before the items are disposed of.

Mr Bailey is doing his best to contact relatives so the collars can be gifted back.

Because of the declining Hibernian membership in recent years, and the fact that lodges have merged with others, these sashes have been passed on down through the secretaries and now currently stored away in a suitcase.

“I am wanting the descendants of M.V. Comber, T. J. Tiller, J.J. Troy, M.McElligot, H. McKeowne, D. Ryan and R.L.B. Taylor whose names are embroidered on [the sashes] to contact me, so I can give [the sashes] to their families immediately,” said Mr Bailey.

If no one cames forward to claim them, then the tough decision to give these 90-year-old sashes to the local theatre company, or destroy them or donate them to archives will have to be faced and made.

“But ideally I would like to return them,” Mr Bailey said.

The sashes were replaced with badges in 1980 due to the cost of making them with their distinctive rich green velvet material, gold thread needlework and fringe.

The Hibernians were established in New Zealand in 1869 to provide mutual aid and support to its members.

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