IT was a colourful night steeped in history at the St Patrick’s Ball held at E&O Hotel in Penang.
Guests were treated to traditional Irish performances and wonderful food as they celebrated the centenary of the Easter Rising when the Irish declared their independence from British rule.
Themed ‘The Road to 1916’, the ball had guests dressed in all shades of green, some even in whimsical attire.
One such guest was Polish Femke Lighthart, 46, who turned up in a headpiece with green coloured butterflies.
“I got the butterflies from Kuala Lumpur two years ago thinking they would make a lovely headpiece for St Patrick’s Day.
“I realised yesterday that I had not made it yet.
“I went out and got some wire and put it together,” said the sculptor who has been residing in Penang for the past 15 years.
French national Claudette Karasu ,who came clad in a green saree, said it was her second time attending the ball.
“I enjoy celebrating with the Irish community, as someone who is also not a local, it is nice to share our history with the everyone,” she said.
The 55-year-old housewife said she loved how Penang was a melting pot of different cultures and celebrations.
The ball, which saw an Elvis Presley impersonator and a U2 tribute band performance amongst others, was organised by the Penang Irish Association (PIA) at the hotel recently.
PIA president Maggie Territt said it was a very important celebration in the Irish community as they took pride in how far they had come.
“There are Irish people scattered all around the world. This is our way of coming together and sharing our culture and history with the people living around us,” she said at a press conference before the ball.
Irish Ambassador to Malaysia Eamon Hickey praised the association for the good effort in holding the celebrations.
“Above all, St Patrick’s Day is a celebration of our friendship with each other,” he said.
The four-day event began on March 3 with a Rockin’ with Elvis impersonator session at Healy Macs in Straits Quay.
The celebrations culminated with the St Patrick’s Parade and Street Party at Straits Quay on March 5.
There was also a host of other activities including an Irish mini expo featuring the book ‘Ireland-Penang: Bridging Friendships’ that chronicles bilateral relations dating back to 1794.
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