The original idea for the Sons of Erin Cape Cod (SOECC) developed during a conversation among three friends in 2004. John Kane and Mike and Carol Shea were at a picnic in Westfield, just before the She has retired to the Cape. It was decided that they’d “test the waters” so to speak … to see what interest there might be in an Irish club there.
Flyers were printed and distributed – and when enough people responded, a meeting was scheduled at the Irish Village (thanks to the generosity of owner, Jack Hynes) on November 20, 2004. It was there that the Sheas were reunited with “Big Mike” Nicklaw, John’s nephew who had recently returned from living in Ireland. Big Mike had traveled with “Uncle Jackie” and Mike Shea throughout Ireland with the Sons of Erin in Westfield and had worked in Dublin for a few years. He also had a dream of opening an Irish Club on the Cape.
About 35 – 40 people attended the first meeting and 5 or 6 brave and hardy souls came forward to specifically offer help. Thus, the “Core Committee” was formed.
We all agreed that, if we were to be successful, we would need a “home of our own” … and so the search began. The committee looked at everything and anything available during the winter of 2004… and finally, in the spring of 2005, found “our” place. The old “Cousins” was to be our first home and we signed a two year lease. The entire spring and summer was spent cleaning, painting, repairing and more cleaning, until the club sparkled. On Labor Day weekend, we were finally granted our license, and so the journey began.
In October 2006 we began taking donations and hosting fundraisers in an effort to buy a place as opposed to renting. The Building Fund was created and with it a Building Search Committee was formed. Members of the Committee worked tirelessly with local realtors and land owners for nearly a year before we found a property that was within our budget and met our needs. The old Black Rock Grille just up the road looked to be a good fit and had the feel of an authentic Irish pub from the moment you walked through the door. And so the wheels were in motion and negotiations began as donations and new memberships continued to increase. A purchase and sales agreement was signed in the winter of 2008 and the deal was closed in May. During this time the Membership rallied and volunteers came from every direction to transform the building. On Wednesday, June 11, 2008 we opened the doors to our new Club. It was a momentous and emotional occasion as we said goodbye to our first home and christened the new.
Today we have over 1,600 paid members. We are heartened with the response to the dream, and will work continually towards our goal of enriching our heritage and learning more about Ireland and its history. We strive to provide a safe and friendly place for members to meet others, and to hopefully become involved in club activities.