Great Irish Fair

Thomas Cuite Memorial Award

Mark C. Edwards, the president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 21, in the Rockaways, is receiving the Thomas Cuite Memorial Award.

Born in Brooklyn, he is the eldest son of David Edwards, who was born in County Dublin, and Monica Brennan Edwards, whose parents came from County Mayo and County Kilkenny. His family moved to the Rockaways in 1973. He attended P.S. 114, J.H.S 180 and Beach Channel H.S.

In 1985, he started working for Con Edison, where he is currently a high voltage troubleshooter in Con Edison’s Brooklyn Emergency Department. Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he spent one month at the World Trade Center site restoring power to lower Manhattan.

He joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians 13 years ago because he was drawn to the order’s emphasis on Christian charity, unity and friendship.

Edwards has served as president of his division for the last decade. In that time, he has helped his division’s membership grow from 65 to 230 members and they started the annual Irish Festival in Rockaway. The Great Irish Fair was the inspiration for that event, which has raised $200,000 for local parishes and charities over the last six years.

Edwards met his wife Alice Foley during high school, and they wed in 1989. Alice is a graduate of St. Francis de Sales School, Belle Harbor, and Stella Maris H.S., Rockaway Beach. Alice’s mother the late Maura Burns Foley came from County Monaghan and her father, Michael Foley, hails from County Kerry.

Together they have three wonderful children, Maeghan, 27, a teacher; Sean, 26, an emergency medical technician, and Maura 13, who is headed to Catholic high school next fall. They are parishioners at St. Francis de Sales Church, Belle Harbor.

He is proud of his brothers and sister, and their spouses: Brian and Robin Edwards, Paul and Rachel Edwards, and Tara and Michael Light. He is also a proud brother-in-law to Michael Foley and wife Sueann Foley and uncle to nieces Devon, Ceara and Aislinn Foley, and nephews Benjamin, Michael and Matthew Edwards, and Michael and Christopher Light.