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While certainly social in character, they were far more focused on, and concerned with, the “struggle” for independence rather than the preservation of Irish culture in an adopted land.

The many Clan-na-Gaelorganizations in existence during this period epitomized this focus.

The notion of the volunteer is embedded in Irish tradition and history.

While many other ethnic clubs and organizations, both Irish and non-Irish alike, passed into memory, the WSIA persevered and grew.

Unfortunately, because no formal records or minutes of the Club exist prior to 1936, these early interactions are lost to history.

Understanding the reasons for the formation of the WSIA requires insight into the Irish- American community that existed at the time.

The oral histories, some of which have been passed down through three generations, reference a series of meetings over time, including informal gatherings around picnic tables at Edgewater Park.

Because of the progression of these gatherings, it is probable that any number of dates could have been declared the official starting point.

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