The Saint Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke lost a long-time member on October 7, 2015 with the passing of Delfo (Del) Barabani, Sr. A member since 1959, Del was just days away from his 93rd birthday on November 2nd.
Twice honored by this organization, Del received the Daniel Gallivan Award in 1979 which is awarded annually to a regional member who exemplifies unselfish devotion and invigorating enthusiasm to the Committee. Del also received the Thomas Rohan Award in 2000. Named for our first Grand Marshal, this award is presented to a committee member who has significantly contributed to the success of the Parade and to this organization.
Del began his association with the Saint Patrick’s Committee as the representative for the Chicopee delegation beginning in 1957. Early records tell us that he designed the first Chicopee float and was the emcee for the first four Colleen Contests.
Over the fifty-six years of his membership, Del served as the Chairperson of the By-laws, Protocol, JFK Memorial Ceremony, Memorial Mass committees. He also served in leadership positions for the Televised Mass, Music, Judging, Awards, Bishop’s Televised Mass, JFK Award Banquet, Ambassador of Ireland Award, Grand Colleen Coronation Ball, and Road Race committees. However, this list hardly captures his value to our organization.
His spirit and attention to details, along with his strong devotion to God and Country was always demonstrated at our meetings and events. He was our parliamentarian and never failed to remind us if the proper procedures or Robert’s Rules of Order were not followed. He accepted the obligation, and honor, to see that our flags were on display at every event and accorded the dignity and proper protocol. He was devoted to that task and performed it with pride.
Del divided his time and with distinction he served his church, the community, and veteran groups, as well as the K of C, Elks, Kiwanis and Boy Scouts. His quote for his obituary was to read
“Those who knew me know what I have done and those who do not will not care”.
However, those who do not know or care need to know what Del has done so that they too can care. For it is not often we have the privilege and good fortune to know such a man as Delfo Barabani. We will not soon, if ever, see his likes again.