By Bill Gelman
When talking about Edward J. McBride’s impact on the South Philly community, the stories would easily fill the pages of this week’s 36-page edition. One of his good friends enjoys telling people that “Ed has a circle of friends that spans from Al Capone to Mother Teresa.”
McBride was one of those individuals who would have a cup of coffee with a nun in the morning and beers with the community leaders at night.
Tonight, that story and many others will be part of the conversations as the Edward O’ Malley Athletic Association honors the memory of the community leader who passed suddenly on Mon- day, June 5 at the age of 78. Tonight (June 8), from 5–9 p.m. and tomorrow (June 9) from 8–9:30 a.m., the EOM athletic complex, 138 Moore St., will hold a visitation.
EOM board member John Murawski said McBride was involved in so many different circles that it was hard figuring out whom to reach out to first. The EOM athletic association has had one president in its history — McBride. The proud Irishman also was a former president of the Southeast Catholic/Ss. Neumann-Goretti Millay Club, board member of the Quaker City String Band, a Whitman Council member, and an IBEW Local 98 retiree.
The Millay Club, Neumann-Goretti’s alumni association, posted a tribute message about McBride following the news of his passing.
“The Millay Club mourns the loss of its former president and one of its greatest supporters, Ed McBride.”
Ed spent 50 years of dedicated service on The Millay Club Board. During his tenure on the Millay Club Board, he also served as vice president and chaired many successful events including the Communion Breakfast, the Pinnacle Gala and the All Classes Summer Reunion. McBride was a recipient of the prestigious “Millay Club Man of the Year” Award.
“His passion for Catholic education and support of The Millay Club and Ss. John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School will never be forgotten,” summed up his countless contributions to the organization.
To many others, including Murawski, he served as a friend and mentor. The board member still remembers his childhood days, coaching EOM teams as a young high school student. McBride was there helping every step of the way. Murawski would later inherit the EOM biddy sports program geared for 3- to 7-year-olds. Murawski described McBride as “charismatic,” “a leader” and a “people person.” Like McBride’s many roles, the list could go on and on.
Murawski and his fellow board members will be there to keep McBride’s baby — EOM — going strong, but it will be far from an easy task.
“What came natural to him is going to take several dozen board members to fill his void,” Murawski said.
Viewing is being held at EOM, 138 Moore St., from 5–9 p.m. tonight (June 8) and 8–9:30 a.m. tomorrow (June 9). The Funeral Mass will be held 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 2319 S. Third St. Donations can be made to the EOM Athletic Association.