PARADE GRAND MARSHAL
Brian R. Arnold
Brian Robert Arnold was born in Newport, RI on November 12, 1954 to Harold and Susan (Moroney) Arnold. Brian grew up on Poplar Street surrounded by his four siblings, grandparent’s, aunt, uncle & cousins.
His mother came over from County Clare Ireland with her sister when she was 19. Brian has visited his family in Ireland several times over the years.
His early education included Hazard Memorial, also known as Saint Joseph’s elementary school, Thompson Junior High School, and Rogers High School – graduating with the Class of 1974.
Over the years he has held many jobs: including paperboy and general laborer at Pascale’s Pet & Barbershop. He started learning carpentry while at Rogers High School and shortly thereafter began his business, BR Arnold Construction, in 1973 - which he still operates today and has gained a great reputation.
He met his wife Debbie (Ulrich) in 1977 and they married in 1984 at St. Joseph’s church with Fr. Sullivan officiating. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Mary and are proud to be new grandparents!
In 1973 Brian was sponsored into the AOH by Jack Kane. He served in many capacities there including a stint as president from 1983 – 1984. He also served as cochairman of the Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade for one year. He helped to build one of the Parades original reviewing stands.
In 1987, Brian and Debbie purchased “Cappys” Hillside Café which is still operating today. The Café is a big supporter of the Hillside Charitable Foundation, a local nonprofit organization that, amongst other things, helps local individuals experiencing financial hardships due to medical issues. Cappy’s was the first winner of the Big Daddy Award for the biggest financial business sponsor of the Parade, in 1998.
He served on the Board at Norman Bird Sanctuary and the Newport County Convention and Visitors Bureau. He is also, a member of the Rhode Island Builders Association, National Association of Home Builders, and Newport County Contractors Association. He was once named the Elk’s Citizen of the Year.
Most people that know Brian know him as an all-around nice guy who over the years has helped in many capacities. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and never looks for any accolades, being perfectly content to be in the background. He is truly deserving of this honor.
Our yearly button designs try to
incorporate the vocation or interests of our Grand Marshal for that year. For the 2015
Saint Patrick’s Day Parade our Grand
Marshal is Brian R. Arnold. This year’s button makes use of a couple of
important symbols for Brian; namely a circular saw blade and the Goat Island
Lighthouse. The circular saw blade is emblematic of his vocation as a
contractor and his business - B. R. Arnold construction Company. The Goat
Island Lighthouse gives a nod to Brian's residence, and roots, in the "Point"
section of Newport.
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