History and Parades

1949-50Uniforms were basically the same except for the hats–Corps members wore hats similar to bellyboy hats. Sergeants & Corporals wore hats that were later worn by the entire Corps. Majorette mascots.
1955-56First Cav-OIL-Cade Marine Parade. Rode on a barge down the Port Arthur ship channel. Stood up all the way. Met the USS CONY–a destroyer–at Texaco Island and then toured the ship. It was here to participate in the Armed Forces Day Parade. Colleen of the Year was selected by being the highest winner in candy sales.
1956-57First year to have Colleen sweaters worn to school on game day and other occasions. Tenor drums moved up from back to first row. 49 girls tried out for only 6 available bugle positions. Mr. “C” taught at summer practice. He was band director at Stark High in Orange. Cav-Oil-Cade Marine Parade again, this time we had chairs! Taps on boots for the first time in Christmas parade. Colleen of the Year was elected on merit for the first time.
1957-58Thanksgiving Day–marched in 1st Annual Tidelands Bowl Game in Morgan City, LA. Seniors received Colleen blankets instead of sweaters or a jacket. Combined Colleen-Shamrock Banquet.
1965-66First year to have Leprechaun Mascot. Won first place in St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Houston.
1966-67Baritone bugles were added to the Corps for more depth. A slow, high-step was added for an occasional break in the traditional double-time step.
1972-73First invitation to the Mardi Gras Parade in Lafayette, LA.
1978-79Colleens invited to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Festivities in Ireland. This was the highlight of all the years of their existence. The Corps participated in several parades in different cities in Ireland. They were officially adopted as sisters to one county who claims them as their own. A fitting acknowledgement for a fine group of young women. The girls who were a part of this generation of Colleens must have been very proud.

This had to be a special year for the Corps. All the students knew of the fragile life of Bishop Byrne. After the first of 1983, it was announced that the school would have to close its doors. Each day on campus was precious to the students, and every performance of each special group was savored. This year, at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Houston, the entire school–faculty and students–attended to cheer for the Bishop Byrne Colleens. As an eyewitness, and former Colleen, this writer can assure all Colleens, past and present, that the Corps performed beautifully. The closing of Bishop Byrne will naturally mean the end of the Colleens. One can only hope for a miracle to keep this tradition alive. It is not out of the question. All things are possible with God!
Mardi Gras Parade