Philly’s Friendly Sons to welcome women

America’s oldest Irish society, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, has agreed to admit female members for the first time when it marks its 245th anniversary in March, reports Simon Carswell of The Irish Times.

Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson will be inducted, but the group has no plans to change its name to include “and Daughters.”

“Let’s not get hung up on the name. It is our brand,” said Joseph Heenan, the group’s president.

Here’s the organization’s mission statement, updated in January 2015. And here’s a summary of its long history, including building the Irish Memorial at Penn’s Landing.