You are viewing the electronic version of Emerald
the monthly publication of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
Shamrock Club of Great LaCrosse Area
Fox Cities Shamrock Club
Shamrock Club of Rock County
Dane County Shamrock Club
New Dublin Announces New Web Site
Milwaukee President's Message
State Board Meeting Update
Welcome New Members
Milwaukee Volunteer Party
Milw. Cabaret Christmas Party -- Dec 2nd
Irish Christmas At the Milwaukee Museum
Milw. Nominations for 2000's Honorees
St. Patrick's Night 2000
Club's 40th Anniversary Update
Entertainment E-mail Service Announced
ICHC Concert: Andy M. Stewart with Gerry O'Beirne
Sets for Christmas with Rira
Almost-End-of-the-Year Set Dance
Holiday Sharing -- Celtic Women International
Sister Fidelma, Detective
Irish Holiday Treats
Donn's Poetry Corner: Christmas Poetry
by Robert J. Higgins
Any time of the year is a good time for an Irish party and when you have one, of course, you will want to toast the good St. Patrick for starters and go on from there. Here are more great Irishmen worthy of toasts:
You may wish to toast an Irishman named Flor Begley, and never mind if you hadn't heard of him up to now. He was definitely important.
DEFEATED THE BRITISH
In 1921 Begley was a military bagpipe player who so inspired his unit, the Flying Column of the 3rd West Cork Brigade, in a clash with the British Army, that he is said to have "piped old Ireland free."
It was in 1921 that the original 26 counties to make up the Republic of Ireland achieved a measure of independence after centuries of English rule. One of the last battles took place at the village of Crossbarry in County Cork, when the Flying Column commanded by Tom Barry defeated a much larger British unit.
Begley had offered to fight that day, but Barry told him it was more important that he play his pipes. So Begley played while the battle raged and he became the subject of a ballad by Bryan McMahon, "The Piper of Crossbarry."
How about toasting Cuchullain? Admittedly, he belongs strictly to Irish legend, but he's considered to be one of Ireland's greatest heroes from pagan times. Cuchullain was really tough. When he was only six years old he was attacked by the most dangerous, meanest dog in Ireland, a giant hound belonging to Cullen the smith, but did that bother little Cuchullain? No, he simply grabbed the ferocious canine and dashed the animal to death against a stone pillar.
ACE IN THE HOLE
Later Cuchullain became a famous warrior and when the going got rough he relied on his ace in the hole – a strange weapon called the gae-bolga. This was a kind of spear with multiple, barbed heads, so once it hit someone it couldn't be pulled out. Cuchullain was the only person in Ireland who knew how to employ the gae-bolga because the really strange thing about it was the fact that he had to throw it with his foot!
Sir Boyle Roche should be on your toast list too for his own special reason. He lived from 1743 to 1807 and is known as the "Father of the Irish Bull."
Not an animal at all, an Irish Bull is an expression, apparently or actually delivered in all seriousness, but with the ending contradicting the beginning.
Roche represented Tralee in the Irish parliament. The Sam Goldwyn of his day, he said things like the following:
"Sir, I am not a bird; I cannot be in two places at once."
NOT FULL YET
"Single misfortunes never come alone, and the greatest of all possible misfortunes is generally followed by a greater … The cup of old Ireland's misery is overflowing, and it's not full yet."
Writing to a friend in England – "You may judge of our state when I tell you that I write this with a sword in one hand a pistol in the other."
"If the question were put to me, sir, I'd answer at once boldly in the affirmative – NO!"
While he was alive Roche was regarded as an inspired idiot because of his statements, but there was a surprise after he died. When Roche's papers were exam-ined it turned out that it was all a put-on. He had carefully worked out his bulls before delivering them.
If you should want to toast an Irishman who fought in the American battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana in 1876 did you know that you have your choice of sides?
In this battle George Custer and his 7th Calvary unit were wiped out by a force of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. One of the officers serving under Custer was Capt. Myles Keogh, a native of County Kilkenny, Ireland. Keogh had plans to return to Ireland after the pesky Sioux were subdued, but like Custer and the approximately 250 other men of his unit, he died at Little Bighorn.
A Sioux chief named Red horse is said to have called Keogh the bravest man he ever fought against.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Little Bighorn, in June, 1976, Keogh was the subject of a newspaper story in an Irish newspaper, the Dublin Evening Herald. The Irish Press of Dublin also had a story about a Little Bighorn participant, with a surprise twist.
The Press found relatives of a man named Eoin O'Cathail, who said that O'Cathail had not only fought in the Little Bighorn River battle, but had survived the fight because he was on the side of the Indians!
The Press account said that O'Cathail was from Templeglantine in County Limerick. He emigrated to the US in the 1860s and became a farmer in Michigan. Later he developed an interest in Indian problems and he went west to join the Sioux tribe under Sitting Bull. He is supposed to have lived on to the mid-1920s.
Finally, would you believe that a man named Bram Stoker (1847-1912) is another son of the Emerald Isle who deserves a toast?
He was a writer from Dublin and it's too bad for him he isn't around now to collect money from the movie industry for all those films that have been made about the character he introduced in a book published in 1897.
You see, Stoker wrote the original "Dracula." Did you always think Count Dracula came from Transylvania?
Greater LaCrosse Area
Here are Dorina Lukins and Don Venner representing our Shamrock club in the Oktoberfest Parade in LaCrosse. This was one of their last official acts as our Irish Rose and Irishman of 1999. They did a grand job and we love them.
Our Christmas Party will be held at the Freight House in LaCrosse on December 7 and it is at this event that we will nominate and elect our Irishman and Irish Rose for 2000. Our members have received the details in our "Blarney" newsletter.
We still have no contingency plan for Y2K. Happy Holidays!
– Fred Smith
Our officers for 2000 are:
President – Bill Grogan
Our Cabaret/Dinner Show held Nov. 10, was a wonderful success. The corned beef and cabbage dinner was followed by a two hour fantastic assortment of very talented local musicians: two fiddlers, step dancer, flute and guitar duo, Irish piper, tin whistle, harpist, bodhran player, and our "infamous" Irish tenor from Holland town – Bill Clancy. He hosted President Clinton on his farm when Clinton was campaigning for President.
We had several door prizes donated. Highlight of the evening was the grand prize drawing for a Royal Tara special edition millennium bowl donated by Mystic Ireland.
Our Fox Cities club is now getting quite visible in the community.
Because of our increased attendance at monthly meetings we will be moving to a new location beginning with the December 8 meeting. Keep the following dates marked on your calendar: Dec. 8, Jan. 12, Feb. 9 and Mar. 8 (second Wednesday each month). Location: 1216 E. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton at 7 p.m.
Board Meetings will continue to be held at "Between the Pages" at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month: Dec. 22, Jan. 26, Feb. 23, and Mar. 22.
– Elaine Hoes, Secretary
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
At our October meeting we had 38 people there enjoying the potluck dinner and as usual there was plenty of delicious food. Later in the evening we were entertained by the Senior Choristers as they sang a great variety of songs including many Irish songs.
On Nov. 11 our club was represented by Fred McCann, Tom Kennedy, Jim and Kay Mackey, selling raffle tickets, at Wal-Mart in Beloit, to help raise money for a World War II Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Our Christmas Party will be held on Dec. 21 at the Janesville Senior Center. This will be a catered dinner with entertainment following. For more information or to make reservations, call Jane Vilbrandt at 756-2022 or Rosie Hughes at 365-0663.
May we have a full house at our Christmas Party, a Blessed Christmas and a healthy and happy new year.
– Tom Kennedy
The October meeting was a great success! We enjoyed the music of Heartwood. The very talented duo of Katie Waldren and Candace Kreitlow provided many enjoyable songs and instrumentals.
The Christmas dinner is fast approaching! Please contact Barb Darcey at (608) 837-3095 for all the details. The dinner will be $12, and will be held on December 14, beginning at 6 p.m.
Please note! There will be no General Membership Meeting in January! There will be a Board Meeting at 6:15 p.m. on January 14, 2000 at Jingle's.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES:
– Sheila O'Brien
New Dublin Website
New Dublin chapter of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin has a new website. Check it out at:
State Board Meeting
Plans are being made but the information needed – possible / convenient dates, agenda – is not coming in as we had hoped. This is your meeting, we need to know what your wishes are. Please call or write.
Cate Harris (414) 321-5153
Welcome New Members
FOX CITIES – Patricia Balestriere; Jerry Burke and W. Ritcher; Dan Curtin; Bill and Helen Ebben; Frank and Sue Eccles; Ken and Carol Felton; Tom and Barb Fink; Pastor Richard and Pam Frost; Dan and Barb Glasheen; Gary and Judy Griffin; Bill and Blanche Grogan; Elaine Hoes; Diane Lemke; John and Anna McGuinness; Ray and Kitty O'Connor; Maureen Radtke; Nathalie and Anne Skidmore; Frank and Pat Warmbrunn; John and Martine Wright; Jack Mr. and Carol Zuelzke.
LACROSSE – Bill and Kathy Bray; Dorothy Dowling; Paul and Jeanne Sullivan.
MILWAUKEE – Tom and Elizabeth Dundon; John Flanner; Paul and Joan Lucke; Angelo and Doris Vitucci; James Whalen.
ROCK COUNTY – Vivienne R. Martin.
SOUTH CENTRAL – Robert and Virginia M. Whitty.
Milwaukee President's Message
Folk Fair is over and we were successful. The setting at State Fair Park was much more convenient and a lot warmer. The new facility took some getting used to but it did run smoothly. Our appreciation and thanks to all who worked so hard to make this event successful, especially Pete and Fran Dundon. The soda bread was fine. Thanks, too, to Noreen Barclay and Mary McAndrews for their labors of love. There were no Irish dancers this year and they were missed but next year they will be back. Someone please think about being in charge of selling the advance sale tickets. We are required to pay for 125 tickets. We fell short this year.
The 40th anniversary committee headed by Dale Brenon is working on some exciting and interesting plans. The celebration will probably be an on-going event for several months.
The Shamrock Club Board voted to give the ICHC $250 to work on the landscaping around the building. A thankyou note from John Maher was read at our last meeting. It was greatly appreciated.
Thanks to Katy Voss's help, things are running smoothly at the Bradley Center. Volunteers, please remember to call her if you can't make an event and if you want to work for a special event. We can always use extra hands and we have a pleasant time with nice people.
Once a year, we, the Shamrock Club, honor a woman; man; and man, woman or couple as Irish Rose, Irishman of the Year and Parade Marshal(s). These people must be members of the Shamrock Club and have gone "above and beyond the call" for the Shamrock Club. There are many people out there who fit this description. Please let us know in writing who they are. At the January Board Meeting we will vote on the nominees and one of each, Rose, Irishman and Marshal will be chosen and announced at the February meeting. They will be honored throughout the year, at the Gala on March 17th, at the St. Pat's parade, and at the 40th Anniversary events. Please submit your entries to any board member or write to me, Cate Harris at 8835 W. Verona; Milwaukee, WI 53227.
The December meeting is a Cabaret Pot Luck Dinner. Everybody is asked to bring a dish to pass. This is the time to show off your culinary expertise – also it is a good idea to bring the recipe as they are often requested by members. Jean Cardwell and her brownies will take care of supplying the meat. This party starts at 6 p.m.
Just a reminder, Muriel Crowley will be at the Milwaukee Museum on December 19 (wrong date last month) from 11:30 to 3 p.m. There will be music and dancers and two craft demonstrations.
Entertainment books are still available at $35. Last call – great for last minute stocking stuffers and with your Entertainment Book you have a great excuse to go out for dinner. They are available at the Shamrock Club meeting or can be picked up at the ICHC, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Brian Witt is planning on forming a speakers group. They would speak on Ireland, culture, things Irish. They would be invited by other groups to give talks. If interested, call Brian at 423-4383.
The Club extends its sympathy to our Vice President Susan Dundon and her family on the loss of her mother.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (and may all your computer problems be little ones) to all of you. Happy Birthday and Anniversary to all Decemberites.
– Cate Harris (321-5153)
A memorial was received by the Shamrock Club in honor of Elenore Murphy who passed away in July. Her niece, Alice R. Jasiorkowski of Milwaukee made this generous donation in Elenore's name. Our thanks for the donation and sympathy on your loss.
Milwaukee Shamrock Club
DECEMBER 4, 1999
ICHC Upper Hall * 7 p.m.
For info: 321-515
Cabaret Christmas Party – Dec. 2nd
The Shamrock Club's Annual Cabaret Christmas Party will take place on December 2, 1999 at the ICHC. Setup will be at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30, Entertainment will begin at 7 p.m.
The dinner will be a potluck format, with the Shamrock Club providing a meat dish along with beer, wine and soda. A dish to pass, or a dessert will be appreciated.
Entertainment will be provided by Dublin native, Finbar McCarthy and Friends. Finbar is a long-time favorite of Shamrock Club audiences.
In addition, the Shamrock Club and the ICHC will kick off their December food drive with the dinner. Barrels will be provided through December 20 to collect non-perishable food. Food will be delivered to Hope House, a Milwaukee charity.
For more information on the Cabaret Christmas call (414) 423-4383.
Irish Christmas At the Museum
Join the Shamrock Club for its annual "Irish Christmas at the Milwaukee Museum" on Sunday, December 19, from noon until 3 p.m. Cost of Museum admittance is required.
We will feature dancers, musicians and more in the Town Square of the European Village. The Irish Cottage will be open, and Katie Sweeney and Mary Roffers will be displaying Irish Crafts.
For more information on the Irish Christmas display, call Muriel Crowley at (262) 782-4323.
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