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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents - January 2000

You are viewing the electronic version of Emerald Reflections,
the monthly publication of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin

The Submarine's Father

State Meeting

Shamrock Club of Rock County

South Central Shamrock Club

Fox Cities Shamrock Club

Dane County Shamrock Club

Shamrock Club of Great LaCrosse Area

Milwaukee President's Message

Welcome New Members

Bradley Center

Club Needs Your Photos and Memorabilia!

St. Patrick's 2000 Dinner and Show

First Ever Collegiate Open Mic Night

Celtic Spirituality February 4-6, 2000

9th Annual Irish Ceili and Set Dance for Peace

Shamrock Club 40th Birthday Party Reservation Form

Save the Date: Next Act Theatre

Irish Courses at UWM Spring Semester 2000

January Set Dancing

Family Fun Night

Burns Supper - 30 January 2000

Set Dancing Every Week

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Wisconsin Calendar of Events

The Submarine's Father

by Brian Witt

The inventor of the modern submarine was a man of many facets. He was a Christian Brother who taught in Ireland; a student of design and flotation; a Fenian; and a man who was so repulsed by the warlike qualities of his creation that he walked away to spend his final days teaching Irish to children in New Jersey. Thus was John Philip Holland.

John Philip Holland was born into an Irish speaking family in the seaside village of Liscannor, Co. Clare in 1841. His father was a coast guard man. He had an older brother, Albert, and two younger brothers, Robert and Michael. Robert would die when John was six from cholera he developed during the Famine. At an early age, Holland went to study English at St Macreehy's National School. Later he was to study at the Christian Brothers school in Ennystimon, and later in Limerick.

When Holland was 12, his father died, thus placing his studies in jeopardy. He solved this problem by taking Holy Orders at the age of 17 as a Christian Brother. Shortly thereafter, he was assigned to teach in Cork. Later, he was assigned to schools in Portlaosie, Enniscorthy, Drogheda, and finally to Dundalk. As a teacher, Holland was widely praised.

However, when Holland became a teacher, he gave up the development of his training as a navigator. At the same time, the news of the American Civil War, and its naval battles, piqued the interest of Holland. The new naval vessels, including the ironclad ships, were unique at that time. Also unique was the battle between the US ship Housatonic and the Confederate submarine Hunley. The Hunley was built and captained by Irishman John McClintock. McClintock's victory in his tiny sub sparked the imagination of many people, none more so than Holland's.

While at Dundalk, Holland built a working model of a submersible boat in the baths at the school. He also studied the work of French inventors working on submersible boats.

In 1873, Holland was released from Holy Orders before his final vows, due to nagging and chronic illnesses. He found himself living with his brother Michael, an exiled Fenian. John Holland would make a proposal to the Secretary of the Navy about submarines. The secretary rejected him out of hand, dismissing his proposal as a "fantastic scheme". Undaunted, Holland would build a working model of a submersible. It was called "an underwater canoe", but it was propelled by a screw driven propeller, and powered by a foot pedal.

John's brother, Michael, got the Fenians to underwrite the cost of building the next three boats. The Fenians recognized the potential of using submarines as a lethal weapon to disrupt British shipping. The Fenians subsidized the building of three ships, the best of which was the Fenian Ram.

Built in New York City, the Fenian Ram was 31 feet long, 6 feet high and 6 feet wide. It ran on gasoline, and was armed with a cannon. It was the subject of much dispute, and was stolen by one side of the divided Fenians in 1883, and hidden in a lumber shed. Holland then quit the Fenians in disgust. However, the construction of the boat left Holland as the world's foremost expert on working submersible boats.

Holland would find time to marry Margaret Foley in New York in 1887, at the age of 46, and had a number of children. Two died during childhood, but one daughter, survived until 1962.

Holland was then employed by the Pneumatic Gun Company. The owner was interested by the capabilities of attaching a pneumatic gun to the boat. They made a number of proposals. Eventually, Holland would find investors to join him in forming the "Holland Electric Boat Company". They would make a number of proposals to the United States government, all of which were ultimately turned down for funding, in spite of having won the design competition three times between 1888 and 1893.

However, in 1898 Theodore Roosevelt, then Secretary of the Navy, backed a plan to build an American submarine. In 1900, the United States Navy bought Holland's newest submarine.

A new company was formed, "The Electric Boat Company". However, due to a number of reasons, Holland would lose control of the company and by 1907, would resign from the company. At the time, he said, "There is no financial future in this company." Ironically, the Electric Boat Company today is the world's largest builder of submarines.

Holland would also complain of the Fenians, who by 1907 were completely divided. Holland commented that many of them wanted "10 cents of revolution everyday", liking their desire for a rebellion in Ireland to a vaudeville act. Holland also fought for control of the Fenian Ram, which was still stored in a shed.

Holland after 1907 would retire to Trenton, New Jersey, where he would teach the Irish language to the children of the area. He also played Irish music at dances and concerts. Like Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, Holland was also fearful of the long term horrid effects of his invention in war.

John Philip Holland died a few weeks before the start of World War One in 1914. That war would prove out Holland's fears of the catastrophic use of his boat.

State Meeting

The date for the State Meeting is FEBRUARY 26, 2000. The tentative meeting place is Forest Hills Golf Course.

Please call or write to:

    Marion Schnell
    2202 S. 30th Street
    LaCrosse, WI 54601

Her phone number is (608) 787-5500. She needs to know how many people from your chapter are coming and how many rooms if any will be needed and if so, for how many nights.

We also are very interested in any agenda items (even if there is the smallest possibility your group won't have a representative there). It will benefit every chapter to have you there. We want input from you all. The agenda is where your concerns will be addressed.

      - Cate Harris
      414) 321-5153
      8835 W. Verona Ct.
      Milwaukee, WI 53227

Rock County


Jan. 18 - General Membership meeting at the Janesville Senior Center, 69 S. Water St.

Feb. 15 - General Membership Meeting at the Janesville Senior Center

At our November meeting, Chuck and Carol Roherty presented a video of their trip to Ireland this past summer. This was not the typical home video. It was edited and put together in a very professional manner with appropriate background music. It was both educational and very enjoyable. Anyone who missed the November meeting missed a delightful travelogue.

We hope to see all of you at the January meeting and we wish all of you members and your families good health and happiness throughout the new year.

- Tom Kennedy

South Central

Our November meeting was held at the Hi Way House in Baraboo. We gained one new member, Gerald Garrigan, from Portage. We also welcomed new members, Russ and Betty Hasenbalg.

We will be having a raffle offering monies towards a trip to Ireland. Raffle tickets will be available in December.

Alice Hickey displayed a beautiful wall hanging she made of Ireland. She gave a very informative talk on the six sorrowful counties of Ireland, which is Northern Ireland, under English rule. All present enjoyed her talk very much.

Our Christmas Party was held on December 19 at the Reedsburg Country Club.

- Mary Stieve, Secretary

Fox Cities

Note your calendars for a possible change of date for the March meeting: Wednesday, March 8 or Monday, March 6 if we have a corned beef and cabbage dinner in place of our regular meeting. More information in the next Emerald Reflections. If you are interested in coming to a dinner on the 6th, please call me and leave your name, telephone number, and number of tickets you'll need so we can plan accordingly.

We had an excellent music program at our Dec. 8 meeting. Dan Geddes from the Green Apple Folk Music Society performed on his dulcimers. He brought three different ones to play and gave us some background on them.

We have a wide variety of excellent musicians in our area through the Green Apple Folk Music Society. They performed at our Irish Cabaret show in November.

Last Saturday I heard a new group playing traditional Irish music at Trilogy in Greenville. They are Druid's Table. They will be playing at Trilogy on Friday, Jan. 4, Feb. 18, and March 17.

John McGuinness will be teaching conversational Gaelic at our Jan. 12 meeting. We will have a sign-up sheet at the meeting for those interested in learning more Gaelic.

Any questions or info, please call me at (920) 733-5254.

- Elaine Hoes, Secretary

Dane County


Dec. 14 - Annual Christmas Party
Jan. 11 - Board Meeting, 6:15 p.m. Jingle's
Feb. 8 - Boarding Meeting, 6:15 p.m., Jingle's
Feb. 8 - General Membership Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Jingle's

We had a very large turnout for our November meeting, which featured Mary McBride. The crowd enjoyed her humor and had a great time!

In January, there will be no general membership meeting. The weather can be very unpredictable, and the Board has voted to eliminate the January membership meeting. There will, however, be a Board meeting at 6:15, at Jingle's.

Our February meeting is one to look forward to! Ginny O'Brien will be performing with the Charlie Nears Trio. Ginny and the trio will give us an evening of easy listening ballads, many of which will be Irish. There will also be a sing-along, so bring your song requests and your singing voices!

- Sheila O'Brien


There are many outstanding dues from Sept., Oct., Nov. Please check your mailing labels for your expiration date. To keep the delivery of Emerald Reflections uninterrupted, you must renew.

- Tom Smith, Member. Chair

Welcome New Members

DANE COUNTY - James D. Donnell; Nolan A. Faulkner; Barbara Main; and Colleen C. Rainey.

FOX CITIES - Patricia and John Ashenbrucker; George and Ruth Clifford; Terry and Marsha Dawson; Bill and Helen Ebben; Wm. and Blanche Grogan; Keith Long; Dan Ryan; Rhonda Wofford; Jack Jr. and Carol Zuelzke.

LaCROSSE - Rhonda Rice (referred by Larry Germanson); Jerry and Barbara Rusch (referred by Linda Pfaff); Jean Whalen (referred by Irish Cultural Institute).

MILWAUKEE - Mary McCarthy (referred by Tom McCarthy); Patti McCarthy (referred by Tom McCarthy); Michael Murphy; Thomas, Sherry, Chad, Matt, and Adam Sweet.

ROCK COUNTY - Elnora McGinnis.

SOUTH CENTRAL - Dr. Harold D. Crouse and Ms. Nancy M. Morison; Gerald F. and Darlene J. Garrigan.

Greater LaCrosse Area

lacross photo

Santa visited our Christmas Party held at the Freight House in LaCrosse last December 7th and gave us a new "Bodhran." Dorina Lukins is shown here trying it out with Diane O'Brien in the background. Our members also donated eleven grocery bags of non-perishable food which was taken to the Onalaska Food Basket. There were about 90 of us who participated in the event which was climaxed by the selection of our Irishman and Irish Rose for 2000. Their names will be made public soon enough!

Thanks to Jim and Mary Tracy and all who contributed to the success of that party.

Our next Board meeting will be held on January 12th. We have some serious business to attend to in planning for the State Board Meeting and arranging our activities for next March.

Our membership chair, Mary Kay Smith, requested the state chapters to share some information with her a few months ago (in writing) and has yet to hear from some. She would appreciate a response. Hope you are wintering good!

Happy New Year,
- Fred Smith

Milwaukee President's Column

Folk Fair is really over now and the reports are coming in and all look good.

It is time to start to prepare for the Post Parade Party. It will be on March 11, 2000, at the ICHC after the parade. The chairpeople will be meeting and have more details in the next issue.

At the January board meeting we will be electing the Irish Rose, Irishman of the Year and Parade Marshal(s). Please submit the names of your choices to any board member or mail them to me at 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milw., WI 53233. Winners will be announced at the Feb. meeting.

The Volunteer Party was held Dec. 4 and was a success. There was lots of food and drink as promised with the added entertainment by Molly O'Connell, Katy Voss on piano and songbird Maggie Blaha. We sang and a good time was had by all.

This is the first column of the new century. There were so many new and exciting things which happened in the last 100 years, we have to just wonder what the next 100 will bring. I'm sure it will be interesting.

Last month at this time it looked as though the Shamrock Club would have to pay for 125 advance sale tickets for Holiday Folk Fair but thanks to Muriel Crowley, our retired ticket chair, she did sell 120. Thank you Muriel, we do really appreciate what you did. We did sell 126.

On Dec. 2, the potluck dinner in lieu of the regular general meeting was a huge success. If it isn't a family secret recipe several of our guests would be interested in the recipe for the dish that had tomato on top and spinach within. Please share it if you can.

The Color Guard has had its last winter parade. We had four parades in November and are very happy that the weather was as good as it was. (Really cold but not as cold as some years).

We would like other chapters to let us know what is happening in their Shamrock Club life. Send information before the 8th of the month, the month before the event takes place, or sooner so that everyone knows about it and can plan accordingly. It is always disappointing to hear about something that would interest us only to hear about it after its over.

- Cate Harris

Bradley Center

The season is really well under way. We received our first check for two events and received $585.53. The events were the Wizard of Oz and an Admirals game. The attendance at these events was down.

The crews that work at the Bradley Center would like to welcome new members to this group. What a nice and productive way to meet other members.

For most of the events a reminder letter with a parking permit is sent to all members of the team working. When an emergency arises or you have other plans and cannot work it, please call Katy Voss at 357-6479 so that she can find a sub for you. There are times when the Bradley Center has to send in people to work our booth if we are short, and charge us what they are paid. Please don't let this happen. Upcoming events are: Jan. 5 Marquette vs. St. Louis; Jan. 10 Bucks vs. Hornets; Jan 21 Wave vs. TBD; Jan 28 Admirals vs. KWings; Feb. 5 Bucks vs. Raptors; Feb 12 Admirals vs. Cyclones; Feb. 18 Bucks vs. Vipers; Feb. 23 Bucks vs. Warriors. If you would like to work any of these dates call Katy at 357-6479.

Club Needs Your
Photos and Memorabilia!

To help celebrate the Shamrock Club's 40th birthday we need the help of the membership. If you have photographs and memorabilia from the club's past (recent and distant) please share them with us. We wish to print a special scrapbook and souvenir program to commemorate memories of the past 40 years of the Irish community. All items will be returned in good condition, we just ask that you share them with us for a short time and let us acknowledge your contribution in print.

For information contact Lisa Blake at (414) 299-0467 and leave a message or forward photos and memorabilia to: Lisa Blake, P.O. Box 5196, Elm Grove, WI 53122-5196. Please send photos and memorabilia with stories and identification on a separate piece of paper. Please do not write on the photos (unless you already have). Please send an SASE for photos and memorabilia to be returned. All donors will be acknowledged. If you wish to donate as a patron or place an ad in the program please contact Lisa at the above phone number.

- Lisa Blake

St. Patrick's 2000

Milwaukee Irish Arts


Dinner and Show


Danny Doyle

Friday, March 17

Danny Doyle

Kick off the millennium in style with our grand St. Patrick's night Dinner Show in the gracious surroundings of the Milwaukee Athletic Club's Grand Ballroom for cocktails, followed by our Gaelic Gourmet Dinner. Then sit back for a feast of Irish music, song and dance, featuring Ireland's premier ballad singer, Danny Doyle!

"His voice is beautiful, his guitar playing never overshadows the lyrics and his stage patter is warm, engaging and often hilarious." - The Irish Times.

For information and reservations, please call Mary June Hanrahan at 332-6048 or Pat Sadowski at 527-2934.

First Ever Collegiate Open Mic Night

Have you got the gift of the gab? A voice meant for song? A favorite musical instrument to play? On March 4, 2000 the Shamrock Club and the ICHC will host the first ever Collegiate Open Mic Night from 8 p.m. to midnight. Start the Green Season off right with an evening of impromptu performances centering around Irish literature and/or music in a comfortable setting. Don't care to perform? An appreciative audience encourages the fun. Refreshments and beer will be available (I.D. required). No cover charge.

The planning committee for this event needs help with flyer distribution and getting the word out. If you can help, call Lisa Blake at (414) 299-0467 and leave a message.

Celtic Spirituality February 4-6, 2000

St. Brigids day is the first day of spring in the Celtic calendar - the beginning of regrowth and renewal. To celebrate the first spring of a new millennium we have organized a very special Celtic Spirituality Weekend to which you are all invited.

This weekend will briefly treat the pre-Christian Celtic world, focusing on Celtic Christian Spirituality as it evolved in Ireland over a millennium and a half ago. The program will stress the sensitivity with which the Christian message was preached and inserted into the pre-existing Celtic world-view without doing violence to innate racial characteristics. Time will also be devoted to key factors which led to a diminution of the Celtic Spiritual Way from the late 18th-Century onwards, and to reflection on new opportunities presented by Vatican II for regaining some lost ground. This retreat weekend is about exploring the "Celtic Soul" in history, music, story, and prayer.


The Celts and the Celtic Fringe
Elements of Celtic Spirituality
The Art of the Celtic Church in Ireland
Word and Sacrament in Celtic Spirituality
Underlying Thought Patterns in Celtic Spirituality
The Spirituality of Peig Sayers as Type

Our guest speaker will be Fr. John Ó Ríordáin, an Irish Redemptorist and a native of Kiskeam on the Cork-Kerry border. He grew up in that twilight world where Celtic ways and customs were still strong up to the mid-20th century. He has studied in Galway, Seattle, and Montreal having recently completed a doctoral thesis on Celtic Spirituality at Saor-Ollscoil na hÉireann. His chief work is the conducting of parish missions in Ireland and occasionally in Britain, the USA and Canada. He has published several books

Other presenters include Fr. Peter Connolly, John Gleeson and Dennis Doyle.

Dennis is a Celtic harpist, singer and storyteller. He has performed in Ireland, Japan, and throughout North America at most major Irish and Celtic Festivals. Concert appearances include opening for Clannad in Los Angeles and performing on several national television shows, including "Murder, She Wrote." He sings in English, Latin, and Irish-Gaelic.

The cost for the weekend (Fri.-Sun.) is $135 per person, single room / $125 per person sharing a double room. The price includes program, private room with shower, linen and meals. The Center is handicapped accessible and smoke free, except for one small lounge for smokers.

For further information contact: The Redemptorist Retreat Center, 1800 N. Timber Trail Lane, Oconomowoc, WI 53066-4897. Telephone: (262) 567-6900; E-mail: or on the web at

- John Gleeson

9th Annual
Irish Ceili and Set Dance for Peace

Saturday, January 8, 2000 7-11 p.m.

Irish Cultural and Heritage Center

2133 W. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee

Peace Action, the Ulster Project and Casa Maria Shelter will benefit from the 9th annual Ceili Dance for Peace! The program begins at 7 p.m. with a short concert of traditional Celtic music by Milwaukee's largest ceili band, Ceol Cairde. Ceili dancing will be taught by Julie Clark from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Irish set dances will be taught from 9:15 till 11 p.m. by Jim and Kathie Vint. Beginners are very welcome! There are many volunteers on hand to teach young and old alike this lively and very fun Irish dancing! Beverages, snacks and homemade bakery will be available at the hall.

This is an affordable event for all ages and has become a favorite event in Milwaukee. Admission is $7 or $6 with two non-perishable food items for Casa Maria Shelter. Children 6-16 years $3 / Children under 6 free entrance!

Benefits the Peace and Justice work of Peace Action and the Ulster Project as well as the much needed work of the Casa Maria Shelter. For further information, please call Kristina Paris at (414) 372-3060.

Shamrock Club

40th Birthday Party

Reservation Form

Saturday - April 8, 2000 at the ICHC

$25 person

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres (cash bar) 5:30 p.m.

Opening Ceremony, Dinner and Entertainment 6:30p.m.





Telephone Days:_____________________________

Evenings: ___________________________________

No. of Tickets ________ x $25

Total Amount Enclosed $_______________________

Make checks payable to: Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
Mail to: Shamrock Club 40th Birthday, Attn: Lisa Blake
2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233

Next Act Theatre

One of the most highly acclaimed
Irish comedies of recent years


by Marie Jones

February 3-27, 2000

Off-Broadway Theatre - 342 N. Water St., Milwaukee

"Riotously, gloriously funny..." Sunday Independent

For tickets and Information call: (414) 278-7780

Save the Date: Theatre

Next Act Theatre is presenting one of the most highly acclaimed Irish comedies of recent years. A Night In November by Marie Jones will play February 3-27, 2000 in the new Off-Broadway Theatre at 342 N. Water Street in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.

This one-man, multi-character play is a hard and humorous look at the tensions between the Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland. Kenneth McCallister is a dole clerk who tolerates his job, his marriage, his in-laws and his complacent life - until one fateful night in November at a football match in Belfast. Changed forever by what he sees, Kenneth impulsively embarks upon a glorious journey of self-discovery and rebirth.

The Sunday Tribune called A Night in November: "A rich, rewarding and provocative piece of theatre... A very funny, poignant, dark, passionate and political exploration of two traditions and two tribes and one man's desire to reconcile his internal divisions."

Marie Jones has been a Belfast-based playwright since 1983. Her plays have toured throughout the world. A recipient of the John Hewitt Award, she has written extensively for BBC radio and television. Her recent stage plays include the widely acclaimed The Government Inspector for the Belfast company, DubbelJoint, who also staged A Night in November.

For tickets, or more information, call (414) 278-7780. If you mention this article, you can get a 1/2 price ticket with each full price ticket purchased.

Irish Courses at UWM
Spring Semester 2000

Ethnic Studies 359-250 Lc402 American Indian and Irish Experiences - A Comparative Study. Mon. / Wed. / Fri., 10:30-11:20, Jan. 25 - May 12, 2000. Optional Trip to Ireland March 19-26, 2000. This trip was initially open to students of this course. After Dec. 15 it opened to the community at large on a space availability basis. The tour cost is $1159 and includes:

Round trip air from Chicago on Aer Lingus
Hotel accommodation, double occupancy
Full Irish breakfast and dinner daily
Admission to museums, historic and archeological sites
On-site guidance and interpretation by John Gleeson and local experts
Local music and folk entertainment

Ethnic Studies 359-250 Se304 The Green Screen: Celtic Images in World Cinema. Weds., 6:15-8:55 p.m., Jan. 27 - May 12, 2000, UWM Campus, BOL B40. Enjoy Irish, Scottish, Welsh film at its best!

Linguistics 550-132 Se101 Second Semester Gaelic, Mons., 6:15-8:55 p.m. Milwaukee Irish Fest Center, 1532 Wauwatosa Ave., Jan. 25 - May 17, 2000.

Linguistics 550-232 Se101 Fourth Semester Gaelic, Tuesdays, 6:15-8:55 p.m., ICHC, 2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Jan. 26 - May 18, 2000.

For applications and registration for the above courses contact UW-Milwaukee, College of Letters and Science, Community Programs Office, (414) 229-6209.

January Set Dancing

The next monthly set dance will be held on Saturday, January 22, at the ICHC. Once again Rirá, featuring Ed Paloucek on fiddle and Kathleen Congelton playing piano, will provide great traditional Irish dance music.

Newcomers interested in learning a set are welcome. Instruction will start at 7 p.m. The featured set in January will be the Cashel, also called the Castle Set, from Co. Tipperary. Live music will begin at 8 p.m. Refreshments, including tea and snacks, will be provided. Beer will be available through the ICHC. A freewill offering of $7 is requested.

Set dancing was first introduced into Ireland in the early 1800s. This form of adult social dancing has seen a great revival in recent years and has spread and has grown in popularity with the resurgence of Irish traditional music.

Set Dancing Every Week

On Thursday evenings set dance instruction is offered at Nash's Irish Castle, 1328 W. Lincoln Ave. starting a 7 p.m. After the lessons, dancing, often to live music, continues until 10 or so. Newcomers are welcome. It is not necessary to come with a partner. For information call Jim at 258-3370.

Family Fun Night

On Friday, March 10, 2000, 7 to 11 p.m. Milwaukee Ulster Project will host its annual Family Fun Night. This evening of music and dance raises funds to bring Northern Irish teens to live with Milwaukee families. The project will be celebrating the success of the peace efforts, while praying for its continued progress. For details, call Mike Brady at 778-1595.

Burns Supper 30 January 2000

The Robert Burns club of Milwaukee will celebrate the 241st birthday of Robert Burns, Scotland's Bard and the poet of international brotherhood, with a Burns Supper on Sunday, January 30, 2000 at Pitch's Club 113, 11302 W. Bluemound Rd. in Milwaukee, starting at 4 p.m. Only $14 per person includes the cost of dinner, tax, gratuity, and entertainment. The dinner will consist of roast beef, haggis, and neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes). Entertainment will include a piper, Scottish dancers, and songs and recitations from club members and guests.

Please send paid reservations no later than Jan. 15 to Jeannine Schaefer, 515 N. 33rd St., Milwaukee, WI 53208-3820. To find out more, visit the Robert Burns Club of Milwaukee website: