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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents - February 2001

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

The Irish President of France

State Wide Meeting - February 24

Shamrock Club of Rock County

Milwaukee President's Message

Fox Cities Shamrock Club

Dane County Shamrock Club

Northeast Wisconsin Shamrock Club

Storm Warning: Gaelic Storm Concert

Milwaukee Set Dance Club -- February

Milwaukee St. Patrick's Parade - New Location

St. Patrick's Mass Flowers

16th Annual Special Mass to Honor St. Patrick

Nominations for Milwaukee Club Offices

Schooner Fare in Concert

Welcome New Members / Milwaukee Membership Report

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Wisconsin Calendar of Events

The Irish President of France

by Brian Witt

During the recent presidential election in the United States, some people wondered about the strength of American democracy. Challenges, chads, and Supreme Courts all were involved. To some, it seemed like the end of the American system. The system, for all its faults, prevailed, for better or worse. However, more than a century ago, in France, a Franco-Irish war hero helped to lead the French to a new democracy. He was a monarchist yet he helped destroy the concept of monarchy in that country.

In 1875, France was in ruins following the disastrous Franco-Prussian War. The French Emperor, Louis Napoleon had been captured by the Prussians, Paris had been sacked, and the country was leaderless. The people were split between restoring the Bourbon monarchy or creating a new, third, French Republic. The country was quickly drifting into anarchy.

One of the few heroes of the war was a person by the name of Patrick MacMahon. While placed at the defense of the city of Sedan, he was given strict orders to hold the city without attacking the Prussian forces by the emperor, Louis Napoleon, grandson of Napoleon Bonaparte. MacMahon intended to encircle and ambush the enemy, tactics learned at the War College at St. Cyr in France, and inherent in his Wild Geese military background. However, MacMahon was severely wounded in the battle of Sedan, and the city fell to the Prussians in short order.

After the collapse of the French government, MacMahon was asked to lead a provisional government. This son of St. Patrick was also known as Marshall Marie Edme Patrice de MacMahon, Duc de Magenta, a person who had distinguished himself in the Crimean War, rising through the ranks of the French army. His grandfather studied medicine at the Irish College in Paris and at Rheims in the 1740s after leaving Ireland.

MacMahon was a monarchist, but he realized that the vacuum of power was splitting the nation terribly, as well as weakening it. He agreed to stand in, trying to ensure some stability for at least a temporary period. MacMahon oversaw the creation of the new government, with a Chamber of Deputies, which was elected by the public, and a Senate, which was selected by the provincial governors. A new president would be selected by both houses, and he would then select a Premier. The idea was that the new President would have broad powers, similar to that of a king, and the Premier would ensure that there was a form of republican government. The Monarchists felt, rightfully, that MacMahon would step aside to allow the restoration of a monarchy, while the Republicans felt that the concept of a presidency was better than none. The fact that MacMahon was Irish also helped his selection. The Irish in France were very much in the thrall of the French monarchy, a fact that helped cement the support of that side of the aisle. In 1875, Patrick MacMahon became the first President of the provisional government.

Elections in 1876 sealed the compact between the two groups, with MacMahon becoming the new President of the Third Republic of France. The First Republic was that of the French Revolution, the Second was dissolved in 1851 by Louis Napoleon. However, this was to be a rough and rocky journey for MacMahon. He nominated conservative monarchists as Premier, all of whom where rejected by the strongly republican Deputies. The Deputies then objected to the powers that were given to MacMahon by the provisional government, including the right to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies at any time and call for new elections. They also objected to the number of monarchists and conservatives he appointed to government posts.

By 1879, the Chamber of Deputies was demanding that MacMahon replace many of his appointees. MacMahon saw the impasse become a rift which threatened to become another political chasm that could further damage the stability of France. In order to stop the fracturing of the government, with the two houses so utterly divided, he resigned the presidency. With that move, two things occurred. First, the idea of a restored monarchy was forever destroyed, MacMahon being the last hope for it. Second, the two houses of the French government never elected a president with any substantive power or strength again, thus ensuring that the position would be titular rather than functional.

Once MacMahon was gone, the Chamber of Deputies realized that they actually didn't like each other. While Patrick MacMahon was in power, they were united in their attacks upon him. Without him, the vast differences in the Chamber itself were revealed. Afterwards, the Chamber of Deputies, and the Senate, would become entangled in one squabble after another, rushing from crisis to crisis. Still, the idea of a democracy, and of a Republic, was entwined in the French psyche. MacMahon's constitution would last until the German invasion of France in 1940, and the rise of the Vichy government.

MacMahon was remembered after his death with the naming of a major Paris boulevard in his honor, the Rue de MacMahon. He died at his country home in Sully in 1893.

Patrick MacMahon was the man on the White Horse for the French, the traditional hero who would help save the French. This son of Ireland also set into motion a government that would last for over a half century. A monarchist who would ultimately destroy any hope for a monarchy. But ultimately, a man who by his actions, would ensure the survival of democracy in France.


February 24, 2001

Noon at

Jingles' - Madison

Meeting will serve to draft bylaws for unifying the chapters of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin.

Rock County


•FEB.. 20 - 7:30 p.m. General Membership Meeting. Program: John and Helen Nevins telling of their experiences in Ireland this past summer

• MARCH 11 - Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Beloit.

The mail failed us in December. I mailed our article into Emerald Reflections on Nov. 28th but it was not delivered to Williamson Press until Dec. 13th.

John and Helen Nevins studied in Ireland last summer and will tell us of some of their experiences while they were over there. John is the principal of Van Buren School here in Janesville.

Our Annual St. Patrick's Parade will be on March 11, starting at 1 p.m. in downtown Beloit. If you are not going to be in the parade, maybe you can help line up the units. If you can't help then take your lawn chair and get down there early and get a good seat along the parade route. If you can help let us know at the February meeting.

- Tom Kennedy

Milwaukee President's Message

Last month the State Board met and elected a chairperson and secretary. All the chapters were asked to donate $20 to cover mailing expenses. This is a very enthusiastic group and we hope to come up with ideas to help unify all the groups. This is an advisory board only.

Although it is only February, plans for St. Patrick's Parade are well underway. The contracts are out and many have been signed and returned. There are a lot of excited people on Bluemound Rd. waiting for the music to start and units to march. The Shamrock Club members are invited to march right behind the Color Guard Pipes and Drums. If you choose not to walk, there will be a red bus to ride. Come and participate and show your support and get into the spirit of the season. There will be more details about our "St. Patrick Holiday" next month.

The response to our Bradley Center appeal has been good but we still need at least two managers. One person did come forward and volunteer to take the training. The future of our Bradley Center fund raiser does seem a bit brighter but we really do need you.

We had a delightful afternoon at the Fireside Theatre in late January. Thirty-seven members attended and had a very good Celtic dinner. The next time that they have an Irish menu I hope that we can do this again.

Once again I would like to remind you that Eddie, our security guard, is on duty whenever there is an event at the ICHC. His presence and ready smile are a comfort to all who park back in the lot. Thanks, Eddie.

Please pray for several of our members who are sick and in treatment for cancer and other ailments. Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary to all in February.

- Cate Harris

Fox Cities


• FEB. 14 - Business Meeting, 7 p.m. at Conkey's in Appleton.

• FEB. 21 - Board Meeting, 7 p.m. at Conkey's in Appleton. (note - 3rd Wednesday)

• MAR. 12 - St. Patrick's Dinner at Mark's East Side in Appleton. Call (920) 733-5254 for reservations.

Music!! At Trilogy in Greenville 7:30 - 11 p.m.: Fri. Feb. 16 Druid's Table. Sat. Mar. 3 Atlantic Crossing. Fri. Mar. 16 Druid's Table. Sat. Mar. 31 Celtic Knot.

Welcome new member Edward L. Moon. Check your mailing labels for your membership renewal date.

Fireside Theater has a new show called "And They called It Ireland." Call your favorite bus company and they can tell you which dates they are going, i.e. Nationwide, Lamers, etc.

New Year's Eve was a real treat at Appleton's "New Year's Around the Park" celebration. The Celtic Village entertainment with Celtic Knot, Bally Loughlin and Katie Krych was a great three hours of live Celtic entertainment.

- Elaine Hoes (920) 733-5254

Dane County


• FEBRUARY 13 - Board Meeting (6:15 p.m.) / Membership Meeting (7:30 p.m.). At Jingles. Dybdahl Girls, Erin and Angela, and our own club member Francis McMahan will perform Celtic music consisting of waltzes, jigs and reels. The girls are members of Fiddle Frenzy, a Nashville based fiddle group, and have played extensively in the US and Canada.

• MARCH 17 - The flag raising ceremony is taking place at the State Capitol at noon and will be followed by a luncheon at Jingles. A bus will run from Jingles to the Capitol at 11:30 and back to Jingles afterwards.

• APRIL 10 - A tentative board meeting is scheduled at 10:45 prior to the noon membership meeting at Jingles. Members will purchase their own lunch off the menu. Kate Wiskus, a diocesan vocation team member at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, will give a presentation on Celtic spirituality. She will explain how Irish connectedness to the land and to the images of creation affects the Irish outlook and approach to life.

• MAY 8 - Board Meeting (6:15 p.m.) / Membership Meeting (7:30 p.m.). At Jingles. Patricia Geyh will explain the available resources for studying Irish genealogy at the Irish Emigration Library located in the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center in Milwaukee. This program is very interesting and helpful for those seeking to trace their Irish roots.

At our December 12 meeting, the Shamrock Club held its annual Christmas party at Jingles. After a delicious diner, Colleen Schams played the keyboard and Paul Buckalew led us in the singing of Christmas carols. To put the finishing touch on the evening, Kathleen Sweeney conducted a traditional Irish candle lighting ceremony. The Shamrock Club donated checks to representatives of the following charitable organizations: the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Salvation Army, and the Second Harvest Food Bank. The club acknowledges Mary Hearn, Virginia Carpenter, Barbara Darcey, and Michael and Carol Brunet for planning a fun-filled evening.

Because the Shamrock Club is not having a raffle or any other fundraiser, membership dues increased as of January 1. A single membership now costs $20, and a family membership is $30.

Barbara Gallenberg and Mary Hearn attended a meeting of the presidents and representatives of each chapter of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin on December 9 at Jingles. At the meeting, officers were selected, funding was addressed, and quarterly meetings were initiated. Watch for details of the minutes in the Emerald Reflections. The meeting at Jingles on February 24 at noon will serve to draft bylaws for unifying the chapters of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin.

We anticipate a large crowd for our exciting and entertaining February meeting. Guests are always welcome.

- Barbara Gallenberg, President
(608) 271-8660

Shamrock Club of Northeast Wisconsin

The Shamrock Club of Northeast Wisconsin is privileged to present its 2000 Irish Person of the Year Award to Joan Kreuser for her unwavering support of the club, her bright smile, her time and professional talent in producing an outstanding newsletter, and, plain and simply, for being such a great Irish person. With those well-chosen words, Shamrock Club President Ron McKenzie presented Joan Kreuser with the club's prestigious Irish Person of the Year Award.

Among the activities that Joan has participated in are the St. Patrick's Day Mass, club parades, the summer food booth, International Fest and, of course, the writing, planning, and putting / pulling together of the club's newsletter.

The award was presented to Joan at the Shamrock Club Christmas Party on December 11 at the Holiday Inn - City Centre, Green Bay. Sisters Helen Desotell and Jean Barrett-Terry and sisters Lucille Warpinski and Rosemary Kehoe once again organized the Christmas party. Dinner was the traditional Irish fare of corned beef and cabbage and tasty chicken and rice . . . and ample amounts were available. After dinner, those present were royally treated with musical selections from "The Christmas Singing Trio" (Pat Joslin Bray, Linda Feldman, and Pam MacMullen). Among the beautiful pieces sung were Endearing Young Charms, I Could Have Danced All Night, If I were a Bell sung by Linda who explained that the song is best delivered when sung as if you were slightly tipsy (of course, that is a state most Irish people can only imagine as they touch the sauce so infrequently), and the very emotional O Danny Boy. Guests were invited to join in singing a small selection of songs. Amy Kocha accompanied the three sopranos on the piano.

Following the sopranos, Conor Green spoke about his Christmas memories of Ireland. Conor grew up in Belfast and came to the United States when he was 15 years old. He attended Sturgeon Bay High School and the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, where he met Holly, whom he married on June 17, 2000, in Belfast.

There are many similarities between an Irish Christmas and one in the United States. A difference would be that the dinner traditionally served in Ireland on Christmas Day is what we serve at Thanksgiving, a holiday they do not have in Ireland. At Christmas dinner, one finds Christmas crackers, a novelty item that gives a loud bang and contains a small gift. Conor remembers a year that their Jack Russell dog, a dog with an amazing ability to leap, visited the Christmas turkey while the family was at church, and thus they had roast for Christmas dinner.

Conor was surprised at the number and extent of the Christmas lights in this country. In Ireland they are quite expensive and families hang on to what they have for years. When you buy electrical items in Ireland, you must buy the plugs separately. Conor fondly remembers one of his uncles or father dressing as Santa at Christmas time and as a youngster wondered how Santa had the time to come to his house and why he had an Irish accent. There is midnight Mass in Ireland and it is more of a musical Mass than the one in the morning. It is damp and cold in Ireland during the winter months and there is seldom snow.

The Shamrock Club of Northeast Wisconsin looks forward to a new year with many interesting, exciting and educational meetings and a great deal of grand Irish camaraderie.

Slainte, friends!

- Joan (Siobhan) Kreuser

Storm Warning

Gaelic Storm is internationally known as the steerage band from the blockbuster movie Titanic. They were "discovered" in a pub in southern California while playing a wild set of reels and having a rip roaring time.

Gaelic Storm will perform at the ICHC (414-345-8800) on Saturday, February 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 reserved / advance and $17 at the door. Due to the popularity of Gaelic Storm, get your tickets early!

Milwaukee Set Dance News

The Milwaukee Set Dance Club will be hosting its first set dance of the new year on Saturday, February 24, on the second floor of the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center at 2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue. As usual, there will be live music for dancing, provided by local musicians, following the instruction of the set dance of the month (7:30 to 8 p.m.)

People who are interested in learning set dancing can take advantage of the classes presented by the Milwaukee Set Dance Club. These classes will be held on the second floor ballroom of the ICHC on consecutive Sunday afternoons this spring. The Intermediate class will start February 25 (4 - 5:30 p.m.), and continue building on the skills taught in last year's classes. A series of classes for Beginners will start on March 11 (2- 4 p.m.) The focus of this class will be to teach the basic principles of set dance.

The classes will be taught by experienced local set dancers. It is not necessary to bring a partner, but it is recommended that smooth-soled shoes be worn. Advance registration is suggested. The class fee for each series of four classes is $10, payable in advance or at the door. For more information, call Julie Puhek at (414) 321-3521 or send e-mail to



76th Street and Bluemound to Mitchell Blvd. (52nd)

Sponsored by
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
Bluemound Business Assoc.

12 Noon Step Off March 10, 2001
followed by

1 P.M. - 7 P.M.
Irish Cultural and Heritage Center
2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue

~ Volunteers Needed ~

St. Patrick's Mass Flowers

Donations for flowers for the St. Patrick's Mass to be held on March 10 will gladly be accepted at the February Milwaukee General Meeting. Deadline for the "Memorials" or "In Honor of" to be printed in the Mass booklet will be February 23. Checks to be payable to the Shamrock Club. Contact Chuck or Bonnie McLaughlin (414) 771-0458. Thank you.

- Chuck McLaughlin

16th Annual Special Mass to Honor

Will be held prior to the St. Patrick's Day Parade
Saturday, March 10, 2001 at 8:30 a.m.

At St. Patrick's Church
723 South 7th at Washington Street, Milwaukee
Sign reader for hearing impaired

Shuttle Bus: from St. Vincent Pallotti Church parking lot
(5522 W. Bluemound Rd - west of building) to St. Patrick's Church,
After Mass and Breakfast, return to Parade Route
or parking lot for just $3 per person
Bus To Leave Sharply at 7:45 a.m. for the Church
Tickets for bus can be purchased by mail or at Shamrock Club February and March General Meetings.

Tickets can be purchased at the
Shamrock Club February and March General Meetings
or at the door only.

Checks to be made out to St. Patrick's Church for the breakfast
- all proceeds go to St. Patrick's
For BUS reservations or information contact:
Chuck and Bonnie McLaughlin
12007 W. Walker St., West Allis, WI 53214; Phone 414-771-0458
(Send self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Make checks payable to Shamrock Club)

Mail reservation for BUS ONLY





Number of Reservations_________________


Bus Reservations will not be taken after March 2

Nominations For
Milw. Club Offices

Nominations for all offices of the Shamrock Club's Milwaukee Chapter will be taken at the March and April meetings. Nominees must be members in good standing, with dues paid and current. Nominees must be present at the time of their nomination.

Schooner Fare In Concert

Yankee folk music will return to Milwaukee on Saturday, April 28, when Maine folk trio Schooner Fare performs at Alverno College's Pitman Theater, 3401 S. 39th St. Reserved seat tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $18 and $15 with all tickets for those ages 18 and under $8.

Proceeds from an ad booklet and a raffle held the night of the concert will benefit the John J. Ward Jr. Irish Music Archives. The archives, which are housed at the Irish Fest Center, were established in 1992 and are considered one of the country's largest collections of Irish music. In addition to preserving the music, the 30,000 pieces serve as a resource for the public.

Schooner Fare's Steve and Chuck Romanoff and Tom Rowe are one of folk music's most popular and enduring acts. They recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and on the latest of their 13 recordings, were called "a true Maine treasure" by Maine Gov. Angus King. They are well known to Wisconsin audiences from frequent appearances at Milwaukee Irish Fest.

For tickets and information, call Kathy Schultz at (414) 332-8521.

New Members

LaCROSSE - Rolf Helgerson; Tom and Sue Lynch; Ross and Lynn West.

MILWAUKEE - Patrick and Cecelia Hawley; Michael Maher; Jay and Christine Shaw.

ROCK COUNTY - Raymond and Mary Weigand.


• November: 38 memberships up for renewal, 26 paid, 12 dropped for non-renewal.

.• December: 29 memberships up for renewal, 15 paid to date, 14 due.

• January: 25 memberships up for renewal, 5 paid to date, 20 due.