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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents - November 2003

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

Holiday Folk Fair -- Forward and Back

Milwaukee President's Message

New Dublin Shamrock Club St. Patrick's Activities

Shamrock Club of Rock County

Dane County Shamrock Club

South Central Shamrock Club

Hallamór Series Concert#2: The Cherish the Ladies

Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums News and Notes

Celtic Women International First Friday Lecture

St. Patrick's Help Fund

Welcome New Members

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Wisconsin Calendar of Events

Holiday Folk Fair -- Forward and Back

by Brian Witt

The 2003 edition of the Holiday Folk Fair will take place November 21-23 at State Fair Park. The theme for this year is "Gathering by the Waters." At the Holiday Folk Fair 2003, you can travel all around the world without ever leaving home. Explore the customs and traditions of the world's diverse cultures. You can experience the tastes, sounds and sights of the world, right here in Wisconsin. It is the sixtieth anniversary of the festival, which got its start in 1944.

In 1980, the Irish were the honored group, and the Shamrock Club made a huge splash that year. But first, more on this year's event.

A world of cultures and customs are united in peaceful solidarity to be felt, listened to and tasted through a variety of honored family recipes, artifacts, ethnic music and spirited folk dances at the Holiday Folk Fair International. Among the special features of Folk Fair will be:

World Café - An assortment of time honored recipes passed down through generations will introduce you to distinct and extraordinary flavors that will certainly awaken your taste buds.

Coffee House - Take a break in a comforting atmosphere where you can relax with friends and family and listen to music of the world while enjoying Italian biscotti or homemade Scottish scones along with a cup of coffee, tea, or espresso.

All Nations Theater - Live performances featuring dynamic African drums, Russian balalaikas, the colorful Ukrainian national hopak dance, the Scottish fling and the vibrant Spanish flamencos.

The Holiday Folk Fair is open during the following times:

Friday, Nov. 21, 3-10 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

We will be in need of help in a number of areas. If you would like to work at the 2003 Holiday Folk Fair, please contact the Shamrock Club's Holiday Folk Fair Chairs: (Food) Pete and Fran Dundon at (414) 242-8245, email; (Sales) Noreen Barclay at (262) 695-8563, email; or, (Cultural) Mary McAndrews at (414) 276-8779. Or contact the club at our e-mail address, You will receive the annual Folk Fair participant pin, and a coupon for food from the Shamrock Club food booth.

The Shamrock Club has been a participant in the Holiday Folk Fair almost from the start of our existence in 1960. In fact, the International Institute of Wisconsin assisted the various Irish who were participating at the Folk Fairs in becoming an organization. However, in 1980, the Shamrock Club bore the torch for the Irish when Erin's sons and daughters were the honored group. And that light was extremely bright that year. The Irish really showed the assembled groups how to hold a party. The entire endeavor was under the planning and direction of Joe Dowling, who was the pesident of the Shamrock Club at the time. The Club had spent almost a year in developing this tribute to the Irish.

The 1980 Miss Holiday Folk Fair was Patricia Williams, and she served as the Shamrock Club's ambassador and the official hostess of the 1980 Folk Fair, which coincidentally ran November 21, 22 and 23 of that year. This was the first year that Folk Fair used all three of the MECCA complex of buildings, moving into the now-departed exhibition hall, due to the need to accommodate the crowds.

As stated, the Irish and the Shamrock Club intended to throw a party that would dazzle. The Shamrock Club had the Folk Spectacle, the Young People's Matinee that featured extensive dramatizations involving Irish culture. And that year, the Irish Cultural Booth was twice as large as the other ethnic groups. The Shamrock Club had sales and food booths, serving up Irish gifts and Irish food.


The Shamrock Club Dancers, under the direction of Mary Eileen Geary, had a special dance for the Folk Fair Spectacle. It was "The Puck Fair", and featured a number of dances as they might have been performed in the town of Killorglin, Co. Kerry. As Mary Eileen wrote, "The initial movement of the dance depicts country folk coming to the fair. The merry jig then gives way to the eerie rhythm of the 'Fairy Jig', as the ladies mimic the graceful steps... of the fairies." Among the Shamrock Club dancers performing were Teresa Dowling, Mary Eileen Geary, Dan Homansek, Renee Faucette, Ellen Croke, Therese Kinsella, John Kaye, Terry Leahy and Dennis Abere.


The spectacle featured almost the entire Shamrock Club, it seems. The assemblage did a number of performances featuring life in an Irish village. There was the village pub, and the daily goings-on were highlighted. Among those performing were Kathy Mallon and Chuck Ward. Months of preparation took place for the spectacle, from building sets to daily rehearsals as the event neared. And the music rang through the air, too. On fiddles were John Maher and Martin Dowling, Dan Homansek played banjo, Gary Bottoni piped, Pat Williams played flute, and Geoff Keeling provided percussion.


The program cover featured two Irish dancers. Barney Brienza, the in-house graphic designer at Pabst Brewing, designed it. It was the last cover that was done by Brienza. He said he had always wanted to do the Irish cover, and that he was happy that he could retire knowing he had completed his mission. The two dancers featured on the cover, and the collector's beer stein, were Therese Kinsella and a bearded John Maher. The International Institute and Folk Fair stopped doing the honored Ethnic group a few years later.

1980 was a year to remember for the Irish. The Shamrock Club shone through that year. 2003 will be another year to remember for the Shamrock Club at Folk Fair. Contribute your time, if you can. If not, stop by and visit the festival. It is always fun, interesting, and there are still Irish dancers and Irish musicians performing. And that makes it seem like you are a few feet closer to heaven.


Milwaukee President's Message

Ladies, Gentlemen, Shamrock Club members all:

October encompassed a wonderfully active Shamrock Club Season... The Honoree Dinner, The Badger Football Game, the AOH Dinner and Mass at St Rose's, The Tannahill Weavers at the ICHC, The New Citizenship Reception at the Federal Courthouse.

More, you ask? How about the wonderful presentation by at our October meeting, on the life of Robert Emmet.

Now in November, The Celtic New Year, Samhain; the Tartan Ball; the annual Folk Fair. The Shamrock Club is everywhere! The November meeting will have a presentation by Cindy Matyi, along with the ICHC opening of Celtic Art and Celtic Wood carvings. Cindy is the person who crafted the large Celtic Cross in Parlor B.

Special thanks to Kris and Daryl Pluskota for putting together the wonderful Honoree Dinner.

Folk Fair this year will feature the Glencastle Dancers, Mary McAndrews presenting our Cultural Area, Noreen and Frank Barclay selling our Irish wares, and Pete and Fran Dundon along with Kris Pluskota handling our food booth. Call one of the chairpeople or a board member on how to receive a "free" ticket.

- Joseph Hughes

2004 St. Patrick's Events Schedule - Tentative only - subject to change

20th Annual New Dublin Parade

Monday, March 15 - Leprechauns change the name of the town to New Dublin.

Tuesday, March 16 - Hooligan Day. Corned Beef and Cabbage served at Pup's Irish Pub, Hwy 54 in North Dublin and Sommer's Midtown, Downtown New Dublin as well as many other fine establishments in New Dublin.

Wednesday, March 17 - HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! - Irish Caroling at St. Joseph's Residence and Franklin Park apartments. A great way to learn all the traditional Irish sing-a-longs. Song sheets provided. Meet in lobby of St. Joseph's at 5 p.m.

Thursday, March 18 - Irish Entertainment at New London Sr. High School auditorium 7 p.m. Talented artists of New Dublin present an evening of Irish entertainment featuring songs, dances and humor of Ireland. Introduction of the 2004 Irish Man of the Year and Irish Rose, Grand Marshal, and the Irish Lad & Lassie. Great family entertainment. Public invited. Free admission, donations appreciated.

Friday, March 19 - 8 p.m. Finnegans wake service begins at Pup's Irish Pub two miles west of New Dublin on Hwy 54 and proceeds to other local establishments. 7 p.m. Irish Ceili (kay-lee) at Crystal Falls - a traditional gathering of friends and family in celebration of music and dance. Public welcome. Free admission.

Saturday, March 20 - The Grand Parade & Irishfest. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Irishfest under the Big Top in Festival Foods Parking lot, Downtown New Dublin. Huge heated tent featuring Irish food, beverages, entertainment and market booths. All-day family event. Entertainment to be announced. Admission $5 which includes a raffle ticket for our five hourly "Pot 'o Gold" cash drawings of $300 each. 1 p.m. - St. Patrick's Day Parade - Downtown New Dublin. Wisconsin's largest St. Patrick's Day parade with marching and bagpipe bands, clan and business floats. Over 100 units. Prizes awarded.

All events sponsored by the Shamrock Club of New Dublin with the help of many fine businesses and individuals from New Dublin and the surrounding area. Information about any of the events listed may be obtained by sending e-mail to barring4

Rock County


NOV. 18: Monthly Meeting (7 p.m.) at Janesville Senior Center, 69 S. Water St.

DEC. 16: Christmas Party (6 p.m.) .

At our November meeting we will be making the final plans for the Christmas Party. There has been some discussion as to whether we would have a potluck dinner or have the dinner catered. Come to the November meeting and join in on the planning for our Christmas Party.

The program in November will be a video about Ireland.

Mark December 16 on your calendar and plan on joining us for the Christmas Party at the Senior Center in Janesville.

- Tom Kennedy

Dane County Shamrock Club

The newly elected Board of the Dane County Shamrock Club held its first meeting on Tuesday, August 12, 2003, at the Coliseum Bar in Madison. A large number of subject areas were discussed during the meeting. Some major topics which we focused on were:

Completing a full schedule for board meetings and general meetings through July of 2004, to include times and dates.

We will continue the dialog with the Dane County St. Patrick's Parade Committee with the intention of a probable merger of the Committee with the Shamrock Club. We are considering developing our own float for the Parade.

A letter will be sent to the chairperson of "Fitchburg Days" to expand the Shamrock Club's involvement in that festival if the emphasis of Irish Heritage is maintained.

We are probably going to change the St. Patrick's Dinner celebration to March 17, 2004, starting at 5:30 p.m. In the past it has been held on the evening of the Parade, therefore competing with a number of events: Flag Raising Ceremony, the Parade itself, the Post Parade Party and Celtic Club Festivities. Hopefully, the rescheduling will allow maximum participation in more events.

Finally, at our general meeting on September 9, 2003, we showed the first half of the Irish Waterways tapes. This is a series of tapes which deals with the navigation of the River Shannon from the ocean to its northern limits near Acres Lake. In the journey, the narrator points out the natural beauty of Ireland and identifies many of the historical places and their meaning to Irish history and culture. The tapes are fascinating!

- Bob Kerans, President

South Central

South Central Shamrock Club opened their 2003-04 season with a meeting at the Farm Kitchen, in Baraboo, on Sunday, September 14.

Committee reports were given by all chairpersons present.

On Sunday, October 12, the Club attended Mass at Sacred Heart in Reedsburg, with a brunch which followed at the Reedsburg Country Club.

Rosemary Mitchell was introduced as our Sunshine Chair. All present were asked to contact her if they knew of someone in the need of sunshine.

The following is a list of our upcoming meetings:

November: Board Meeting
December 14: Christmas Party, Opera House, Baraboo
February 14: Reedsburg
March: St. Patrick's Party
April 18: Membership Meeting
May 16: Membership Meeting with elections

- Mary Stieve, Secretary

Hallamór Concert #3

Friday, November 7, 2003

The Ladies are a combination of first generation Irish-Americans and native born Irish who have great pride in their roots, a fantastic sense of fun, and tons of music in their fingers and toes. The Ladies have fans all over the world, and they travel to entertain them. They have proven themselves capable of as much poetry, exuberance and soul as the musical tradition demands and then some. It is said that their music is passionate, tender, and rambunctious. Their concert is one of the most high-energy and diversified shows ever seen. Enjoy the jigs and reels. Revel in the bubbling wit, energetic performance and extraordinary musicianship. Lose yourself in the ballads. Come and be part of the capacity audience. This is one concert you definitely do not want to miss. Twice a sell-out!

Joanie Madden: tin whistle, flute, vocals
Mary Coogan: guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals
Donna Long: piano, fiddle, vocals
Heidi Talbot: lead vocalist
Mirella Murray: piano accordion, fiddle

Concert: 8:00 p.m.
RiRa: Opening at 7:00 p.m.
Irish Cultural & Heritage
Center of Wisconsin
2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue
(414) 345-8800
Tickets: $19 advance,reserve / $21 door

- Gwen Sisk, Publicist'

Color Guard News and Notes

What a year 2003 has been for the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums! From the ashes rose the phoenix!

As the parade season progressed from the St. Patrick's Day Parade to the Fall Festival in Door County, our member numbers increased and the pipe and drum playing ability improved! One of the largest accomplishments by the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums was the performance at Irish Fest at the Crossroads performing area. This was a moment that made me proud and made all of the members of the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums proud because of their hard work and dedication to making the performance truly fantastic!

During the 2004 parade season, we will field a larger and improved unit. As always the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums are looking for new members to join in the fun and camaraderie that comes along with being a member of the parade unit. We meet many new people and make many new friends throughout the parade year.

If you are interested, the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums offers free lessons for bagpipes and drums for those of you that are adventurous and love a challenge, not to mention the attention that you will get!

The band practices every Tuesday night at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center located at 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave. Ample parking is provided.

I would like to personally thank the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipe and Drum members who participated in teaching the newest members how to play bagpipes and drums. Your contribution is invaluable. I would like to thank all members that persevered through the last year of rebuilding the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums. I would also like to thank all of the Shamrock Club members for standing with us and supporting the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums. We could not have done what we did without all the support that everyone has given the unit. We strive to keep the pride, the honor and the "Wearin' of the Green" close to our hearts.

The year 2004 is a new year to look forward to expanding and polishing the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums. We invite anyone who is interested to join as a color guard member, piper or drummer.

- Richard Pfeiffer
Director of the Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums
(414) 769-1250

Celtic Women Int'n First Fridays

Everyone is welcome to these wonderful, gentle sessions. Scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, you may also enjoy a cup of tea and biscuits. Admission is only $5. Members, non-members, men, women - all are very welcome.

NOV. 7 Topic: "My Life with Cherish The Ladies." Speaker: Joanie Madden, President Cherish the Ladies. Joanie will speak to us from 5:45-6:15 p.m. sharp. The band CTL will perform in concert later that evening in the Hallamór. This is a unique opportunity to hear the leader of the band speak to us in person rather than from the stage. All members of her group are honorary members of Celtic Women International. Don't miss this one! (Admission to concert is separate).

DEC. 5 Topic: Christmas Celebration. Craft artisans will explain their creations on display. Bring your favorite Christmas treat to share. Music by the Psaltery group led by C.C. Westgaard.

- Jean Bills, founder, Celtic Women International

St. Patrick's Help Fund

St. Patrick's Help Fund needs all kinds of non-perishable food, school supplies and warm clothing. Anyone who is interested in helping out a family for Thanksgiving and / or Christmas can get in touch with Katy Voss, and she will get the name of a family and their children. Please place donations in container at each meeting. However, items can be brought to the ICHC any time during the week. It is not restricted to just meetings. A big thank you to everybody who has contributed to help the needy people at St. Patrick's. Questions? Call Katy Voss (414) 352-6479.

New Members

NOTE: Please send your dues to your Membership Chairperson in your chapter. All names and addresses are listed in Emerald Reflections.

Milwaukee - Timothy and Thomas Kenney; Michael and Louise Mahoney.


AUGUST: 114 memberships up for renewal, 70 paid, 44 dropped for nonpayment.

SEPTEMBER: 48 memberships up for renewal, 29 paid, 19 due.

OCTER.: 36 memberships up for renewal.

Please send your dues to the chapter you belong to. Each Chapter has a different amount of dues. Check with your chapter for the amount.

- Tom Smith, (414) 384-4119