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December 7th 2020

Delma Sweeney

Today we are holding our Combined Annual/Special General Meeting.
Forthcoming Speakers and Events
Dec 14th Meeting cancelled
Dec 16th Christmas Party – on Zoom

Rangers Walks
Cancelled until further notice.
We had apologies from five members; PP Ethna Fitzgerald, Roger Owens, David Horkan, Brian Taylor and Brian O'Boyce.

There were 22 Members in attendance and we had 1 guest Eamon Allen.

Hon Secretary Tony’s Announcements Next week the Club Annual/Special General Meeting will take place at 1 pm. on the 7th Dec 2020.
The Christmas Party, which will be our last get together this year will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 16th Dec 2020. Contact Delma or Bernadette.
Thought for the Day
The thought for the day was given by President Alan who focused on St Andrew, it being his Day on that day. St. Andrew was the brother of St. Peter and founded the See of Byzantium, which would later become the Patriarchate of Constantinople. He was crucified in Patras, in an X shape as he held that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as Christ. In 832 Angus the second, the Pics and Scots were in battle with the English. They were heavily outnumbered. The evening before the battle they saw clouds in the form of an X shape in the sky and took this as a message from St. Andrew. They defeated the English the following day. St. Columba is credited with Christianising the Scots to Christianity, having arrived there in 532. In 1320 Scottish nobles wrote to the Holy See stating that St. Andrew outranked St. Columba in this regard. Relics of St. Andrew are held in St. Andrew’s Cathedral in the Kingdom of Fife.
President’s Announcements
President Alan told us that Zoom has won out on security for video communication over others. Dermot Knight & Co are paying for this application. The plan, that day, was to assign members to smaller groups for 10/15 minutes chat, returning to the larger group for further discussion.
He remarked that online meetings are not for everyone. He told us that by chance he met one of our club members, who told him that they did not like this medium but they would be back to join us when we are able to meet for lunch in person. He hoped that with smaller numbers in breakout chat rooms during the meeting, the first that day, would make a positive change in members experience of online connections with others.
Our last online meeting is 7th December, which will be a Special General Meeting at which we will combine the AGM. On the 16th December we will hold our Christmas Party.

Member’s Wishing to Speak
In memory of Past District Governor of Ireland (2010/11), Wes Amstrong, PP Tom O’Neill told us
that he was a lovely man and that he is sad that he is gone. His burial was on that day. Ar dheis De go raibh a ainm dilis.
PP Bernadette reminded everyone that our Christmas Party is on the night of 16th December at 7.30. We have entertainment from David on Guitar, Mariandy on piano, Fiona McAuslan on violin and Mike Timms reciting a poem, but would be delighted with any party pieces members could provide. Don’t feel under pressure as you are not obliged to do a party piece. So put on your party dress, perhaps a Christmas jumper, provide yourselves with party food and drink and join in. Non- attendance tickets are also on sale and all are included in our raffle. Could everyone sign up soon please to facilitate planning. Sec Tony added that all those who usually attended Christmas lunch will be added and that Friends of Rotary will also be invited.
Dermot Knight told us that he had a call from Kenneth Carroll who wished to pass on his thanks to everyone for their support over the last few difficult weeks, for which he is very grateful.
Discussion of Peacemaker Club Mary O’Rafferty chaired the meeting discussion, reviewing Gabe Hau’s talk the previous week, saying that she learned a lot. When Gabe showed us the map of the world with Peacemaker clubs indicated, we saw that there were none in Ireland. She looked up the Institute for Economics and Peace,(IEP), a research body for research on peace which has developed 8 areas of positive peace, finding that they overlapped with the Rotary areas of focus. In 2017 Rotary formed a strategic partnership with IEP.
Delma Sweeney added that peace is a nebulous and elastic term. if you asked 100 Rotarians to give their definitions of peace, you would likely get 100 different answer. Rotary Foundation provides us with an excellent definition, one to which we all subscribe which “is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty” To become a Peacemaker Club we would need to examine our projects to see if we are fulfilling this mission. We already do much of this work. Becoming a Peacemaker Club gives us focus and energy and this commitment could be very attractive to new members.

Breakout Chat Rooms
Discussions were held in four chat rooms. On return to the larger group each room reported back:
Group One: Suggested that we connect with other all Ireland and international clubs to continue John D’s work and that we connect with Glencree and Corrymeela Peace Centres for potential projects.
Group Two: Concluded that there is small risk in becoming a peacemaker club and with community projects we could get there.
Group Three: Reported that attitudes to becoming a peacemaker club were positive in the group. The group were also discussing reaching some club members who did not attend meetings.
Group Four: Becoming a peacemaker club would be good for us but with some questions about how to put this into practice.
President Alan concluded that the Chat Rooms were a success and that following discussion that when sending his Christmas message, he would suggest to our colleagues in the Belfast Club that they might be interested in hearing Gabe Hau talk about becoming a Peacemaker Club. Perhaps we could become jointly chartered?
The Stein River The source of the Stein, the Stane, the Stayne and the Steyn is near Charlemont Bridge and its course goes in an easterly curve, to the north-east of the National Concert Hall on Earlsfort Terrace, westward to beyond Harcourt Street, then flowing north-easterly to the River Liffey. Despite being closer to a stream than a river, it was, like the River Poddle, an important water supply to this part of the old and expanding Dublin city.
Some 1,150 years ago, the Vikings found the sheltered bay of Dublin a natural safe harbour for their long, shallow, light ships. The temperature, relatively dry climate and the strategic position of their newfound colony as a raiding base, encouraged them to establish a fortification here. In their usual custom, they erected a pillar stone, as a mark of possession, not far from the landing place, south-west of where Tara Street Railway Station now stands, on Lagans Hill (later Townsend Street).
This remarkable stone, or stein, was about 12 or 14 feet high and continued to be of great interest as it stood there for more than 600 years. The long stone lent its name to the flat district of land extending southwards to the Liffey, as it was then, to the lands of Rath, (Temple Bar, Fleet Street, Nassau Street and Mount Street) and eastwards from the city walls (the River Poddle) to the River Dodder, Ringsend.
The flat, tidal, sandy strand on the north side of the Stein was best adapted for the Vikings’ landing craft and was preferred to a deep-water anchorage. Borehole geological data indicates that the high tide was 5 to 6 feet over the original ground level in the Hawkins and Townsend Street area, and must have come well up to Pearse Street and the northern boundary of All Hallows or Trinity College grounds (i.e. the Stein lands). It is to this landing place that the Norman-French poem refers when relating that Asculph Mac Torkil, a Danish king, returned to Dublin with his Berserker champion John in 1169, to do battle with Milo de Cogan, who had been appointed governor of the old city by Strongbow.
À Stein est arrivé
Asculph et Johan le Devé
Adapted from “The Rivers of Dublin” (1991) by CL Sweeney, (father of Delma Sweeney) and republished in 2017 by the Irish Academic Press.

Poetry Corner
We recently came across this delightful poem and we thought that many members would enjoy it too and feel a certain resonance.

Time Added On
by Malachi Friel
Last night while I was soundly
sleeping time slid silently in
and added twenty years to my life.

I woke and my hair,
what was left of it, was grey.
I had a bulging waistline
which wasn't there last night,
I'm sure of it!

Two young adults,
(my children apparently)
were in the kitchen
demanding food and bus fare.

On the bus two young people
jumped up to offer me a seat.
In the Post Office the lady
Behind the counter snapped
"Tomorrow is pension day,
next please!"

On entering my housing estate
a neighbour greeted me cheerily
and a full twenty seconds elapsed
before I could remember his name.

Back home I can't make out a
single word in the newspaper.
The television screen is blurred
and the pause button on the
remote control has gone into hiding.

Out of breath at the top of the stairs
and struggling to remember why
I climbed them in the first place.
Why is there one sock on my shoulder?

One thing is certain, no matter
how tired I am, I am not going
to bed tonight!

Malachi Friel teaches English at Alexandra College in Dublin and, in his own words, loves teaching his favourite books, poems and films and sharing them with his students.
This poem is reprinted with his kind permission

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