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March 1st 2021

Dermot Knight

Today we host a Club Business Meeting

Register for District Conference

Forthcoming Speakers and Events
Mar 8th Ola Garawany - From the land of the Pharaohs to the Emerald Isle.
Mar 15th Mark Redmond – CEO of American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland
Mar 16th Joint meeting with RC Sacramento – St Patricks Day
Mar 22nd Tony Fox, Fish Ireland - A review
Mar 29th Delma Sweeney - The Rotary Foundation - Transforming the World.
Apr 5th Easter Monday. No meeting.
Apr 12th TBA.
Apr 19th Gerry P Cahill, Presenter 103.2 Dublin City FM.
Apr 26th James Innes - Bitten by the Black Dog
May 10th AGM
June 28th Club Assembly
Jul 5th Presidential Handover

President Alan was in the Chair at our meeting last Monday.

Thought for the Day
The President, while reaching for his sun lotion, greeted us from a sunny Malahide. You have been reading an Irish Times article on getting back to normal and wanted to use the thought for the day to reflect on this. There has been a disproportionate effect and people. The many examples include youth unemployment and leaving certificate impact. He also noted the profound change that COVID-19 has had on the world and that many institutions including our own would have to think about how to re purpose. To this end he noted a business meeting would happen where proposals could be discussed about how the club can respond to change in the world around us.

Visitors and Apologies
Last week we had 23 Members in attendance. Apologies were received from
Roger Owens, IPP Mariandy Lennon Rana Al Damin and Gerry McClaron. We had one guest last week: Korahiza Macari.

Rotary Rangers Schedule

Rotary Rangers outings are cancelled until further notice.

Hon Secretary’s Announcements
• Hon Secretary Tony welcomed back Jonathan Pim and the Club were delighted to see him.
• Leonardo Da Vinci – while sadly the trip itself is cancelled – there is a special concert being organized to take place in May – details to follow.
• On March 16th at 8pm will be a joint meeting with the Rotary Club of Sacramento. This event will take place on the zoom. Details will follow soon.

President’s Announcements
• The President began by wishing the club very happy birthday. The 22nd of February 1911 is the founding day of the Rotary Club, Dublin - we were the first club outside North America.
• President Alan gave us some more details about the auction planned for Friday the 26th of March. The event will take place on zoom. anyone has any items that might suit this event they are asked to contact President Alan.
• President Alan also mentioned he and others had also attended the virtual memorial service for Major Stuart Dicker. he paid tribute to Stewart service and added that we will all miss him.
• President Alan also announced the awarding of a Paul Harris Fellowship to Pat Fanning “our person on the ground in Zambia.”

Awarding of a Paul Harris Fellowship to Pádraig Ó Fainín
President Alan noted the extra ordinary work of Pat Fanning in Zambia and all the young people that had received an education as a result of his efforts. A lot of really good work has been done that thoroughly deserves one of rotary's highest awards.

Pat responded that he was delighted to accept this award on behalf of everyone who worked on the project. Pat noted that nothing would have been possible without the support of so many and most especially Rotary. Donald Gordon noted that Pat’s response was indicative of his modest and unassuming nature. Donald paid tribute to Pat's charisma and his ability to motivate people. He pointed to the achievement of turning a field into three schools pre school , primary school , secondary school. Furthermore, it was the only free school in the area. Pat created relationships with everyone. He worked around the clock and never stopped. Donald congratulated him for this extraordinary achievement.

Alan asked whether he had any plans for the future. Pak responded but he was waiting on the arrival of his first grandchild and after that was keen to see what projects he could get involved in.

Members wishing to speak
Members sang a happy birthday to PP Bernadette Mulvey who celebrates her birthday on the same day as the club!

Last Week’s Speaker
PP Tom O’Neill presented his friend Terry Nolan to speak on Tom Crean, Antarctica Explorer with Shackleton.

Terry explained that Tom Crean is one of Ireland’s unsung heroes - playing an enormous role in the exploration of the Antarctic on a number of expeditions that were of great historical significance. However due to a combination of Tom’s modest nature, the absence of diaries, as well as the sensitivities of the time, it is only in recent years that Tom’s true contribution is being acknowledged and celebrated.

What we know about Tom comes from the diaries of others. He is often described as someone of enormous character, with a great sense of humour an incredibly reliable.

He was born in 1887 as one of ten children and helped out on the farm. Before he was 16 he had already left home. It is suggested that it was a grim time to be helping out on the farm and so instead he enlisted in the Royal Navy. This took him out to New Zealand.

Stepping back from Tom’s story to the wider history of the time, Terry noted that after The European powers had divided up Africa, The Antarctic remained the last unexplored area of the world. The Royal Navy got involved and Scott was assembling a team that would include Wilson as a doctor and Shackleton as a member of the crew. They arrived in 1901 in New Zealand, where Scott fired a seaman and needed to find a replacement. He asked for a volunteer and Tom Crean stepped forward.

Discovery set sail from New Zealand on the 21st of December and arrived at Hut Point on 8 February 1902. Tom set out on a number of exploration trips to set up depots that would support Scott’s main expedition. On this occasion Scott was unable to find a way through. In the winter of 1902 the Discovery got stuck in the ice and a relief ship was able to take a number of people including Shackleton home. Tom stayed on. Eventually the Discovery was freed and she returned home in 1904 to a very muted reception. The Navy decided to sell the Discovery at this point.

Tom returned to the Navy and was promoted at the behest of Scott. Wherever Scott moved he took time with him. Shackleton meanwhile had raised funds and set out to explore the Antarctic. He broke his word to Scott by using his bases and came within 100 miles of the pole.

Scott assembled a new ream and sailed in 1910, arriving in 1911. At the last depot Scott rearranged the plan and did not take Tom with him. Terry asked us to imagine how this must have felt – in line with today’s athletes when they are not picked for a team – imagine the long return to base from the last depot and how he must have had to “dig deep.”

Tom received the Albert Medal for his instrumental role in the saving of Evans. He had gone for help alone walking some 30 mile journey to Hut point. A dog team was dispatched to rescue Evans.

Scott, meanwhile, got to the pole but found the Norwegian flag already flying. When their expedition did not return it was Tom who set out in the spring to find them – finding the bodies and their diaries recounting their last events. On return home Tom was afforded 4 weeks leave before his next Navy assignment.

Shackleton, on his Endurance expedition, engaged Tom in his plan to cross the Antarctic from north to south. In January 1915 the Endurance got stuck in the ice eventually leading to the famous South Georgia crossing.

After his Naval career he built a small pub called the South Pole Inn in Annascaul.

Kevin McAnallen gave the vote of thanks – noting his own voyage to the Antarctic and thanking Terry for his efforts in bringing the story of Tom Crean to life.

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