May 17th 2021
Today’s talk is by our own member Rotarian Delma Sweeney : Rotary Foundation: Transforming the World.
Forthcoming Speakers and Events
May 24th Dr Nnamdi Elenwoke, RC Barcelona Pedralbes – COVID-19 1st Wave: As it happened in Teknon Medical Center Barcelona.
May 29th XLVI Premio Leonardo da Vinci in Vienna (by video conference).
May 31st John Shackleton - Shackleton’s Antarctic expeditions inclusive of Endurance”.
Jun 7th Public Holiday.
June 14th Senator Alice Mary Higgins will speak on the topic of "Climate and Peace".
June 21st Claire Casey of the Childhood Development Initiative will speak on the topic of
"Restorative Practices in Schools".
Jun 28th Club Assembly.
Jul 5th Presidential Handover
Jul 12th Patrick Hamilton Walsh, former member, speaking from Stockholm.
Jul 19th David Ellis – How Rotary is perceived by the public.
President Alan was in the Chair at our Zoom meeting last Monday. Thought for the day was provided by PP Bernadette Mulvey. There were 28 members in attendance at the AGM.
Visitors and Apologies
Last week we had apologies from PP Tom O'Neill, Kevin McAnallan, Rana Al Damin, Derek Byrne, David Horkan and Gerry McLarnon.
Rotary Rangers Schedule
Rotary Rangers have recommenced weekly walks under the resourceful guidance of PP Brian George. On Tuesday 11th the first walk for a year was at Vartry Reservoir near Roundwood Co Wicklow. There were six participants on a very walk-friendly day. On Tuesday 18th May the walk commences by meeting at 10am at the Belmont Demesne. As a group we walked this prior to the Covid outbreak, with PP Tony Keegan leading the way. It is an outdoor sports area with walks and cycle tracks, plus a cafe. There is a parking fee of €5 for parking in the grounds. Directions to get there are: if travelling from Dublin, take the M50/ N11 south, then take a left turn on to the Bray South ring road (R768). Go to the end of this road to a roundabout and turn right heading to Greystones (R761). Travel towards Greystones for approx. 1KM, then take a right turn, before the top of the hill, at a sign for Delgany. Belmont is just on the right, just beyond this turn off.
The walk here is of a flat nature for just under an hour, and 2 hours, in total, if we include a modest climb up the Little Sugar Loaf mountain. After the walk we can enjoy some refreshments in the cafe. Please meet at Belmont for a 10AM start.
Hon Secretary’s Announcements
• There were no secretary’s announcements last week, although Hon Sec Tony McCourt had been very busy prior to the AGM held last Monday and of course at the meeting itself. All Committee reports and the Hon Secretary’s report were circulated in advance of the meeting.
• President Alan followed the AGM last Monday by announcing that it was his pleasure to award a Paul Harris Fellowship to Past President Bernadette Mulvey for outstanding service to this club and to the Rotary community. Alan recalled Bernadette’s service as our Hon Treasurer for many years and then as our President (when she also served as President of her Toastmasters Club, following in the footsteps of mentor PP Ted Corcoran). Bernadette responded by thanking the club for the honour of the award which came as a complete surprise to her. She is taking up the role of meeter and greeter at our meetings when they recommence which we all hope is not too far away.
• PE Alexander reported to our meeting on 26th April from the District Council meeting and told us that District had made a profit of €55,000 last year that it planned to disperse. €35,000 would be given to Foundation and pro-rated across the membership so that the Foundation donor history of each member and each club would be adjusted accordingly. The balance of €20,000 is being made available for grants for projects related to Covid. The deadline for applications for these grants is the 15th of May. All that is needed by that date is a brief outline/statement of the proposed project.
Annual General Meeting
President Alan handed over to Past President Ted Corcoran to chair the Annual General Meeting last Monday. The meeting commenced with the minutes of the last AG meeting on 7th December 2020. The reports of the several committees, which had been circulated to all members in advance of the meeting, were taken as read, so we do not intend to repeat them here. Honorary Secretary Tony McCourt gave his report which had also been circulated in advance. Hon Sec Tony thanked his predecessor and now Assistant Hon Sec Tony Keegan for all his assistance during the year and for ‘keeping us on the right road’! And he said it has been a pleasure working with President Alan Davidson during what had been one of the more difficult years as the club and members adapted to operating under the Covid 19 pandemic.
Honorary Treasurer Randal Grey presented the financial statements to the end of March 2021, and then the budget for the year 2021/2022. It was decided that the annual subscription should remain at €295 for the coming year. President Alan proposed that for the coming year, the President’s honorarium should be increased to €1265.00 and this was approved. A rebate for the 2020/2021 to members of a sum of €60 was approved and it was decided to give members three options as to how this might be refunded including the option to have it transferred to Foundation or to St Vincent de Paul or to the members own account. The options were arranged by Rotarian Dermot Knight for members to choose confidentially.
On the proposal of President Alan, seconded by Jonathan Pim, PP Sean Donohoe, Alice Leahy, Brian Taylor and PP Ken Hunt were unanimously re-elected to be Honorary Members of the Club for 2021/22.
On the proposal of Honorary Treasurer Randal, seconded by PP Brian George, the following six members, Frank Bannister, Alan Harrison, Kenneth Carroll, PP Ted Corcoran, Roger Owens and Mary O'Rafferty, were unanimously elected to be ordinary members of Council for 2021/22.
On the proposal of Donald Gordon, seconded by Delma Sweeney, the Chairpersons of Committees for 2021/22 were confirmed as follows:
Foundation: Roger Owens
Community and Vocational Service: Kenneth Carroll
International: President Alan Davidson
New Generation: Rana Al Damin.
The meeting concluded by breaking in to ‘breakout rooms’ where those present had an opportunity of an informal chat with fellow members. Then President Alan thanked Past President Ted Corcoran for chairing the annual general meeting and Honorary Secretary Tony McCourt for all his work on behalf of the club during the past year.
Rotarian Delma Sweeney, one of your editors, has discussed with Past President Tony Keegan (himself a former editor of The Dubliner) about reproducing in The Dubliner extracts from the book published for the centenary of this club in 2011 called ‘First in Service’ written by Tony. Tony has kindly agreed to this request.
Our Club has had many ups and downs over the past one hundred and ten years. Due to the tenacity and resilience of our members, however, we have managed to survive, thrive and provide service to tens of thousands of people less fortunate than ourselves at home and abroad. One hundred years ago was a very difficult time for very many of our members in having to deal with a pandemic and a rapidly changing political landscape. Looking back over the past years we will include occasional extracts from the Club History ‘First in Service’ by PP Tony Keegan published in 2010. All Minute Books and correspondence of our Club were donated to the Gilbert Library, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 in 2012. The first extract, relevant to our own times, is reproduced below.
Excerpt No 1: “First in Service” – “The Story of the Rotary Club, Dublin - No. 1 Club Europe”
by Past President Tony Keegan.
‘I had a little bird
Its name was Enza
I opened the window
Children’s skipping rhyme 1919
The ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic of 1918/19 was simply the most virulent and deadly disease the world had ever experienced. Worldwide the A virus strain of subtype H1N1 killed about 75 million people between the spring of 1918 and the end of 1919. In Ireland, although data is difficult to come by, the best estimates are that it accounted for 180,000 deaths. An unusual feature of the flu was that it seemed to target young healthy adults in the twenty to forty year age groups. Onset was rapid and many people were dead within twenty-four hours. With an average age in the early forties the Dublin Club could not have been immune from what was occurring in the general population and there is evidence in the Minutes of an increased number of deaths among members and their families at this time. The great movement of troops and peoples as the Great War ended would have contributed to the spread of this terrible disease. Posters went up insisting that all those who had cold and flu symptoms should on no account appear in public. At its height, most public events involving crowds were cancelled. Notwithstanding this unusual and frightening pandemic, business and social life continued.
Initially the new luncheon venue was the Dublin Bread Company (DBC) Restaurant on Saint Stephen’s Green. This, however, was considered to be only a temporary arrangement and in July of 1919 the club moved to the newly opened Kidd’s Restaurant at 46 Nassau Street1. W.M. Kidd, the proprietor, became a member in November of that year with the classification of Restaurant.
In May 1919 the Executive Council of the British Association of Rotary Clubs held their Annual Meeting in Bristol. It was not quite a full blown Conference but, nevertheless, many Dublin Rotarians and their wives attended, in addition to the accredited delegates. Arch Klumph who had been President of the International Association of Rotary Clubs in 1916/17 and Estes Snedecor who was to become its President in 1920/21 represented the I.A.R.C. Snedecor put forward the idea that ‘the International Association should enlarge its scope and include the work of International Associations such as the B.A.R.C’. The B.A.R.C. was, in fact, the only International Association in the Rotary movement and although all its Clubs eventually adopted the Standard Rotary Constitution it still remains as Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (R.I.B.I.) the only such quasi-independent body in the Rotary world. Snedecor’s attempt to bring about the full integration of the British and Irish Clubs into the International Rotary organisation was followed, on many occasions, over the years by like efforts all of which have resulted in the status quo being maintained.
The following year the first proper B.A.R.C Conference was held in Harrogate attended by the representatives of thirty-two Clubs including a delegation from Dublin led by its President Edwin Fannin. Chesley Perry the Secretary of the I.A.R.C also attended and the following week paid a visit to the Dublin Club where he was presented with a dozen ties as a memento of his stay in Ireland.
As 1919 wore on, the political situation in Ireland became unstable. Sinn Fein Courts, under the control of Dail Eireann, began to take over the administration of justice in large areas of the country outside the major cities. It became more difficult for central government to collect taxes and attacks began to be made on isolated Royal Irish Constabulary barracks. Gradually a guerrilla war developed as the British army in Ireland found itself engaged in a conflict with an armed force supported by a large proportion of the civilian population. The British had never encountered such insurgency before and their army was quite unprepared for the multi-faceted response that was required. Their recourse to auxiliary forces, often lacking discipline and training, did not help matters. In 1920 the Westminster authorities responded to the violent unrest by attempting to impose their own solution. The Government of Ireland Act 1920 was enacted allowing for the setting up of two Parliaments in Ireland: one in Belfast, the other in Dublin2. The Ulster Unionists who had vehemently opposed Home Rule for the whole island accepted it for six counties of the province of Ulster and Sir James Craig became their Prime Minister, The Act was rejected out of hand by Sinn Fein and the bloodshed continued. After two years of fighting a stalemate situation existed and, through intermediaries, a Truce came into operation in July 1921. Tortuous negotiations followed and eventually a Treaty was signed in London in December 1921. It was ratified by Dáil Éireann January 7th 1922 after days of bitter debate. A large minority of the members of the Dáil, led by Eamon de Valera, withdrew from the Dáil, citing the Oath of Allegiance to King George V and their allegiance to the Republic as their principal sticking points. Arthur Griffith was elected President of the Provisional Government and the new administration set about the mammoth task of establishing itself in control of the new nation.
The effect of the Treaty was that the British Army was withdrawn, over the following eleven months, from what they termed Southern Ireland and from the point of view of the many Unionists in the new State they were left to fend for themselves. It is likely that many members of the Dublin Club fell into this category.
1 The famous Jammet’s Restaurant occupied the same premises for over thirty years. Subsequently Judge Roy Beans and Lillie’s Bordello have occupied the building.
2The British mandated Dublin Parliament met in the Science Building of University College Dublin that is now the office of An Taoiseach in May 1921. Three elected MPs turned up all from the Trinity constituency. It adjourned and never met again.