October 12th 2020
Our speaker today is Barbara Walsh, Chair of the Board of the Glencree Reconciliation Centre.
Forthcoming Speakers and Events
Oct 19th 75th anniversary of the United Nations. Lalini Veerassamy.
Oct 24th World Polio Day. See article below.
Oct 24th United Nations Day. Read about Rotary’s contribution to it’s establishment.
Oct 26th Public Holiday
Nov 2nd John Murphy (speaking from France): The Challenge of leading a team remotely during Covid 19.
Nov 9th Our member, Stan Mason will speak about his 200 + year old family business
Nov 16th Prisoner Liaison Project. Barry Owens of IASIO.
Nov 23rd Free, - any volunteers?
Nov 30th St. Andrew’s Day: President Alan Davidson will speak on one of his favourite subjects.
Dec 7th Special General Meeting, and also review of Dundrum Christmas Tree project.
Dec 14th The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu.
Rotary Rangers Walks
13. Walk the Metals from Dunlaoghaire to Dalkey: 3 Hours from 10am. Contact PP Brian.
20. Dunlaoghaire Piers West & East: 2.5 Hours
27. Hill of Howth: 3.5 Hours
3. Prince Williams Seat: 3 Hours
If Level 3 is extended after October 10th, PP Brian George will advise us of the Dublin walks thereafter. Please note the group is limited to 15 walkers each week, so please advise Brian if you intend to walk the following week. As always, social distancing rules will apply. More details are available from PP Brian.
Hon Sec Tony McCourt gave apologies for non-attendance at last Monday’s meeting from President Elect Alexander Kopf, Rana Al Damin, David Horkan.
The thought for the day was given by Rotarian Gerry McLarnon.
At last week’s virtual meeting there were 23 Members in attendance. There were also four guests, namely Joseph Cherifi, Hecham’s wife Carol, Hecham’s friend Dr David Lucey, and Eamonn Allen, husband of our member Delma Sweeney.
President Alan had received a note from the Rotary Club of Tours, France, noting that our friends from Tours had planned to visit our club and Dublin over the weekend just passed. The message from RC Tours was that they will not be able to visit Dublin at the time of the annual rugby match between France and Ireland next Spring due to the safety precautions because of the Corona Virus. Hopefully, our club will be able to visit Paris the following year when the 6 Nations rugby match will be played there.
Members wishing to speak
• Mary O’Rafferty talked about the proposed Interact club at St. Louis’s College, Rathmines. Mary O reported that she had visited the school during the past week and had spoken to four class groupings of approximately twenty five girls each. This was a strange experience, as both Mary and all the girls were wearing masks and it was therefore quite difficult, even for Transition Year students, to enter into any conversation. However, with the assistance of the new Transition Year leader, Roisin McArdle, Mary hopes that a group of 15 or 16 students will form a new Interact club in St. Louis.
• Rotarian Delma Sweeney suggested that we invite the RC Tours to be represented at one of our weekly online meetings and to inform us of their hopes and plans. Likewise, that we might be represented at one of their meetings.
Induction of New Member
President Alan Davidson then advised the meeting that we were inducting a new member Hecham Cherifi last Monday. Alan invited Rotarian Rossella Milanovic to introduce Hecham to the meeting.
President Alan also invited Rotarian Dermot Knight, as one of our newer members, to speak to the meeting about his experiences of Rotary. Dermot related that he has always found, from his earliest experiences at Rotary, the club to be a place of optimism and for change. Comparing today’s world with that of twenty years ago, when Dermot was first introduced to Rotary is indicative of the importance of Rotary throughout the world as following the downturn in 2008 and now with the world in the grips of a pandemic, the optimism at the beginning of this century has been replaced with a mood of self-protection and tariffs. Dermot praised the Rotary Exchange programme, under which he was first introduced to Rotary and how he greatly enjoyed living with a family in another part of the world. The value of the global network of Rotary cannot, in any way, be underestimated. Rotarian Dermot finished with a welcome to Hecham in French.
Then there was the formality of confirming, together with Hon Secretary Tony McCourt, that Hecham had received the usual items including his lapel pin, his membership card, his welcome pack. Hecham was in turn able to confirm that he had received these items by post from Hon Secretary Tony. President Alan then declared Hecham to be a member of our club.
President Alan then invited immediate Past President Mariandy Lennon to be the mentor for Hecham and to introduce herself, from her current base in London, to Hecham, which Mariandy did with aplomb.
Our new member Hecham then replied. He thanked the club for accepting him into membership. He hoped that he would be able to contribute both as a citizen and as a professional.
Last Week’s Speaker
Hecham Cherifi invited his friend Dr David Lucey to give the introduction to the talk on the subject of Bordeaux Wine and the Wild Geese. In his brief introduction, David Lucey gave a short history of the interest of Hecham and himself in Bordeaux wine.
Hecham then spoke about the introduction at the request of Emperor Napolean III of the classification of Bordeaux wines, which came to be known as the Grands Crus Classés in preparation for the World Exhibition in Paris 1855. Bordeaux AOC is a protected designation of origin. Bordeaux produces 14% of French wines now, with 2000 producers. Bordeaux Supérieur includes Medoc et Haut Medoc, et Graves. The climate and environment in the Bordeaux area is very suitable for wine. It has a history going back maybe 1000 years. From the 12th Century following the wedding of Alenor of Acquitaine and Henri Plantagenet, the future king of England in 1154. This led to the wider distribution of Bordeaux wines. However, that empire collapsed under King Richard I (the Lionheart), but not before Richard had made Bordeaux his everyday beverage.
With the assistance of the Dutch kingdom and navy, the popularity of Bordeaux wine spread throughout the world via its colonies. Ireland also had a big influence through the Wild Geese who left Ireland after the Williamite War period about 1690. 50,000 Irish, mostly merchants and military, left Ireland. In the 18th Century wine was sold in bottles for the first time. Prior to that it had been sold by the ‘Hogshead’.
With the establishment of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce in 1705, there began a movement to promote the Bordeaux wine commercially. The Irish connection was established through a John Lynch, one of the early Wild Geese, who emigrated from Galway to Bordeaux. His son Michael Lynch married Elizabeth Draiullard and the ‘Bages-Lynch’ was born. Michael in turn gave his vineyard to his brother Jean Baptiste Lynch and on his death the Lynch vineyard was divided into two to become Chateau Lynch-Bages and Chateau Lynch-Moussas. David Lucey then provided a summary of how the Wild Geese (mostly Roman Catholics) who were initially excluded from commerce in the Bordeaux area, eventually established themselves there, as they were able to deliver a market in the West of Ireland. Up to then the market had been run by Scottish Presbyterians. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Rotary Book Club has been postponed to 21st October at 6.30pm. “A Thousand Moons” by Sebastian Barry is the book chosen for this month. Those who wish to join should contact Delma Sweeney @ email@example.com. The agreed format for the Rotary Book Club is that the meeting should last about one and a half hours. The person who nominates the book to be read will choose the venue. Each person will speak for a max of ten minutes about the book. This will be followed by a general discussion. That members do not have to have read the chosen book, but ideally present briefly on another book. The maximum number for the group is 10-12.
Some Thoughts about Bordeaux (the city)
Hecham’s talk last week brought back memories of time Ivy and I spent in Bordeaux last year. We went as part of a trip organised by Friends of Trinity Library – a group that makes us feel positively sprightly.
I am, to misquote slightly Dr Johnson, tempted to say that, unless you are a wine buff, Bordeaux is worth seeing, but not worth going to see, but that would be a little harsh on what is France’s fifth largest city. The city has a bit of everything without any one thing being a must-see. There is a small, quite well preserved old town, some fine Renaissance architecture, an historically curious cathedral, a couple of basilicas that are worth looking at, a modestly sized, but worthwhile art gallery, a large modern shopping district and, if such things interest you, the remains of a world-war two submarine base. It is also home to Mollat, the largest independent bookshop in France which houses some 14 kilometres of bookshelves.
Two things in the town stood out for us, neither of the them architecturally spectacular like Cité du Vin that Hecham showed us on one of his slides. The first is the Musée d’Acquitaine to which it is worth devoting a full day (you can leave the museum for lunch and return on the same day entry ticket). However, if you are there, a real gem worth looking up that is not amongst the Top 10 sites in the guide books is the Musée du Vin and du Négoce, which is based in the ground floor and cellar of the house of a former Irish merchant. It is located in a small side street away from the fashionable areas in the centre and the river front so it takes a bit of finding, but it rewards the hunt. The entrance fee includes a wine tasting and a smell quiz – if you get all 12 of the latter right you win a bottle of wine. (Ivy and I scored four). The ticket also covers the nearby Maritime museum and costs a small fraction of the entry fee for the Cité du Vin. Further comments and suggestions available on request. FEB
Wild polio-free Africa: The successes and challenges.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on 25th August 2020 announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. This is a historic and vital step toward global eradication of polio, which is Rotary’s top priority. On 16th September Dr. Tunji Funsho, Chair of Rotary International’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee gave a presentation on “Wild polio-free Africa: The successes and challenges.” He hails the eradication of the virus in Africa as a momentous time for Rotary International and also for our GPEI partners of WHO, Centres for Disease Control, Unicef, Gavi, the vaccine alliance and the Gates Foundation. The polio regions have now been reduced by one, with two countries where the virus remains endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
World polio day was established by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, the medical researcher who led the first team to develop a vaccine against polio. He developed the inactivated poliovirus vaccine which came into use in 1955, after which Albert Sabin developed the oral polio vaccine which came into use in 1961. World Polio Day, on 24th October, has been observed for over a decade.
Transcribed & adapted by Delma Sweeney from a Youtube video of a presentation by Dr. Tunji Funsho’s (Chair of Rotary International’s PolioPlus Committee) presentation on “Wild polio-free Africa: The Successes and Challenges;” 16th September 2020.
Adapted from an article by Dan Nixon “Nelson Mandela remembered as an ally for peace, polio eradication” on the website; https//www.rotary.org/en/nelson-mandela-remembered-ally-peace-polio-eradication.
‘All of us could take a lesson from the weather; it pays no attention to criticism’