A Chairde go lear

A Chairde go lear This is the time of year that we reflect on our achievements and on the things that we intended to do, but alas good old ‘Father Time’ did not allow.

2010 was the year South Africa waited with bated breath, and it came and went with such incredible speed. At the rate things are going, 2011 will be over before we know it. We saw the start of the financial crisis, the Arab dawn and dare I mention the Rugby World Cup (which ended on the 8th OCT, as far as I am concerned!)

We have said goodbye to a few friends. Kader Asmal the ANC Stalwart and great friend of Ireland. Did you know that he started the Irish Anti- apartheid movement when he was living in Dublin and lecturing at Trinity College? May he Rest in Peace.

Michael Davern, one of the greatest and most loved Irishman to set foot in South Africa, single handedly kept the Tri-Colour flying in the sixties and seventies. The Radium Beer hall ran out of Guinness at his wake!
We also had to say cheerio to our great friend Luke Feeney, 2nd Secretary of the Irish Embassy, he will be sorely missed, although I believe he is coming back in November with an interesting trade mission. Keep an eye on the website for further information.

Sadly we have to say a fond farewell to Sharon and Dermot Gaffney as they move down-under, albeit for a short while. The ISAA will truly miss both of
them for their tremendous contribution to the organisation and their fabulous parties. The way the years are flying it won’t be long until they are back.

On a really sad note I must report that our dear friend and dedicated committee member John Harrington became seriously ill in Cork while on holiday. He has undergone surgery and is recuperating nicely. Both he and Hannah have been the foundation of the Irish Association for as long as I can remember and beyond. Our prayers and good wishes go out to them. 
Our functions over the last 12 months were of a very high standard and tremendously successful.
We can safely say that true to our constitution, we foster a spirit of Irish culture and hospitality in what ever we do. This is solely attributed to the commitment of your wonderful, hard working and voluntary committee.

Gauteng Chapter Committee members:

Breda Kenealy
Brenda Hughes
David Devine
Dermot Gaffney
Hannah Harrington
Lorraine Keenan
Madeline Hoban
Michelle Gahan
Pat Gaffney
Ruth Gaffney
Paul Hoban

We need more hands on deck and young fresh blood in order to keep up this good work. So please join the committee and get involved.

Our annual St Patrick’s Golf Day and Hooley has secured a permanent spot on the calendar. All thanks to Pat Gaffney and his team.

Special thanks to Michelle for keeping the field moving so professionally.
Big thanks to Hannah and Brenda for all the admin and floor planning, and to Dave for his tremendous support and wonderful prizes.

The theme and decor fashioned by Sharon and her team was just short of a miracle, considering the budget she was allowed (as you know her husband is the treasurer!) Dermot, thank you so much for stretching our “few bob” and keeping us on the straight and narrow.

Huge thanks to Liz for all the flyers and printing done for us through out the year.

The Einstein’s came from far and wide to our exceptionally well organised Quiz night, thanks to Madi and Paul.

We had a lovely day out in the bush with the boys and Girls from Thembalabasha Orange farm. Thanks to Breda for organising all the lovely gifts and treats for the kids.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends at the Embassy. Without your support we would not be able to function and our relationship has grown in leaps and bounds over the years.

I remember the dark old day in South Africa, when we didn’t have an embassy or an Ambassador to guide and represent us, all we had was Poor old Paddy Ryan trying to do his best to hold up the “honour” of the Irish passport in his dingy Art deco building in Loveday Street, downtown Johannesburg. Did you know that he was a volunteer? He did not get paid for a long time, in fact it was just before independence in the mid ‘90s0 when a lot of people where fleeing SA, he had to open 12 hours a day to cope with the demand for Irish passports. That is when the Irish Government decided he needed to be paid and gave him an assistant.

I know that the Diaspora is important to the Irish government and we can certainly say that in South Africa we have a wonderful team looking after us. For which we are eternally grateful.

Last but not least, a big thank you to all the members. Without you we would not exist. I trust you are happy with your committee and the way your organisation is run? Please communicate your wishes and ideas to us, I know we all have such busy lives and that time is a scarce commodity, but please get involved, go on the website and contribute to the blog. We are in the process of upgrading the website, so please watch this space. Soon enough we will have a Facebook page so you can add photos and tell us all about yourselves. 

Slan go foil

Lorraine Keenan
Chairman Gauteng Chapter

Posted by ISAA Site Administrator on 09/10/2011 14:54:43 |

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