Glasnevin Bridge Club

Glasnevin Bridge Club 40th Celebrations

President: Ailish O’Connell, Vice President: Gaye O’Brien, Treasurer: Michael Sherwood, Secretary: Richard Trehy, Assistant Secretary: Patricia Moran, Tournament Officer: Eddie Broe, Yvonne Keating, Mary Cantwell, Phyllis Byrne, Ann Hogan, Rita O’Sullivan and Aidan Synnott, Master Points Secretary.

The 40th celebrations might have slipped by unnoticed except for Yvonne Keating’s suggestion to Richard Trehy that the date of the foundation of the Club be put on the advertising poster for the 2009 beginners’ classes. Subsequent preliminary research came up, incorrectly, with the date of 1970. Further research revealed that the inaugural meeting was held in 1969 and affiliation to the CBAI took place in 1970!

In the course of discussions, the Committee decided that the club would host a Gala dinner for its members, the date of the 25th September 2010 was decided upon. The invitation was extended to members who cannot play bridge due to ill health and special guests.

Some time ago a member of the club, Marian McQuaid suggested the possibility of a Presidential Pin. As part of the 40th celebrations, the committee thought it would be very appropriate to commission one. After much research concerning price and design, a young man, David Traynor designed one that was approved by the Committee, Des Byrne jewelers agreed to craft the pin. Initially it was decided by the committee to opt for the cheapest. Very much to the appreciation of the Committee, three members of the Committee, Michael Sherwood, Treasurer, Richard Trehy, Secretary and Aidan Synnott, Master Points Secretary donated the monies for the solid gold piece at the cost of €750 negotiated down to €700.

Each member of the committee undertook to carry out certain tasks in the preparation for the day itself and the party, including the caterers, table linen, glasses, the celebration cake, the decoration of the tables, the entertainment, the drinks etc.

Ailish O’Connell, President, investigated the caterers and it was agreed to engage the firm that did the catering for the Christmas party, there was a choice of turkey and ham or salmon, the salmon proved to be equally popular!

Yvonne Keating suggested that the club get a special anniversary diary. Richard Trehy suggest that the diary could be sponsored by selling advertisement spaces to local businesses, this transpired to be very effective and the diary made a profit of several hundred Euros for the club. Great effort was put into the production of the diary by Richard who liaised, on an almost daily basis, with the printer. The diary was delivered at 5.00pm on the evening of the 25th September, and was greeted with a great sigh of relief.

Due to the longstanding relationship the club has with St. Michael’s Special School Yvonne Keating suggested that a special donation be made to St. Michael’s Special School. This suggestion was pursued and developed with a collection on the night, envelopes were provided for the donations and an invitation was extended to St. Michael’s to choose a special gift.

The 25th September, 2010.
The day itself started with a bridge competition from 4.00pm to 6.00pm. Sixty-eight members played in this competition. At six o’clock the committee served the drinks and prepared the tables for the dinner. Siobhan Cassidy, a Novice member of the Club, organised a professional photographer who took photographs of the committee and the diners for the record.

Seven guests and seventy-four members attended the dinner. The guests were, the first President of the club, Mrs. Pat O’Flynn and her husband, the first Treasurer of the club, Brian Downes and his wife, Della, Mrs Phil Lawless, Housemother, St. Michael’s Special School, Ms. Rosemary Sewell, Assistant Housemother, St. Michael’s Special School, Neal Nulty who has been setting up the tables and storing them every Monday and Wednesday nights for the club for the past twenty-one years, and never missed a night.

All the guests and members were presented with a copy of the special diary and the envelopes for the special collection.

The dinner itself was very enjoyable, everyone had great praise for the food, and the wine flowed. When the main course was over, the first President, Pat O’Flynn, presented the President, Ailish O’Connell with the Presidential pin and gave an amusing speech on the formation of the Glasnevin Bridge Club when she was involved with Ballymun Ladies Club and her first year as President. Brian Downes, followed with his own anecdotes as the first Treasurer of the Club. The President of the Club, Ailish O’Connell then presented her speech, which included with announcement of the special gift being assistance with the refurbishment of the hall. The celebration cake was cut, unfortunately the sparklers on the cake set off the fire alarm! However, this did not interfere with the entertainment that followed, despite the noise the real celebrations began. Truly, the dancing, reciting, singing and general enjoyment by all present was unforgettable. With the exception of two members, everyone was up dancing. Insofar as the committee were concerned, this was the best reward they could get for their efforts, to see such enjoyment and pleasure on everyone’s face was wonderful.

The result of the collection was announced and the sum of €1,360 was donated with further donations coming in the following days bringing the sum collected to €1,511.

Reluctantly the party was over at 10.30pm, nobody wanted to go home! The final September meeting of the Glasnevin Bridge Club was held at 11.45pm with a toast to ourselves. The following morning the committee turned up to clear and tidy the hall.
Patricia Moran.
5th October, 2010.