Message from the President of the Irish Cultural Society of Toronto.
Dear fellow community members,
This is the last time I will be writing a Message as President of the Irish Cultural Society of Toronto. It has been 5 years since I took over the position of President from Deirdre McKenna and now it is time to hand it over to someone new who will bring new energy and new ideas to nurture and grow the Society.
It has been a very worthwhile dedication of time at many levels.
- To see the Rose of Tralee take its place in the Irish Community, the last 2 years under the very capable and creative direction of Erin Horgan and her team;
- To see the Irish Community Picnic revived this past July 8th on Centre Island by the Irish Cultural Society under the leadership of Geraldine Brown and Kevin McGreal and the wonderful attendance by all ages. We were delighted to see so many of the Newly Arrived Irish in attendance. (Date for the 2013 Picnic will be announced in the Spring issue.)
- To our Welcome Sundays inviting the newly arrived Irish into the Community and providing seminars, theatre and music. A thank you to all who contributed to these get togethers.
- To see the Toronto Irish News take on a new role, not only in Toronto but across Canada, under its new name Irish Connections Canada under the ownership of Eamonn O'Loghlin.
- To be one of the groups who advocated for and saw the Irish Canadian Immigration Centre formally open last St. Patrick’s Day and seeing it make a great difference in the capable and energetic hands of Cathy Murphy;
- To Reta O'Connor, who has been a wonderful asset as the ICST membership and website co-ordinator and who has generously edited my "Message from the President" for all the Magazine articles and correcting all my spelling mistakes.
- To Jim Cooney for all his assistance prior to and at the ICST Annual General Meetings.
- To all the past Presidents of the Irish Immigrant Aid and Cultural Society who assisted me in an advisory capacity.
- To the amazing Day we all, as a community, had at the 22nd Annual Mass of Memory. Even though it is organized by the Mass of Memory Committee, many from the Irish Cultural Society Committee were on board helping out. The 23rd Annual Mass of Memory will be held Sunday, October 27th, 2013
- To the wonderful job Michael Hurley does as part of the Irish Cultural Society of Toronto continuing to organize The Pot of Gold Lottery: procuring prizes, dealing with City Hall and heading up the Grants Committee.
- To his Pot of Gold Team who sell the tickets. 1,000 tickets are sold every year at $100.00.
Fifty per cent of the proceeds are allocated to a bi- weekly prize draw and you have the opportunity to win in all 26 draws. The draws take place every other Sunday on the Hugo Straney Show, AM1540 between 10.00 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. You can check our website www.irishculturalsocietyoftoronto.com for a list of winners.
Fifty per cent of the proceeds go back into the Irish Arts Community of Toronto in the form of Grants. See our website www.irishculturalsocietyoftoronto.com for details on the Grant Process and Grant Application Requirements, and in particular the time frame for applying. All requests for Grants must meet the requirements and be pre-approved by City Hall before they can be considered for a Grant from the Pot of Gold.
The Pot of Gold Ticket is a great Christmas Present. "It is the Gift that keeps on Giving" Do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to purchase a ticket: Norita @ 905-881-5012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To the Radio show Hosts, our thanks for keeping the community connected with their constant reminders through announcements on their Community Calendar of Events: Ceol agus Craic, hosted by Eamonn O’Loghlin, Fairchild Radio, AM1430, Saturdays, 11.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon., www.fairchildradio.com; Songs from Home hosted by Hugo Straney, CHIN Radio, AM1540, Sundays, 10.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m., www.chinradio.com; Radio Erin hosted by Frankie Benson, Zoomer Radio, AM740, Sundays, 6.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m., www.zoomerradio.ca.; and The Long Note hosted by Colm O’Brien, listen live at www.ckln.fm, Sundays, 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
There is much more I could say but you have probably heard it all before.
Let me finish by thanking all Committee Members who worked with me over the past 5 years for their wonderful service to the ICST, the Pot O’Gold Lottery and the Community at large: Michael Hurley, Kevin Kelly, Pat Boyle, Deirdre McKenna, Patsy Dolan, Mary Kelly, Reta O’Connor, Erin Horgan, Geraldine Browne, Tom Gallagher, Margaret Friel, Liz Mullen, Pat Rooney, Bernadette Hunt, Lisa Mullen, Mary Lou Leslie, Imelda O’Flynn (RIP), Sarah Nestor, Cindy Wiggan, Tom Carey, Jude Hession, Pat Canavan, Kevin McGreal, Tom McGhee, Sheila O’Leary, Kathleen Conway, and Tracey Flood.
I would like to end by sharing a Celtic Prayer that I received from Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick. I do not know the writer of this verse but I wish to acknowledge the sacred words that have been formed together into verse.
We weave into our life this day
The presence of God along the way,
We weave into our life this hour
The Mighty God and all God's Power
We weave into our sore distress
God’s peace and calm and graciousness
We weave into our steps so lame
The healing and helping of God’s name
We weave into the darkest night
The strands of God shining bright
We weave into the victory won
The joy and hope of the Risen Son.
Bannachtai ns Nollag agus na hAthbhliana
Blessings for Christmas and the New Year.