Have you ever heard of Befana the Christmas witch?
Well Italy’s traditional Christmas celebration includes tales of a witch known as La Befana who arrives on her broomstick during the night of January 5th in search of the Christ Child and fills kids’ stockings with sweets for all the good children and places lumps of coal in the stockings of the bad ones. (Children take special note.)
Have you ever heard of Nisse the mischievous elf that plays tricks on people during Christmas time?
Well during Christmas in Denmark, the mischievous Danish elf, Nisse, plays pranks on people. Nisse lives in old farmhouses and wears gray woollen clothes, a red bonnet, stockings and white clogs. Nisse generally helps people on the farm and is very good with children, but is known to plays jokes during the Christmas season, especially if families don’t leave a bowl of rice pudding out for him.
So why am I telling you all about this when you can hear it from real story tellers?
On Saturday December 21st Simone Schuemmelfeder and Michael Phelan from Story Gate will entertain us all with Christmas tales from around the world. In a very special day of storytelling organised by the local Library, situated here in Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary, Ann Marie Brophy informs me that you can find out much more about this favourite time of the year and how Christmas is being celebrated in various other countries.
There will be a special session held for under eight year olds at 11.30 a.m. and another session held for the over eight year olds, at 2.30 p.m.
Note: This is a free event and each session will last about one hour, with Milk and Cookies being served.
But please Mum and Dad do contact Thurles Library on Tel: 0504-29720 to sign up for a place, (Well Ann Marie wants to make sure she doesn’t run short on those very necessary Milk & Cookies,) at what promises to be a very heart-warming, informative festive event!
“Your outer world is a mirror image of your inner world.” – Brian Tracy.
Toastmasters President Patricia Loughnane Reports on Thurles Youth Leadership Program (YLP)
Toastmasters have been holding meetings for adults to motivate and provide a platform for speaking and leadership skills, here in Thurles, since 1988.
For any school and their attending students, a free voluntary eight week session course can be provided to introduce them to the world of public speaking and the further development of leadership responsibilities.
Recently, 16 Transition Year Presentation School Convent Boarders took this course, sponsored by Thurles Toastmasters Club and Co-ordinated by Toastmasters Patricia Loughnane (Thurles) and Margaret O’ Gorman (Naas) and all excelled when met with the fun & character building challenges provided.
On completion of this course students are each provided with an official Toastmasters International award, latter which will add a much needed additional string to their current and ongoing educational bow.
These Youth Awards will now be presented to these Transition Year students at The Anner Hotel, Thurles on Wednesday 20th November, at 8.00pm. Everyone is welcome to attend, to savour at first hand a meeting co-run by the YLP participants and experienced Toastmasters. (Click on Image, above left, to view presentation agenda.)
Refreshments: Refreshments will be served and entertainment is free.
Contact: Thurles Toastmasters President Patricia Loughnane, Tel: 087 1311305 for further information on this unique opportunity.
Website /Facebook: View their Website from here at www.thurlestoastmasters.com and their Facebook Page: thurlestoastmasters.
“Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
A large group of approximately three hundred people gathered in St. Patrick’s College, Thurles, Co Tipperary on Friday October18th last to celebrate the graduation of students from the College’s B.A. in Education programmes. Fifty two students graduated in total, forty one from the B.A. in Education, Business Studies and Religious Studies programme and eleven from the B.A. in Education, Irish and Religious Studies programme.
GRADUATES OF 2013 CONFERRED WITH UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK DEGREES AT ST. PATRICK’S COLLEGE (THURLES)
This year’s ceremony was particularly notable as this is the first year that Irish teachers graduated from the college. All of the graduates, who are now fully qualified to teach their specialist subjects in post-primary schools, were conferred with University of Limerick degrees.
The conferring ceremony was a joyous occasion, enjoyed by the graduates, their families and friends and academic staff who guided the graduates to their degrees, representatives of the university and the many others who contribute to life in the college.
Tipperary native and member of the college’s Board of Governors, John Lonergan, welcomed guests to the college. The degrees were awarded by Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick. Professor Barry congratulated all of the graduates in his speech and urged them to cherish the moment; “This is your moment, so breathe it in and be very proud of yourselves and your achievements,” he said. “You graduate at a time of extraordinary economic uncertainty…you are among the best of what this country has to offer the world, have confidence in yourself, do not settle because you think you have to – think big!”
President of St. Patrick’s College, Fr. Tom Fogarty, encouraged the graduates to embrace their learning and to engage in lifelong learning and continuously strive to improve, both academically and professionally. Acknowledging the hard work of the graduates in getting to this point Fr. Fogarty quoted the legendary basketball player, Michael Jordan; “Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen.” Fr. Fogarty urged the newly qualified teachers to strive to retain their energy and enthusiasm by firstly looking after themselves. Quoting Flor McCarthy, he asked them to “avoid getting caught up in a life of feverish activity,” commenting that “too much activity can dry up the mind and the human heart.”
A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of two Awards for Professionalism to one graduate from each programme. These were presented to Ruth McCormack (Two Mile Borris, Thurles) and John Cullinane (Kilkenny). The awards recognised the many positive attributes that these two graduating students demonstrated during their time in the College. Ruth and John were deemed to have demonstrated the best balance of professional responsibilities, including excellence in subject knowledge across all areas of study, engagement in their programmes of study, a high standard of teaching competence, involvement in professional development and extra-curricular activities, and an overall sense of commitment to St. Patrick’s College and to the teaching profession.
Additionally, two medals were presented in recognition of academic achievement. These were awarded to Shaun Bray (Kilkenny) and Pauric Hanlon (Longford).
Teachers, All Students, History Societies Take Note
To coincide with the University of Limerick’s launch of “The Armstrong Papers” in the East Room of Plassey House on Monday next October 21st, St Mary’s Famine Museum will feature, for one week only, (October 16th to October 23rd inc) the rare and exciting exhibition entitled; “Downton Abbey, A Tipperary Perspective.”
Larger than the exhibition shown just last year, this historic exposition also happily coincides with the popular Downton Abbey, Series 4, currently showing each Wednesday night on TV3 at 9:00pm.
The TV series Downton Abbey is set on the fictional estate of Downton Abbey in the North Riding of Yorkshire, England, home to the Earl and Countess of Grantham and which follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants during the reign of King George V.
The Thurles exhibition on the other hand, while showing major similarities in life at the big house, takes a look at and follows the family of the Armstrong Family of Moyaliffe, Co Tipperary, during this very same period in Irish history, which also covers the First World War and the later period referred to as the ‘Roaring Twenties,’ and later.
Some of the items on show in this exhibition can be seen in the video shown above.
The ‘Roaring Twenties,‘ is of course a term often used to refer to the 1920′s, characterizing the decade’s distinctive cultural edge. Normality had returned to politics in the wake of hyper-emotional patriotism during World War I, jazz music blossomed, the ‘flapper,’ redefined modern womanhood, and Art Deco peaked. (Flappers were the “new breed” of young Western women in the 1920s who wore skirts short, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior.)
Included in the exhibition this year are Dan Breen’s revolver, William Trant’s (Dovea) revolver together with original photographs by Heinrich Hoffmann (1885 – 1957) latter Adolf Hitler’s official photographer together with Military costumes, some dating back before 1900 from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in Surrey, with rare memorabilia from the Gallipoli Campaign including original cigarettes purchased in Port Said (1915 -1916).
Total cost of admission to this unique Tipperary exhibition is a mere €2 per person, which also incorporates a chance to examine the Famine Museum, latter which boasts the largest amount of original memorabilia, pertaining to the Great Famine (1845 – 1849). Tours will be also accommodated at night to facilitate visiting historical societies.
Note: All Schools & Historical Societies are requested to book their tour, some hours in advance by phoning 0504-21133, thus ensuring the presence of a lecture tour guide.
The Armstrong Papers
The Armstrong Papers, soon to be launched in Limerick, contain some 50,000 items including over 13,000 photographs. These documents encompass some 350 years of family history and were donated to the University of Limerick by Mrs Susan and Mr Graham Armstrong, formally of Moyaliffe, but who presently reside in Natal, South Africa.
Thurles Town and St Mary’s Famine Museum are also grateful to Mrs Susan and Mr Graham Armstrong for their continued patronage in loaning the Armstrong Collection to this area, which continues to attract tourists each Summer season, to the town.
The Thurles exhibition opens tomorrow Wednesday and is truly a ‘must see’ for lovers and students of Irish History.
St. Patrick’s Scholarship and Academic Awards Evening
On Tuesday evening October 8th last, St. Patrick’s College staff and students were delighted to host their fourth annual Scholarship and Student Awards ceremony. Thirteen students in total were honoured. Five incoming first years received scholarships (four recognising academic achievement and one recognising achievement in the G.A.A. arena). Additionally, six 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students were honoured for outstanding academic achievement and two more 1st years received G.A.A. awards.
Speaking on the night, college president Fr. Tom Fogarty spoke of the common qualities that can be attributed to high achievers both in the field of academia and sport; “qualities such as dedication, sacrifice, character, commitment and perseverance quickly spring to mind,” he said.
Guest speaker, Dr. Ann MacPhail, Head of Education and Physical Science in the University of Limerick acknowledged the extraordinary achievements of the students being honoured on the night . “I totally and fully understand the passion and commitment that is clearly part of your ethos here,” she stated when speaking regarding Teacher Education in the college.
Scholarships And Awards Presented On The Evening
Academic Scholarship Winners: Chloe Keane, Brittas, Co. Limerick; Rachel Steele, Ladysbridge, Co. Cork; Mary Ann Ní Chróinín, Macroom, Co. Cork; Laura Comerford, Naas, Co. Kildare.
GAA Scholarship Awards: Barbara Ward, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan; Niall Bolton, Tulla, Co. Clare; Shauna Sinnott, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.
Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards: Nora Ward, Middleton, Co. Cork; Alison Kerrane, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon; Maria O’Leary, Rossmore, Co. Tipperary; Patricia McElgunn, Cabra, Thurles; Marie McKenna, Killarney, Co. Kerry; Sarah Hennessy, Ballycallan, Co. Kilkenny.