April - June 2016 e-mail [email protected]



April - June 2016 e-mail [email protected]
The Blarney
The newsletter of The Greater La Crosse Area Celtic Community
April - June 2016
e-mail [email protected]
March, A Very Busy Month For The Wearing Of The Green
March is the busiest time of the year for those of the “Green Persuasion” here in La Crosse, festivities start with the annual
Shamrock Club St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance where the incoming Irish Rose and Irish Man are presented and then moves
on to the actual St Patrick’s Day Parade and finaly to the Shamrock Club Bus Tour. Of the three main events, the bus tour is
probably the least publicized, each St. Patrick’s Day a group of people from all the Irish Groups in La Crosse get together,
rent a school bus, enlist the help of Amanda’s Academy of Dance and tour area schools and nursing homes. Along with
music and Irish dancing they bring joy and entertainment to many people both young and old. Below are some
photographs taken at all three events. .
News From Around The Groups
Mary Kay Smith 1928 – 2016
It is with deep regret that the members of The Greater La Crosse Area Shamrock Club note the passing of one of its previous
Irish Rose’s. Mary was a long time Membership Chair and was one of our clubs founder members, she was Irish Rose in
Message From The President
For the last two years, it has been my pleasure and honor to have been the elected President of The Greater La Crosse Area
Shamrock Club, but now my shift is over and a new President will be elected at our next board meeting. I would thus like to
take this opportunity to thank all the people who have helped me and the club during these last two years. I could not have
done it without your help. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two years, even if it took me most of that time to learn how
to correctly run a meeting, and, while I will no longer be President it is my intention to continue working with The Blarney
and, when back home, continue the work of Jim Finn documenting our clubs history.
As most of you probably know Mary and I are out of the country and will be until near the end of the year, so it is with this
in mind that I have to send a special thanks to JD Oelke for standing in for me during the last few months of my tenure.
Once again thank you for everything.
Election Of Officers
Once again, May is closing in on us and it is time for the annual clubs Election of Officers, below is a list of positions open for
election, per our by-laws (see below) nominations must be received at the April meeting.
Seargant at Arms
3 year trustee
3 year trustee
Membership Chair
Nominations must be made by the Nominating Committee or from the floor. The nominee must accept the nomination in
person. A single membership will be allowed one vote, a family membership will be allowed two votes. Newly elected
officers shall assume office in May following installation at the general membership meeting. Nominations will be received
at the April meeting with elections to be held at the May meeting. Write-ins will be accepted on the ballot, if the person
authorizes. Absentee ballots will be provided to those who request one and will be returned to the Nominating Committee.
Current board members are listed on the last page of this issue.
Current board members are listed on the
Brat Barn - 2016
July 2 has been set aside for the 2016 Brat Extravaganza. Once again it will be held at the Onalaska Festival and is
scheduled to run between 10:30am and 6pm. If you would like to get involved and work a couple of hour’s please get in
touch with JD Oelke at [email protected] and he will get you on the schedule.
A Special Thank You
JD would like to send out a special thank you to everyone who supported our recent fund raising events, either through
donations, auction purchases, and those club members who do all the heavy lifting to organize these events. Extra special
thanks to the one and only Dr. Rock. “Thanks Rick for entertaining everyone at the dinner dance, both your music and
stories made it a great night out! Keep on rockin,”
A Note From John Harrington
Over the past months I was added as an administrator to the club's Facebook page and I have added many new photo's,
article's and other information related to club activities, local events and Ireland itself.
Total LIKES have tripled to over 340 and all other related data have likewise expanded dramatically as people cruise our
page. I’m not taking credit here, just commenting that sharing information, pictures and other related items creates
interest in what we are doing, who we are and attracts like-minded new potential members.
One problem is getting those pictures posted or shared to the page. A lot of you take wonderful photos at events and post
them to your own page, but the problem comes when I try to SHARE those to the club page. Your privacy settings greatly
reduce the allowable audience for your pictures and cannot be shared.
We are particularly lacking in pictures of Bill and Kathy O'Driscoll. PLEASE consider adjusting your privacy settings for
allowing your photos to be shared or at the least, post your photos to the club page in addition to yours. Recently, Vicky
Hampe did just that and now we have a nice batch of pictures from the St. Patrick's Day bus tour. Thanks Vicky!
Thank you all for participating in this social process and sharing that interest with others!
Brick Update
JD has been in touch with the Garden Board and the Parks department – the bricks are ready to go – we’re led to believe
we can expect the bricks will go in sometime in the next 60 days – will keep you updated
The Irish Brigade’s next ushering duty will be Saturday, May 14 at 6 p.m. We are still looking for a few more ushers to join
us for the play “Billy Elliot”. Please contact Kathleen if you are interested: [email protected]
La Crosse Bantry Friendship Association enjoyed being part of the St. Patrick’s Parade on March 12. Many members
helped complete the unit carrying the banner, carrying flags and just ‘carrying on’ in general!
Elections were held at the March meeting. Vice president Kriss Kuhn will move in the president’s position, Lynn West was
elected Vice President, Kathleen Ryan and Heather Dutcher will retain their positions of treasurer and secretary
respectively, new trustee Art Marson will join current trustees Mark Barton, Myra Kunert, and Kathy Spelker. Linda Pfaff
will step into the Past President position. Linda would like to take a moment to thank the membership for their support
and helping the organization grow in its local & global outreach!!
On April 22 at Concordia Hall, LBFA will be hosting a fundraiser to benefit New Horizons in La Crosse and West Cork
Women Against Violence in La Crosse’s sister city, Bantry, Co Cork. The event will be from 6pm – 10pm and will feature
Irish music by ‘Houghton’s Hooligans’ and ceili dancing with calling and instruction by Tim Jenkins. The event will also
feature Irish appetizers by Dublin Square and a cash bar.
A silent auction will be held with a multitude of valuable items to purchase including 2 tickets to the Celtic Woman concert
with a nights stay at the Holiday Inn Downtown, Brewers tickets, memberships at the YW-YMCA, Waterford Crystal Clock,
Two 2-month instruction packages including uniform from Nicklaus Martial Arts Academy, gift basket from Wine Guyz, free
rounds of golf from Valley High Golf, many dinner certificates and themed baskets full of wonderful goodies! Come out and
have a great time and help those suffering from domestic abuse – both here and in our sister city – and stop the cycle!
LBFA is also putting together a 10-day trip to Ireland in mid-September which will be open to the public. Check for
updates at www.lacrossebantry.org
The next meeting will be April 27 at 5:30 in the back meeting room of the Arterial Bar & Grill.
Get your arms limbered up because the 3 Annual Road Bowling will be held on Saturday, July 9 in Holmen. We will begin
at 10 a.m. this year. As in the past, there will be 2 person teams and the registration cost is $30 per team. The current
registration form is on the website: http://www.irishfestlacrosse.org/irish-road-bowling.html
The headliner bands who will be entertaining us with their music and songs August 12-14 will be: We Banjo 3, Skerryvore,
Scythian, Willis Clan, Gaelic Storm, and Jig Jam. Jig Jam is new to Irishfest La Crosse and is an up and coming band from
Ireland who play what they call “Celt Grass”, a very energizing melding of Celtic and Bluegrass music. Also for their 1
appearance at Irishfest is the Willis Clan; a family of 12 who are musicians and dancers from Tennessee who merge their
Irish roots with current music. Also joining us this year will be Seamus Kennedy, Ian Gould, and Kennedy’s Kitchen, with
more in the works. http://www.irishfestlacrosse.org/irishfest-musical-entertainers.html
Tickets to Irishfest La Crosse will be available online May 1 and at our regular outlets July 1.
Rosin your bow for the brand new competition that will be held at the festival this year – the Fiddle Competition. The
details are still being worked out but tentatively will be held on Saturday, August 13. Watch the website and Facebook for
more details soon.
The La Crosse County Convention & Visitors Bureau/Explore La Crosse is promoting the area as “River of Festivals”. For a
chance to win an Irishfest Weekend Package go to: http://www.explorelacrosse.com/giveaways/irishfest-la-crosseweekend-sweepstakes/
Be sure to share with your friends, relatives, and coworkers!
Speaking of winning – how about a trip to Ireland or Scotland? The Irishfest Raffle tickets are printed and for sale!
Currently, you can purchase them at the Monarch Public House in Fountain City or from Linda Pfaff. They will be available
at other outlets soon. Tickets are $10 each or 3/$25.
Irish Immigration to Australia
Not just about Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly is one of Australia’s greatest folk heroes. More books, songs and websites have been written about Ned Kelly and
the Kelly Gang than any other group of historical figures. He was also of Irish descent. Ned was born in Australia in 1855,
the first born son of an Irish Catholic couple, his father John Kelly was transported to Australia for the theft of two pigs who
eloped with Ellen Quinn, an Irish “bounty migrant”, from Van Dieman’s Land (today known as Tasmania. At his trial in 1880,
both the accused and the judge who sentenced him to hang, Sir Redmond Barry, were from Irish families.
By the end of transportation in 1840, more than 50,000 Irish 'rebels' were exiled to Australia. Their mistrust of British
authority came with them, along with their vehement independence as Catholics, specifically excluded from holding
public office or government positions until after 1900.
Ned Kelly and Sir Redmond Barry were only two of many Irish immigrants who made an impact on the Australian continent.
Between the 1830’s and 1914 an estimated 300,000 Irish people immigrated to Australia, many as assisted immigrants.
The “migration assistance scheme” came about due to the British Government concerns about having enough skilled labor
to sustain a growing population, it was also eager to colonize other areas of the continent before their French enemies
were able to. There was also a desire to capitalize from agricultural exports.
Most early Irish settlers were Catholic and they were accompanied by about 2000 Roman Catholic priests. As in Ireland, the
influence of the Church was very strong. Irish Catholic newspapers were published in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and
Brisbane. The Church also founded the Catholic Education system. Most teachers were Irish born priests, brothers or nuns.
Today almost a fifth of all Australian students go to Catholic primary and secondary schools.
Migration fell dramatically in the early years of the twentieth century and then rose and fell in the years after Ireland's
independence. The peace and prosperity enjoyed by Ireland since joining the European Union has slowed emigration
almost to a halt.
As the second largest community in Australia, Australians of Irish heritage have had a significant influence not only on the
stereotype "Australian" character but on all aspects of Australian society, historically most notably, on the police force, the
trade unions, the Catholic Church, politics and education.
The Irish were among the first settlers in Australia and have contributed substantially to the development of contemporary
Australia. Around 6 million Australians are commonly believed to have some Irish ancestry.
May 5
May 6
May 7
May 12
May 12
May 17
May 26
May 26
June 5
June 7
June 10
June 11
June 14
June 19
June 19
June 26
June 26
Barb Smith
Char Barton
Jerry Sheehan
John Harrington
Marlene Venner
Linda Pfaff
Dennis O’Brien
Mary Monks
Ray Kelly
Tom Burns
Marian Schnell
Sharon Candahl
Dick Boudreau
John Boyle
Mike Burns
Audrey Kader
Cara Martin (daughter of Dee)
July 5
July 5
July 6
July 7
July 7
July 7
July 12
July 17
July 18
July 19
July 29
[email protected]
Ed Sullivan
Cilla Skrade
Jac Coyne
Mark Dennis
Rick Pervisky
Shawn Hicks
Donna Birnbaum
Kristine Kuhn
Rita Modjeski
Terry Nolan
Joan Keller-Maresh
This Month’s “Blast From The Past”
Have you seen this drum?
Mr. Tom Nolan would like to know if any one knows the location of the drum pictured above, it was purchased for The
Shamrock Club but went missing a couple of years ago. Please pass on any information you may have to Tom via the
Shamrock Club website.
If you would like to celebrate an event with us please send an e-mail to [email protected]
Next Board Meeting – April 20th.
Our next meeting will, once again, be held at Shenanigans on French Island, with the meeting starting at 6pm.
Up-Coming Events
May 18 . – Shamrock Club meeting (Election of Officers)
Current Board Members
President – Barrie Monks [email protected]
Past President – Linda Boyle [email protected]
Vice President – JD Oelke [email protected]
Secretary – Kyle Humfeld [email protected]
Treasurer – Liz Oelke [email protected]
Parlimentarian – Mark Barton [email protected]
Sergeant At Arms – Kathleen Ryan [email protected]
Membership Chair – Linda Pfaff [email protected]
State Board Representative – Linda Pfaff [email protected]
3Yr Trustee – John Harrington [email protected]
3Yr Trustee – Bill O’Driscoll [email protected]
2 Yr Trustee - Kristina Kuhn [email protected]
1 Yr Trustee – Terry Nolan [email protected]
1 Yr Trustee – Victoria Hampe [email protected]
The Board of The Greater La Crosse Area Shamrock Club would encourage our
members to frequent the establishments below, each of which has contributed in some
way towards club activities.
Thank You.
Shamrock Club of La Crosse

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