Mens Shed News
Extracts from a diary about a trip to Berlin 17th-20th April 2023.
Monday 17 April 2023 Up at 6am and drove to the airport. Confusion at the car park: I had booked my space from Tuesday 1am and not today. The man on the intercom, Garry, suggested that I take a ticked and explain to the office on Friday and they would add the extra day’s payment then. Silly of me not to have checked. Is this an omen for our trip… At 7am, the gang of twenty quietly greeted one another, as one does so early. The Ryanair Flight at 9:30 was fine and we arrived in Berlin around 12:30 local. Nothing to see as we flew. Except Germany has a lot of Wind machines. We were met by our guide, Tomas, effervescent, heavy set man of about 45 years. Later Niall found out he was born in Missouri USA but spent a long time here in Berlin. Unfortunately, there was an unplanned long walk to the bus that gave some of our stickwalkers difficulty. They were: Niall O’Carroll, our dear leader [don’t call me Führer!], Gerry Hendron, John Merry and the Sheridan’s Brothers Grim. Our guide rendered an excellent talk about the history of Berlin. It’s split up in 1945, etc. and the buildings along the route to our hotel. One of the most significant buildings was The Tempelhof Airport building.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Tempelhof_Airport] A truly vast building where, up to late 1950’s, airplanes parked under the building itself so passengers did not get wet. Jim Doody; Louis Fitzgerald; Gerry Hendron; John Sheridan; Michael Bradley; Eddie Gannon; John Merry; Berchmans Gannon; Tony Collins ; Paddy Quinn; Tommy Sheridan; Joe Hogan; David Ross; Brendan Lynch; Niall O Carroll ; Michael Bowles; Des Crean; Seamus Kenny; Tony Doran and Randal Doherty.
Later, we gathered in the bar [Berliner Beer at €5.50], and sat around and discussed where to eat. We agreed that we would all go to a very old restaurant [built 1902 and undamaged in the war] Called Max und Moritz, and used in the German TV neo-noir series “Babylon Berlin.” One member, the Perpendicular Pronoun, set off to get a reservation, eventually to be told the place could not accommodate such a large number at such short notice. When I returned, a good fistful of the fraternity had already decamped to another restaurant, followed by a second group that rambled off into the night. I realised then that I had been unaware of the vagaries of the OB RFC De-shedders behaviour, i.e. lack of cohesion, especially after a consensus. I was in the third group, who were determined to have at least one German dinner. We taxied to Restaurant Erdinger am Gendarmenmarkt. Everyone was happy with their meal and excellent beer. I went all Austrian: Wiener Schnitzel and Apple Strudel! Later, all groups converged back into the bar and regaled on another about the merits of their dinner. The bar was eventually prevailed upon to stay open for an extra hour. Finally, strugglers carried on in the lounge. There was a well-stocked beer cabinet three meters away. Tuesday 18 April 2023 Gradually we all emerged to breakfast, which was good, and retold our stories of yesterday, softy, slowly. Groups headed off to the Hop-On-Hop-Off tourist bus around the city. Sadly, the weather prohibited the open air bus. Following a walk to Checkpoint Charlie, a very garbled, and I thought tatty, tourist area with a Trabant Car Museum [German sense of humour?], a McDonald’s and Irish Pub, we boarded the sightseeing bus for an hour-long trip around the city. All the famous, but no infamous buildings, were noted. Most stopped off for the Jewish museum close to the Brandenburg Gate, much smaller in real life, [and two minutes from the destroyed Hitler Bunker,] and the Jewish Commemoration Memorial. Some also went to the Museum of Horrors - Topography of Terror. No happy faces afterwards. Some did not go to any of these, just too disturbing. Berlin is a fascinating city: wonderful buildings and wide boulevards and surprisingly, unhurried. Our taxi man was late in arriving on one occasion and we joked with him about Germany punctuality. He laughed, “That’s in Germany – But this is Berlin!” Reassuringly Irish. In the evening, the general assembly met again and later, after a few sherbets, dispersed to their agreed restaurants. My group of seven made a reservation at Ristorante Bocca Felice not too far away. As we would be early, we decided to get a drink on the way. Silly us: unlike Ireland, there were no bars at any street corner. We sat outside on tied up chairs and tables, our Italian hosts seemed to be distrustful of their fellow Berliners, and we were served drinks while we waited for our table. Eventually, we were ushered in by the jolly head waiter Tony and led to our table of seven. He introduced our waiter, Gregor, who assured that “he would look after us, we could trust him!” There was a definite but hidden “Jawohl!” in his statement. But to be fair he was excellent at his job and we had a wonderful evening [fresh white asparagus]. Later he produced a small bottle of Grappa and poured us a glass and we wished him good health. Some walked, and others taxied back to the hotel. Once more, everyone returned to the hotel bar and vital discussions took place…
Wednesday 19 April 2023 After a leisurely breakfast [surprised by the number of early risers] our guide, Tomas picked us up, and coached to Potsdam. The original plan was to visit the Sanssouci Palace, the favourite retreat for Frederick the Great, but all tours were booked out. Instead, we visited Frederick’s other Palace nearby – “The New Chambers,” used for receptions of Foreign dignitaries. This, again, was a wonderful, guided trip [earphones] although the stairs proved difficult for some. Facing this Palace was the servant’s quarters, which were almost a big as the palace itself.
We had lunch in Potsdam Movenpick Historische Muhle [below]. A pleasant restaurant similar to the “Fern House” in Avoca Restaurant in Kilmacanogue, Wicklow. As we sat down, the head waiter was advised that there were three vegetarians in our group, which led to confusion. It was just a ruse – one member lusted for his longed for tomato soup. Everyone eat meat for the main course. A very enjoyable lunch Note: Useless information: Potsdam has a Rugby club a minute away from our lunch restaurant. It is the lower end of the second tier of the Rugby-Bundesliga league. On our way back Tomas showed us more sites of interest, like the back of Sanssouci Palace, and a famous Windmill… Rest and recuperation. Later in the bar, groups set out into the night to feed. Four of us agreed to go back to Bocca Felice, as I told them it was great fun last night. I was met again, with outstretched hands, Tony, the head waiter, and ushered into a table near the door. He returned with a welcoming glass of Prosecco, and introduced our waiter for the evening, a diminutive Italian with a three-day beard called Franco, who produced two heavy bottles of wine and told us this was his recommendation for the night, his favourites. We inquired the price: €70 euros a bottle, which we quickly declined, which he took with apparent umbrage. We ordered the wine I had the previous night – 28-30 Euro a bottle. The meal was OK, except Paddy Quinn ordered his prawn risotto with the shells removed. His dish arrived with the prawns still in the shell, which aggravated Paddy and Franco quickly withdrew and returned with speed with the correct dish. After our meal our little waiter came with Grappa in a long bottle, half the size of himself, and proceeded to your us each a small glass. We thanked him graciously. We returned to the Marriot Bar and met our companions and discussed our experiences. Then regaled about former days of rugby glory, all the usual stuff. And one by one we all drifted to bed. Note: In my room I glanced at the bill and discovered that not only were the Grappa but also the Prosecco added to our bill. I, like many another, thought we had received the gesture of thanking us for eating in their restaurant! Lesson learned. Thursday 20 April 2023 Following breakfast, we taxied to join the cruise boat on the River Spree that runs through Berlin. Sadly, the rain droves us to the lower deck. We set off along the river westwards and passed the back of some fine buildings, including the Reichstag [rebuilt] with the enormous dome created by the English Architect Norman Foster. We reversed and went East, again more interesting structures. The Berlin Cathedral, Museum Island and the famous Radio Tower Berliner Fernsehturm. We broke up, and some went visiting local coffee and beer shops for lunch. Tired, I returned to the hotel and later wandered the streets in the cool air. Meet up in the bar. We had agreed that our farewell dinner [Ah! Consensus!] was to be in the French restaurant, “Entrecote”. There had been great reports about it earlier. Nineteen Shedders trooped off and a wonderful time, without incident. I had a prior engagement to meet my grand nice and her fiancée who live in Berlin. As luck would have it, we met at Max und Moritz. A very Berliner eating house. After my meal, I decided that I had had enough Germain cuisine. Yes, there were excellent reasons for Italian, French, Chinese restaurants in Berlin. Friday 21 April 2023 Leisurely start as we lugged out 10 kilo bags to reception. Our bus to the airport was not due until 4 pm. Some dozed in the reception lounge while others wandered out. Six of us had a relaxing sandwich and coffee sitting outside a small deli. It was dry and warm. Sandwich and coffee was €5:50! The bus picked us and took us to the airport. Given the problem of the stick walkers when we arrived, they took a taxi to avoid any long walks. When we met up with them later, they still had problems. There were left at Terminal One and had to walk all the way to Terminal Two. Hung around the departure area and after a 30 minute delay we boarded our Ryanair flight home. Uneventful flight. No one bought Ryanair lotto tickets. Fully decamped, we bade farewell, and many agreed to meet up for the Belvo game tomorrow afternoon. In the car, at the exit barrier, I reported my problem ticked. A young lady told me not to worry and keep the problem ticked as a souvenir. As Billy Shakespeare says: “All well, that end’s well.” For me, Berlin was a wonderful trip with an excellent gang of sprightly individuals who sought a joke at every opportunity. No one can visit the city of Berlin properly in five days. Like Paris and Rome, it takes a lifetime. So, plenty of time left.
Here’s a few notes on Feb and March activities for your diaries.
On Friday last we had our usual gardeners hard at work in OCP and then Pat O Mahoney gave all 32 of us a most interesting insight into his “ life and times” .Our thanks to Pat. It was clear from his talk he had thought a lot about what he would say and prepared thoroughly. All of which was apparent to the listeners and appreciated by them.
No speeches this Friday but we’re open for business as usual …and suggestions!!.
On Fri week ,17th, Brian Downes an outside spokesman will talk to us about how to administer CPR to people who display heart problems and also direct you to where our defibrillator is located ( do you know the PIN no of the cabinet?) and how to use the machine without electrocuting the patient or , indeed, yourself!!
Next day, Feb 18th, we have a home match v Highfield and the usual pre match lunch. Highfield are third in Div 2 and we’re in fourth position and chasing 6 in a row. Should be a great match.Big '6 pointer'. Who dares to dream?
On Friday 24th Tony O Brien (Class of 1969) will tell us all about himself and we’ll follow him with a talk on Mar 3rd from Ed Bourke (Class of 70) on the 1922 Civil War and the establishment of the Irish Free State. After that , on Mar 10th ,Yvonne Nolan who championed OBRFC Women’s rugby for many years and went on to amass a hatful of Rugby Caps since first appearing for Ireland in 2006, is now the World Rugby Authority’s Senior Legal Counsel!! .Stellar Career and a great speaker to have talk to us.
On the trip front , 15 of us went by train to Kilkenny last week. It’s a wonderful city with plenty of historical sites. We visited Cathedrals and Castles , Breweries and Museums not to mention an olde world pubs on the river for the less mobile!! We had lunch in Kytelers inn and dinner in Lenehans Bar and Restaurant both of which capped off a great day.
Next up on Feb 28th is a chance to see the wonderful snow drops in Altamont Gdns in Tullow , with lunch in Aughrim and a drop in visit to Parnell’s house in Avondale on the way home. Our expected nos don’t look like justifying the hire of a 35 seater coach so we’re looking for a couple or three large car owners willing to drive 2/3 pax there and back…. Much as we did for our trip to Russborough House and Ballymore Eustace last year.
No news of Berlin arrangements from Travel Department as yet. I am beginning to despair!
Bookings for any or all of the above to Niall please asap
OBRFC Men’s Shed Committee
Our final newsletter of 2022 is set out below
for your consideration .
We breezed through the third anniversary of the founding of the Shed a month or two ago, without any fuss . We must be doing something right because our Friday coffee mornings average over 20 and our tours and trips 20/30 . We’ll keep reaching out to recruit new Shedders and encourage everyone to come up with suggestions on events, speakers and worthwhile activities. . We’re especially anxious to attract those formervBelvederians or friends in the the 60/70 range to reduce our average overall age somewhat!!
We now have over 50 “active” members and another 10/15 who live overseas or are sporadic in their attendance.
Overseas isn’t just a category of former Belvederians on our mailing list. Three times in the last few months we had excellent presentations from Kevin Connellan (retired Stock Market Trader, Chicago); Michael Brennan MD ( retired endocrinologist Mayo Clinic,Rochester ) and Peter O’Connor ( former Deputy Editor of Brisbane’s leading newspaper) . Thanks guys. You exemplify one of our core values I.e. that of “giving back” .
Each Friday we continue to dispense tea or coffee and put the arm on someone’s shoulder to “ chat” to us about their life , their memories and their interests. Many thanks to those who responded so willingly. ( Too many to mention ). Time and again they prove that everyone has a story to tell. Always interesting. Often numerous. And sometimes eye opening!!
We had a talk recently , kindly arranged by Belvo man Andy Kinsella, from Jenny Courtney , CEO of the Belvedere Youth Club Jenny impressed us greatly with her fervour and enthusiasm . She told us she comes from Ballyfrrmot and was a single mother at 18 with minimum educational background , surrounded by poverty and living in a drug ridden neighborhood. She got her act together , found a job ; went back to school, then graduated from College and is now doing a Masters degree in Social Studies. She is a grandmother and a wholly energetic , professional and business like leader of the Youth Club. Phew !! She really impressed us with the way in which she has “ given back” to the Amiens Street and environs.
In November we had hoped to visit the Masonic Orders three storey HQ in Molesworth Street but postponed that because they had a fire and their lift is out of commission.!!
Then plans to attend a lunchtime concert in the Concert Hall faltered when we reviewed the type of concerts in the programme for Nov/ Dec. Too high brow!!
We supported the recent presentation dinner by the Rugby Club for a long time member ( has anybody held in such a distinguished way so many different roles in Old Belvedere RFC ??) and Shedder , Alan Bradley and we also organized tables at all the home and away Belvo matches.
And so to December.
Subs are now due . € 100 is the amount . Cheap at the price!! Payable in cash , by cheque or bank transfer to Hon. Treasurer,John O. ‘Leary 35 of the 60 odd on our books have paid palready so don’t be last.
A word of reminder that our library continues under David Murray’s watchful eye. Bring a book, borrow a book. It's very informal and works on an honour system basis .
On October 25 of us visited the Joyce Museum in Sandycove. We had a most interesting guided tour following which our organizer Richsrd Staveley presented the “ lunchtime bell” which was used to summon those in the yard in Belvedere to Benediction .Apparently “it disappeared” mysteriously back in 1963 and only re-emerged during our Shed visit . The bell was referred to by Joyce in his “ Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man '' so it was an appropriate addition to the many curios and artifacts in the museum. Afterwards we adjourned for an excellent lunch in the nearby National Yacht Club and to complete a full day we had an afternoon tour of the Maritime Museum in Dun Laoghaire. Thanks Richard for organizing a splendid day.
Our first AgM is scheduled for Friday 9 th Dec. at 11.00 am in OCP ( O’Reilly room). All are welcome, especially visitors . No long speeches and a minimum of formality. It will take place as part of and not instead of our usual Friday get together.
Our annual Christmas lunch , catered for by Philip and Bhawna under Tony Doran’s eagle eye , will be held on the same day in the Bar upstairs at 1.00pm for 1,30 pm. It’s a very casual affair. Laughter, banter and meeting old friends and new is the order of the day. Again friends and visitors are all welcome ….remembering we are a Men’s She’d.!! Cost is €40 pp payable on the day to whoever your table “ host “ is. That includes the meal , a tip and a modest glass or two of vino .
We’ll continue our Friday meetings up to snd including Dec 16th , then take a break until Jan 6th when we’ll reconvene . A day trip to Cork by train is on the cards for January.
In the meantime from all of your Shed Committee , a peaceful, contented and very happy Christmas and continued good health in 2023 .
The OBRFC Committee
+353 87 2545110
September has come and is almost gone..
Our Friday coffee mornings grow more popular by the week. Attendances are now averaging 20 or so and include a steady influx of new Shedders and a return of former ones. We continue to recruit new Shedders and are particularly interested in those who have NO connection with Belvedere or the Rugby Club. The challenge is for each existing Shedder to bring along ONE potential shedder in the next year.
Hope you are up to it!
Work continues on the grounds in Ollie Campbell Park("OCP") and new challenges continue to emerge. We're busy planting winter bulbs along the hedges and looking at other areas which need attention. if anyone has a line to a mural artist it would be a great help. We're putting together a window box or two for outside the Club so woodworkers always welcome! Fresh thinking and willing hands are always needed.
We were delighted to have a Friday visit from one of our US based Shedders, Kevin Connellan,( Class of 63) who talked to us about his journey from Great Denmark Street to becoming a trader in the NYSE Stock market and the Chicago Exchange. He gave us a most interesting insight into how the USA offered great opportunities to those who left Ireland in the 60's with little more than a formal education , common sense and a willingness to work hard (and bounce back). His time working alongside Mike Milliken , the originator of "Junk Bonds" who ended up in federal prison and now advises the great and the mighty was especially interersting. "Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan" comes to mind.
We went to Athlone for a day trip in mid September using our free train passes! We were delighted to have our two young KIWI players with us as our guests, Jayden Beckitt (Centre) and Kayle Thatcher (no 8) are very nice young men and a credit to their families. Look out for them in OCP over the next year and give them a friendly cheer when they cross your path.
We visited the Castle in Athlone and heard of its Anglo Norman origins. It was built fro King John of England in 1210 and much survives to this day. Unfortunately the engineering ingenuity of these great builders defied Westmeath Co Council who managed to put an unsigned doorstop in middle of the gate out resulting in a Shedder falling and suffering a broken rib and chipped elbow. He is back on his feet now but strapped and sore with a long 6/8 week recovery programme ahead.
After a bite to eat we travelled on Viking Mike's barge down the Shannon to visit the monastic ruins of Clonmacnoise. Dating from 540 AD , they offered great insight into the early Saints and their heroic work and travels as they preached the Christian message to those they encountered. Home again after along day but glad to say it all 'ticked another box' in the activities list.
In Rugby we start the AIL proper on Oct 1st with a home match v St Mary's. The pre match lunch is booking out fast. Please let Niall know on the Shed Whats App site if you want him to put your spoon in the pot. Its €35 pp and a new chef is onboard to tickle your palate!
David Murray has kickstarted our Archive project and we are currently setting up interviews with a number of our 'golden ' oldies! Volunteers more than welcome.
Around the corner in October we have a trip in the works to visit the Joyce museum in Sandyford . lunch in the National Yacht Club (if they'll have us) and for those with a nautical bent an afternoon tour of the DunLaoire Maritime museum is an optional extra.
We will continue our Friday's coffee morning speaker every now and again. Finally we are about ready for our first AGM on the last Friday of October when everyone will have a chance to air their views and we'll table the Constitution and the Accounts for your approval.
Meantime our Treasurer , John O Leary, will be sending out requests for payment of your annual 2022/23 sub of €100. Most of our revenue goes on expenditure on the grounds ; vouchers for speakers and the cost of our Friday morning "refreshments". We are of the view that a reasonable sum will be required for the archive project but more details will be provided when we have clear line of sight on the end product required.
That 's all for now . in terms of our Sept /Oct newsletter. other Shed communications will reach you via our Whats App "Official" site. If you are not receiving these or our newsletter please let Niall or Richard Staveley know.
Also we are now trying to put our newsletter up on the Men's Shed section of the OBRFC website..so keep an eye on it to make sure you are not missing anything.
OBRFC Men's Shed Committee
Summer is over and Autumn beckons. Time to take stock.
We meet this Friday as usual . The Horse Show has been and gone and we have to put everything back in place. We have to replace stones , poles and various bits and pieces and maybe a painting touch up here and there not to mention a bit of weeding and planting. John , Ernie and Jim D are looking for some back up so please if you can lend a hand .
We are going to Athlone on Wed next 14th Sept.
( This is a change in the original date) . Departing by train from Heuston just after 9.25am and arriving at 10.50 am . A brisk walk from the station to Athlone Castle where we’ll be given a guided tour and have a chance to delve into its history . We’ll have lunch in an adjacent eatery and then travel aboard Viking Mike’s boat down the Shannon for 90 mins to Clonmacnoise ; then a one hour tour of the monastery ruins and return by bus to Athlone station for the 6.30 pm Dublin train . Home by 8.00 pm . Overall cost circa €50 ( excluding meals ) . Those interested contact Niall asap as seats have to be booked on the train.
Our Archive project proposal is now with the Rugby Club and we are hopeful they will endorse it and commit the necessary funds to the project. The Comm is being chaired by David Murray who ,
so far, has Frank Hayes and Tony O Brien assisting him. Three or four more Comm members will be required so if you get a call we hope you will accept the invite. Tempus Fugits as they say and it certainly isn’t on our side. More on this anon.
We’re hoping to have our AGM on Fri Sept 30th. Notice will be sent out with relevant papers in early to mid September. John O L will be tabling figures for the past year and a budget for 2022/23. Subscriptions will fall due thereafter and you will be notified of the details via Whatsapp or SMS.
Old Crescent RFC started out 75 years ago with a match against Old Belvedere RFC . They have honoured the Club by asking us to kick off their Diamond jubilee year with a match on Sept 3rd. Anyone interested in going to Limerick and attending the pre match lunch pls let Niall know. He’ll make the bookings. Travel is at your own discretion .
Joe Hogan is our point man organizing a few slots in the Snr Open in the Castle GC which is usually on a Monday and probably late in Sept . It’s a “ fingers on the buzzer” job so anyone familiar with this process please let us know. If we get enough support we’ll consider a Shed Turkey/ hamper outing later in the run up to Christmas.
The new Rugby season kicks off with a home match v Old Wesley at 30’c on Sat next 27th . Keep an eye out for our two New Zealanders , Kayle Thatcher and Jaydon Bennett plus our new out Half,Mihaul O Cinneude ( Michael O Kennedy) last years Captain of Trinity RFC among others. The Kiwi’s Could be dropping in to have a coffee with us this Friday as they are helping Stephen look after the grounds. Come along and say hello.
The Shed Committee
+353 87 2545110
16 intrepid Shedders set off from Heuston for a very pleasant journey to Waterford Station from which an uneventful transfer was effected to the Granville Hotel in which a very pleasant carvery lunch was enjoyed.
Next was a beautiful boat trip on the SS Barrow Girl, in absolutely glorious weather, to New Ross. There followed a short break prior to our guided, fascinating, visit to the famine memorial ship Dunbrody.
After that a simple transfer to our coach for a relaxing drive home with but a short”p&p”break near Gorey.
A hugely enjoyable convivial day was had by all with heartiest expressions of gratitude extended to our always excellent organisers.
There were no untoward incidents!!!!!
Pictured below is one of our founders Niall O'Carroll accepting his Club Person of the Year on behalf of the Men's Shed last Friday at our end of Season lunch at the Club.
6th May 2022
Here’s our latest update on what’s happened/happening.
In April we had our Lunch to Remember for the families of past members who had given significantly over their lives to the development of OBRFC and OB Squash Club and who sadly passed away during Covid. It was a fitting and moving occasion much appreciated by all involved.
After Easter we had an impressive and inspiring chat with our Ladies Captain , Jenny Murphy. She is a most able spokesperson for women s rugby. Our Club is in safe hands with people like her representing us on and off the pitch.
Then 17 of your Shed colleagues went on a 5 day trip to Caen in Normandy to see the Beaches and Ww2 memorials that provide present day reminders of the landings in France of the Allied Forces on Jun 6th 1944.
We have now returned safe and sound.
It was an uplifting and thought provoking tour. Each of us had our own take but all saw what war does to generations of young people….and left many of us questioning why?
It was nice to end it all with a detour on the last day to the renowned chateau and gardens of the famous French artist Claude Monet. A complete contrast with our earlier tour , full of peace, tranquility and colourful abandonment.
All in all a worthwhile week and undoubtedly the template for future Shed trips?
Pictures of our trip below:
Back to our more ongoing Shed projects. Our Clerk of Works Morgan Sheehy tells me we’re just there with our cleanup of Portacabin corner . He asks that I give a favourable mention to the below who did a enormous amount of work in the last stages :-Berchmans Gannon;John Logan;John Marsh:;John Merry;Pat O’Mahony, Paddy Quinn, and as ever Ernie Tucker . I should mention that plenty of others contributed along the way not least our Head of Catering , Tony Doran ….so
Gracias muy amigos.
We await our new made to measure Prefab building which should be installed in the next few weeks. Whereupon the landscaping around it will be planted by our Head Gardener Jim Doody and his team and the painting undertaken by John O Leary and his team.
On to The present month May and a chat on Fri 20 th with our new Director of Rugby , Quenton O Neale , under who’s stewardship our u20’s won the McCrory Cup for the second time this season. Before that it was last won by us in 1999 . This years final was a closely fought affair against Trinity and we ran out 26-22 winners. If Quentin’s skills and vision bring similar success across our other teams , male female and youths, we can anticipate exciting days ahead. Please support this chat with your attendance.
Around the corner so to speak we have plans in hand for a walking tour of some of Dublin’s historic pubs lead by our own inimitable Gerry Cruise. And we also plan a day trip to Athy to see the Shackleton Museum, the ( was it ?) Leinster Arms Hotel where many Shedders spent part of their rugby playing Christmases whilst playing Athy RFC and , if there’s time a trip four miles down the road to see Sr Consilio’s Rehab centre…..if she’ll have us!!!
Remember we meet every Friday in OCP at 11.00am. We mow. We paint.we dig and we weed …all 8 of us.the other 12 sit , chat and “ supervise”.!
Come along and bring a friend .
The Mens She’d Committee
6th April 2022
Hi All Shedders
Firstly well done to all who helped with last Saturday's "Lunch to Remember". .Particular thanks to Tony Doran (And his team) and David Murray ( and his team) and to Ian Donnelly and
Philip, our Bar manager, for their huge input.
160 attended. All 15 of the families represented were given a personalized memento by our president , Steve O'Leary, recognizing their late husband's/father's contribution
to the growth and development of Old Belvedere RFC and OBRFC Squash Club in what was an a memorable occasion..
The families were most appreciative and very complimentary of what OBRFC stands for and how much it means in their families..
Nearly all the day went smoothly save and except for the catering which is the subject of ongoing discussion and review. Tony Doran is in delicate and 'sensitive' discussions with our caterer Ali!! A tourniquet may be needed!
The Draw prize of a 55" OLED TV which was donated by a generous sponsor was won by a member who immediately donated it to the Club where it will provide splendid viewing for those in the International room in the future.
Next up is Friday's regular meet. Our clean up is almost complete but it needs one last surge to cut back our hedging in 'portacabin corner' and fill a final skip with the remaining debris.
The space will then be clear for a concrete base to go in and a new Shed , fit for purpose, has been ordered by the Club for installation as soonas it is fabricated.
Our Clerk of Works , Morgan S, has prepared a schedule (attached ) which sets out what we have to do.
I appeal to any Shedder capable of lending a hand to give us one last day to achieve the objective he has laid out. It would be a fitting way to start Easter week!
On Saturday we play our last AIL match of 2021/22. It is away to Naas RFC. WE lost last week to City Of Armagh , at home. Fortunately other results went our way and we look 'safe' to stay up in Div 1A next year. Nevertheless our team needs our support and if anyone fancies going to the pre match lunch please. let me know asap.
We will continue our weekly Friday meetings every week during April. Following the success of Andy Dunne's talk to us a few weeks ago. we have asked our Ladies team Captain , Jenny Murphy , to chat to us on Friday Apr 22nd about her views and her vision for Ladies rugby both from a personal ( 10 years a member of OBRFC) and a provincial ( she has played times for Leinster) and an IRFU ( xx cap) point of view. Jenny worked in various positions after school and in England, she discovered rugby on a trip home and from then on flew home at week ends for training and matches in Belvo and Leinster. This dual life caused conflicts so she came home and started up her own coffee shop business. That didn't tick her boxes so she moved to teaching in schools about business and sports as careers. She enjoyed that but needed security so now she is a financial strategist with Google. All that and she's still under 30!!
The Committee feel that us elder lemons might do well to hear from someone so young and vibrant about her life and her vision of what is coming down the tracks.
Then we are off to Normandy from Apr 25th to 29th ..all 17 true and intrepid explorers!! Even at this stage there's still room for three more so if you know anyone who fancies a break contact me.
Hope you have a good Easter break and .
The OBRFC Men's Shed Committee.
OBRFC Men’s She’d -
A busy start to 2022.
We have 80 names on our Member's list now.. These include rugby club ;members who are retired , widowed or over 60; overseas past members; friends and guests of members; speakers and anyone who has a like minded approach to keeping in touch , learning useful things , visiting interesting places and enjoying each others company while doing some good projects, The Shed tries to come up with a variety of activities which keep members involved and active.
In summary ....HAVE FUN TOGETHER
So how did we do this in January 2022??
Our Friday morning gatherings continued throughout January . The average number attending these has increased to circa 20.
This group has now completed the removal of the green Portacabins and emptied one of the remaining “ twin” 20 footers prior to it being taken away. Currently we are trying to tidy up the mats and other Horse show paraphernalia so as to level off the ground and prepare the site for a new custom made Shed to store everything in. Manpower is needed for all this especially as we lop trees; prune hedges and trim edgings ready for Spring planting. More flower beds will become visible in time but these will need maintenance and a bit of weeding etc.Nothing too strenuous. Meanwhile a quiet and effective group of four painters have sandpapered and repainted almost two sides of the main pitch as can be seen by those attending matches.
Our walkers continue to walk and our talkers can’t be stopped!! Tea , coffee , biscuits and cake are served to all with a bit of " medicine" for those with health issues post their activity!!
On the informational front , We had a Zoom presentation by Dermot Goode of Total Healthcare in Jan 19 th . 30 Shedders managed the technology involved , listened attentively and participated in a lively and informative Q and A session afterwards. It seemed clear to all that everyone pays too much for whatever Helath insurance cover we have with substantial savings available for those that wish to follow it up.
12 Shedders travelled to Navan for our vital away AIL match on Jan 25th which saw us run out 37-30 winners. We stopped in the excellent An Sibin pub/ restaurant in Dunshaughlin on the way to Navan where we had a great lunch and good pre match craic.
ANd now a glimpse into what events are coming up
On Feb 3rd we had a tour of Jack B Yeats’s paintings in the National Library followed by lunch in Dunne and Crescenzi’s
Eddie Gannon is organizing our participation in the 2022 version of OBRFC keep fit challenge ; We have Andy Dunne coming along to show a small group of us on sticks and mobility aids what limited physio exercises we can do as part of the Old Belvedere RFC Challenge and we'll do that every Friday ourselves. with occasional oversight and input from Andy. Our thanks to him for his help and enthusiasm.
Morgan Sheehy David Murray and Tony Doran will continue to spearhead our Friday projects ;
John O Leary and Eddie Tucker will continue to paint all before them ( with help from others)
Tony O Brien is putting together a visit to Russborough House on Mar 3rd with lunch afterwards in Ballymore Eustace.
We have booked Shed tables at the Club’s Rory Best dinner ( Feb 24th) and Annual Dinner ( Mar 5th) and and will do likewise at the pre match lunch in Highfield ( Feb 26th) .
In the longer term we’re still hoping to go to visit the Normandy beaches for four days during the last week of April and Pat Griffith is trying to put an itinerary together that meets our needs.
Sadly we lost Peter McKeever during January and just recently John Lavelle each in their own way stalwarts of the Rugby Club and our Shed .
We welcome new Shedders in Declan Hogan , David Ross and Declan Molloy. .
Join us any Friday and see for yourselves .Otherwise keep well
OBRFC Men's Shed Committee
Steve O Leary, Club President, addressing the OBRFC Men's She’d Xmas lunch in Dec 2021.
Peter Mc Keever
We in the OBRFC Men’s Shed were all very saddened to hear of the death of our good friend Peter McKeever on Jan 8th last.
Peter was known to most of us for over 60 years, in school, in Old Belvedere RFC , in The Youth Club and for a small number of us in Brendan Jackson's Friday evenings in the Dropping Well. Latterly he was a founding member and strong supporter of our Shed.
Peter was an activist. He believed strongly in getting things done. He started the OBRFC International Sevens, managed it, marketed it and when it was truly established passed on the mantle of its success to others to run. After the new state of the art "Newsboys" Club premises were built in Amiens St., the burden of financing its operations had to be faced. It fell to Peter to do this. . He took on this task willingly and dealt with it superbly.
An accomplished tennis player, he served as President of Carrickmines LTC in 2008 and 2009 playing regularly and fulfilling all his duties admirably.
In business he worked for Gilbeys and Player Wills (who’s rugby team he captained to success in the Business Houses Cup) before becoming an Agent for Canada Life assurance. He brought to that his usual dedication and thoroughness best seen in the birthday cards many of us unfailingly received on the due date!!
He was informed, knowledgeable and a good debater. He had firm views on subjects, made his points succinctly and well and seldom ended up conceding an argument!!
His reach was immense, his friendships rock solid and his loyalty and integrity always steadfast. Peter bore the burdens of his illness with fortitude and courage and he never complained. In this as in so much else in a full life , he has left a legacy that is admired by us all.
To Claire, Mark, Judy and and all the McKeever family, our sincere sympathies at your great loss. May he rest now in peace.
Old Belvedere Mens Shed
Des Smyth Event
The Men’s Shed held an event on the 24th of September in OBRFC. The event was attended by 40 members. Des Smyth, who played in the Ryder Cup twice and won 8 tournaments in his 50 year career gave some wonderful insights into this year’s competition.
The event was organised by Men’s Shedder, Eddie Gannon and was an outstanding success.
Every Friday at 10.30am between 10 and 20 Men meet up to do landscaping, painting and maintaining the grounds.
They need more volunteers to join, so any man retired, widowed, single or living alone who wants to get out and meet others whilst doing a modest bit of work or walking around the pitches for exercise or having a chat, call Niall on 087 927 1747.