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Country club ‘tours’ Ireland

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What better day to take a tour of Ireland than March 17—St. Patrick’s Day!

That’s what members of the Emo Country Club thought as their prepared for another “trip” to a far-off destination.

More than 35 club members were entertained last Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. in the common room of the Golden Age Manor by Neil Grant and Mac Fischer.

Matthew and Sara Grant, Neil’s grandchildren and Mac’s grand-nephew and grand-niece, also took part in the program.

Sara Grant entertained those on hand with some beautiful Irish dances, including a traditional sword dance while her brother, Matthew, played several songs on an authentic tin whistle, including the well-known “Danny Boy.”

Both young performers were greeted by warm applause from the appreciative club members.

Mac Fischer and Neil Grant then took turns speaking to club members about various aspects of the Emerald Isle.

Grant began by covering the history of Ireland, mentioning, of course, the well-known potato famine which forced so many Irish people to emigrate to North America.

He also spoke about some of the well-known symbols of the country, such as the harp, the shamrock, the Blarney stone, and the ancient Irish shillelagh.

Fischer held up several examples of the wooden walking stick while Grant explained how the shillelagh was made from Blackthorn roots.

Grant went on to talk about the various saints of Ireland, especially the stories associated with St. Patrick. He also mentioned several other well-known saints, including St. Brendan, the navigator, who may have explored as far as the east coast of North America.

But the highlight of the afternoon for most in attendance was the numerous examples of the wit of the Irish people. Both Grant and Fischer had club members in stitches as they read jokes and stories from the Irish culture.

The Irish people are well-known for their poems, songs, and limericks which have been dedicated to famous people and most of the counties found in Ireland.

Grant also recited a fairly long and complicated poem from memory entitled, “Helping a Friend Find a Wife!” After waiting for the laughter to die down, he proceeded to bless the food with a Gaelic blessing.

Club members enjoyed the remaining time drinking tea, visiting with friends, sampling some Irish fare, and looking at the map, pictures, and other Irish artifacts displayed around the room.

The next destination of the Emo Country Club is unknown at the moment, but no doubt it will be another exciting “trip.”

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