Wednesday 24 November 2021 

The speaker on Wednesday the 24th of November was club president Mr Michael Cooney, who gave an illustrated talk on the Post-Renaissance artist, Merisi Caravaggio. Caravaggio was born in Milan but moved to the town of Caravaggio in 1576. In 1584 he began his apprenticeship to a painter who was a pupil of the artist Titian. It was during this time that he adopted a style of simplicity and attention to detail which set him apart from the Renaissance Masters whose style was one of formality and grandeur.

Following his initial training in 1592 Caravaggio left Milan for Rome . The young artist arrived in Rome extremely needy without fixed address and without provision.  However his talent was such that he soon found work with the highly successful Guiseppe Cesari, the Pope’s favourite artist, painting flowers and fruit.

In Rome there was a demand for paintings to fill the many huge churches and palaces being built at that time. It was during this period that Caravaggio developed the style which was to become his hallmark. Known as chiaroscuro it is a style in which there is a shift from light to dark with little intermediate colour.  Michael illustrated his talk with images of some of the artists best known works, such as “The Beheading of John the Baptist”, “David with the Head of Goliath” and a “Boy peeling fruit”

Michael was thanked for an interesting and informative talk by Club Member Eamon Cunningham.

New Start October 2021

New Start October 2021

Omagh Men’s Probus Cub met in Omagh Golf Club at 10.30 am on Wednesday 6th October for the first time since restrictions were imposed in March 2020. The decision to resume meetings was taken cautiously in light of the continuing need for social distancing and the advice to wear masks in enclosed spaces.  However the fact that all members had been vaccinated twice and were in good health, it was felt that the time was opportune to get going again.

The main business of the first meeting was that of receiving reports about how members had fared during the pandemic and paying tribute to those who had passed away since the club had last met.   A minute’s silence was observed in memory of Art Kelly, Billy Caldwell, Pat McCaul and John Greening. The death of Maura Gallagher, wife of Past President, Paul Gallagher was noted with regret.

Looking to the future it was agreed that the Club would try to meet once a week at the usual time in the usual place, being every Wednesday at 10.30 am in the Golf Club.  The difficulty of getting speakers in the present circumstances was recognised and it was accepted that the club would have to draw on its own resources to create a programme for the Autumn session.  After discussion it was agreed to have a poetry reading session at the next meeting. Members were asked to bring a poem, which they liked and be prepared to read it for others to enjoy.

In the event this made for an engaging meeting with contributions spanning the genre from Nursery Rhymes to selected poems from “The Pageant of English Verse” – a publication which bought back memories of O-Level English Literature. President Michael Cooney, read “Shandon Bells” by Francis Sylvester Mahony while others contributed light-hearted pieces reflecting the comical side of marriage and courtship.  Club Member, Felim O’Neill, [photographed above with President Michael Cooney]  composed a poem specifically for the occasion and generously gave permission for it to be published as part of this press report.

There is a tradition in Omagh Men’s Probus Club that when a new member joins, he is invited to give a talk on the theme of “My Life and Times”.  On Wednesday 27 October Mr Tom Timoney entertained members with colourful reminiscences from childhood on the family farm to his retirement from the Staff of the Christian Bothers Grammar School in Omagh where he taught Physics. One of his earliest memories was age 4 witnessing a Navy Spitfire crash in the field next to where the family was stooking corn. In later life he taught for a time in Zambia and Thailand, experiences which remain fresh in his memory.

By Felim O’Neill

The Omagh Golf Club meeting room
Has finally replaced the zoom
And we who shun the Internet
No longer set at home and fret

While screens and keyboards have their place
We much prefer the “face to face”
Suitably masked we do not mind
Close encounters of the third kind

Our Golf Club meetings have the knack,
Of keeping friendships right on track,
While shaking hands still verboten
A show of hands will pass a motion

So let us learn to live with Covid
And once more make our meetings jovid
Remembering in every instance
to maintain a social distance