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