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February 2005 Newsletter


Spring is in the air as can be seen from the articles in this issue which have a spring theme.

We sympathise with all those people affected by the terrible events in South East Asia around Christmas time, and acknowledge the huge contributions made to the relief effort.

We hope you enjoy the articles in this months issue and remind those interested in contributing to the newsletter that we look forward to hearing from you.

If anyone has any articles or comments they would like to submit please e-mail them to us at:

I hope Spring isn't tired!!

In Ireland roses bloom best in June – we hope! Snowdrops may surprise us as early as possible after Christmas. We should enjoy the contrasts of our temperate climate but do we really appreciate this lovely balance and is it vulnerable?
This Spring El Nino, global warming or other excesses in the exploitation of our environment would appear to have caused our daffodils to be ahead of schedule this Spring. I am not even referring to those forced for early display in our florists or even the poor polyanthuses, which like many pansies are expected to bloom all year round.
If our deciduous trees are slow to shed their leaves and our bulbs have too short a dormant season, do all we cherish in nature become tired scraggly and weak – like those poorly nourished and deprived of enough light indoors?
This would be a frightening concept for us. At this stage let us think of those unfortunates exposed to the real extremes of climate and be most grateful for our temperate climate.
Then probably we can say with a bit more feeling “another grand, soft day”. Enjoy our Spring with its wonderful renewal and awakening to new and exciting life.


Social Calendar

Wednesday 2nd: Cinema

Friday 11th: St. Valentine’s Day celebration in Platinum Clubhouse

Friday 25th: Employment Dinner in Kilcullen

Joseph Mary Plunkett, poet, who was executed in 1916

The writers he was associated with were Padraig Colum, Thomas Mc Donagh and Padraic Pearce. Pearce and Mc Donagh were also executed, as they were co-signatories of the Proclamation of Independence.
It is interesting to note that both his brother and sister were also involved in the Easter Rising.
Joseph Plunkett was married to Grace Gifford (ref the song “ Grace just hold me in your arms”) just before he was executed. His sister was used as a messenger to Germany looking for help (re: Casement) and his brother was in the G.P.O. and was reported to have shot an army sniper during the battle.

It is amazing to see the degree of commitment to the “struggle” from this family alone. They might have been seen as idealistic dreamers but put their all into the struggle. Mrs Plunkett was critical enough of her son’s literary work and knew of course about his religious zeal but did allow the publishing of a fair bit of his work. The most famous is of course “ I see His blood upon the rose.”
She included a poem he wrote for Grace in April of that year (she had been converted to Catholicism from the Protestant religion earlier).


I See His Blood Upon the Rose

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice-and carven by his power
Rocks are his hidden words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the everlasting sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

“The Easter Rising” by Michael Foy and Brian Barton Sutton Press
“The Poems of Joseph Mary Plunkett” The Talbot Press
“Irish History” Fallons Press
Thanks to Breda for help.

To Grace

On the Morning of her Christening, April 7th 1916

The powerful words that from my heart
Alive and throbbing leap and sing
Shall bind the dragon’s jaws apart
Or bring you back a vanished spring;
They shall unseal and seal again
The fount of wisdom’s awful flow,
So this one guerdon they shall gain
That your wild beauty still they show.

The joy of Spring leaps from your eyes,
The strength of dragons in your hair,
In your young soul we still surprise
The secret wisdom flowing there;

But never word shall speak or sing
Inadequate music where above
Your burning heart now spreads its wing
In the wild beauty of your Love.

February 2005

When the month of February comes, with it comes the Spring. The evenings will be getting longer, and out will come the Gardening Tools, ready for a new year of Hard Work. February also sees the arrival of new baby lambs, calves, etc. Birds will start to build their nest, so that they too can have their young. For those of us with big bellies, we will put on our tracksuit, and head out for a walk, or a run, each evening to lose the Christmas flab. There are four Seasons in a year, Winter, Summer, Spring, and Autumn, but of all the seasons I like Spring best of all. It is like A Baptism, a new Beginning for all of us, Humans, Animals, and all Plant life. On Wednesday the 9th, Lent starts for a total of Six Week’s, in the light of recent events in the World since Christmas, may I suggest that each night during the Season we say One Hail Mary, to Our Lady for the people of South East Asia. And one for all of us as well.


My Trip To China

Having recently returned from a very interesting trip to China I thought I would share my experiences with the readers. China, which has a population in excess of 1.3 billion people, is the 3rd largest country and the fastest growing economy in the world. It is also the world’s most populated country.
The capital city is Beijing, which covers an area approximately one quarter the size of Ireland, with a population of 13 million.
Smog is an environmental hazard at present in this city but the authorities are working on this in preparation for their hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games.

Even allowing for this, it is a great city with plenty of interesting sites from The Forbidden City, the home of the emperor for the last two dynasties. This city of just under 10,000 rooms/buildings was reserved for the regal family and their servants or workers.
Related to the Forbidden City but out beyond the suburbs, is the Summer Palace where the Emperor and his family spent the summer months in order to avoid the smog and smell of the city. There was less time spent on State affairs than was required, and according to some, the country suffered because of this. Another interesting site is the Tiananmen Square, which is one of the largest open plazas in the world. It is large enough to hold over one million people, and was visited by 90,000 people in one day in the week before I visited.
The Great Wall of China is situated only about 60 km northeast of the city and is well worth a visit. It is truly amazing. In fact this is not one wall but a series of smaller walls, which were joined together when the seven kingdoms were united about 221BC.

To be continued...


2004 The Sporting Year

On Friday the 6/01/05 the Sports Awards for the year were given out on R.T.E. Television. The hosts for this particular event were Michael Lyster, Tracey Piggott, and George Hamilton. There was a whole array of Sporting Personalities on the show.

In the absence of controversy over the use and abuse of drugs, the highlight must surely be the historic victory of Cian O'Connor in the Olympics. Subsequently his Gold Medal victory has been overshadowed by question marks regarding his horse, Waterford Crystal and the results of blood and urine sample tests.

Among other highlights of the Sporting Year were the Irish Rugby Team who won the Triple Crown, Europe won the Ryder Cup in Golf, for which the Irish Team were rewarded by receiving the accolade of Team of the year. Kerry won the All Ireland in Football, Cork the all Ireland in Hurling. Westmeath won their first ever Leinster Title. In Soccer, Ireland are on course to qualify for the World Cup. Finally I would like to say that Mr Ronan O Gara, received the Irish Sports Personality of the year. Barry McGuigan received the Hall of Fame Award.



Over Christmas I noticed that there was a lot of recycling to be done for everything from Christmas trees to presents. When I opened a big cardboard box for my DVD it was in plastic foam & the connections were in plastic bags. Any waste brought to the dump is weighed and you pay according to the weight. It will be only a matter of time before household recycling bins will be weighed and paid for. A shirt I got for Christmas had 30 pins in it and was wrapped in plastic and paper wrapping. A lot of it is unnecessary and we need to think of a way around it especially in fast food restaurants which everyone is familiar with. Before I end this article could you please remember to recycle this paper.

Robert C

Peters Tips

Ice packs can be used to take the sting out of insect bites and to ease the pain of toothache.

Never apply ice directly to the skin, but wrap it in a clean cloth first.



Get Well Wishes to: to members who are unwell or in hospital at present

Birthday Wishes to: Bernie M., Patsy, David, Eileen C., Patricia F., Justin, Richard, Marion, & Paul K.

The views, opinions and beliefs expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of Platinum Clubhouse. Any articles, items or pictures in this newsletter may only be reproduced following permission from Platinum Clubhouse.

Contributors: Philip, Lydia, Clive, Tom, Robert C

Editorial Team: Tom, Philip, Clive, Patrick, Lydia

Any articles, items or pictures in this newsletter may only be reproduced following permission from Platinum Clubhouse.

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