President’s Newsletter, November 2022
The last two months have been most enjoyable and worth recording. With the help of Nick McElwee, Interim CEO and Pamela Bastable, I arranged for the annual Honorary Life Members’ Lunch to take place on Friday 30th September in the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan. Despite the dreadful weather, many of the members travelled quite a distance to be there.
After the welcome, a minute’s silence was observed to remember members of the hockey family who had passed away in recent months. Dixon Rose sadly was one and as an Honorary Life Member, he had been at the Honorary Life Members’ lunch in September 2021.
The occasion gave everyone the opportunity to meet the Interim CEO Nick McElwee and Hockey Ireland Vice President John Dennis expressed our gratitude and thanks for the great work that he has done during his term in office. Pamela Bastable was also thanked for her help in organising the event. The photographs, taken by professional photographer Alwyn Robinson, captured the occasion.
On Saturday 22nd October, I represented Hockey Ireland at Banbridge Hockey Club’s 125th Anniversary Ball in the Belmont Hotel, Banbridge. This was certainly a night to remember with 210 guests and club members sitting down to a superb meal and an after-dinner speech by the Voice of EHL Hockey Nick Ervine. Two members of the Club, Eugene Magee and Matthew Bell were presented special awards of framed Ireland hockey shirts and received standing ovations during the presentations. Family members were present to witness these memorable moments.
Matthew Bell & Eugene Magee Eugene Magee & Family Matthew Bell & Family
The 40th All Ireland Schoolboys Tournament was held in Cork on 26th – 28th October. It was a very significant year for the competition as it was the 40th anniversary of the tournament, which was first played in 1982 in Bangor, with Bangor Grammar School the hosts. Newry High School were the first winners of the Tasmanian Shield and the 1921 holders were Bandon Grammar School. In 2019 Kilkenny College presented a shield in memory of the late Herbie Sharman, who was a great supporter of schools’ hockey and a past President of Hockey Ireland. The four teams that were runner up in the group stages competed in the semi-finals and then the final. The 2021 holders were Wesley College.
Organised and hosted by Ashton School 16 schools took part. Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School, Midleton College and Newtown School represented Munster, High School, The King’s Hospital School, Wesley College, St. Andrew’s College and Sutton Park School, Leinster and Bangor Grammar School, Banbridge Academy, Cookstown High School, Friends School. Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Sullivan Upper and Wallace High School, Ulster. Six venues were used over the three days with the finals played at UCC.
A tradition of this event is the dinner on the Thursday evening, when the teams are in school uniform. Over 300 players, team officials and guests sat down to a very good meal in the Rochestown Hotel. The after-dinner speaker was John Smyth who started the tournament in 1982 and gave a very interesting talk on its history.
Banbridge Academy Royal Belfast Academical Institution
On 29th & 30th October I attended the Intervarsities Tournament at Trinity Sportsgrounds in Santry, Dublin. It was an excellent event, organised by Marcus Blake and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. There were great matches to watch, with some closer than others and all played in a sporting and competitive manner. Congratulations to all the teams that took part and to the winners of the Men’s Competition, UCD who defeated Dublin Technological University 4-3 and to Dublin Technological University who won the Women’s final in a close match against UCD which ended in a shoot -out competition. I would like to congratulate Marcus Blake on not only organising the event but also umpiring numerous matches and coaching the winning women’s team.
Meanwhile in the sunshine of South Africa and Tokyo, the Ireland Women’s and Men’s Masters Teams were playing in their respective World Tournaments. Congratulations to the Women’s O55s on winning the bronze medal and to the Men’s O65 on their silver medal success.
It has been an honour to be Hockey Ireland President and as I write my last newsletter as President, I would like to congratulate John Dennis on his incoming Presidency and thank both John and Martin Canniffe, President 2018-2020, for all the help and support they have given me when I was Vice President and President. John and Ivy Dennis are the first husband and wife to be Hockey Ireland Presidents. A remarkable achievement, very well deserved; well done.
Ivy and John Dennis