We're Going to Ireland!
Submitted by Julie Gillespie and Tara Palmer
While Tara was sitting at her computer a few weeks back, she came across some great deals with American Airlines. Having been ready to get back to the sod for a long time now, and knowing her Aunt Cindy had that same desire to get back to those green fields as well, Tara placed a phone call to Cindy asking her how she'd feel about taking a trip while trying to mask her burning desire to go. When she said yes, Tara made some further phone calls hoping to round up 5 or 7 people to go. The next morning she received 5 calls from people interested in the trip and the following day Paul Cole called to tell Tara that over 25 people had booked. (And right now it's almost 40). There is such a wonderful and versatile group of people now booked to go on this trip. Tara and I could do a jig every time we think about it. Tara even convinced her mother, father and sisters to go and that was the hardest feat. So we've got piano players, people who've never left Michigan, mothers, students, older generations of islanders, young generations of islanders, some have been to Ireland more than once, some never, we've got people from Charlevoix, Chicago, Bay City, Glasgow and South Carolina. I could go on and on about the variety. But there is one thing we all have in common and that is our desire to share the music, the laughter, the stories, the history and the green fields not only with our ancestral connections on Arranmore Island but with all of Ireland. This will be a very historical and memorable event for Beaver Island and its people. After Cindy decided she was going, she called Michael Boyle, (a gentleman who had been to the Island for the original twinning ceremony and a Arranmore native now living in Chicago). She told him that folks were heading that way and he said the people on Arranmore would want to do whatever they could to show their appreciation for the hospitality and friendship shown to them while they were on Beaver Island.
A few days back Tara received a call from Michael Boyle. He was calling on behalf of the people of Arranmore to express their enthusiasm, excitement and gratitude for our upcoming trip to Ireland. Seems he has been putting the pressure on a few Beaver Islanders to get the ball rolling for a reciprocal twinning ceremony of Arranmore and Beaver Island similar to the one that took place on B.I in October of 2000. The people of Arranmore are planning a grand weekend for us of song and dance (and pints I'm sure!) and a special ceremony to twin the sister islands.
On a sad note to this story, Cindy has a fund going for the family of Maeve Boyle. She was killed in a car accident in Ireland a few weeks ago. Maeve, her parents and several members of their family had come to Beaver Island for the twinning ceremony. This fund will be a tribute to Maeve's memory and to Madge and Gerald Boyle as a symbol of our Island's friendships. Maeve was one of the friendliest people I've met in a long time and I will miss her great spirit. She and I emailed each other many times after she left Beaver Island with the hopes that folks from the Island would be heading to Ireland for the same purpose they had come to Beaver Island, and as Maeve would say for good "craic". Please contact Cindy Gillespie-Cushman if you would like to donate to this fund.
Most of us will be departing out of O'Hare Airport Mar 5, 2003 and leaving Ireland on Mar 12. Other folks are heading out from other areas, some have to leave Ireland earlier than the group I'm traveling with. We will spend the week-end of Mar 7 on Arranmore and do some traveling after leaving there. I'm hoping to meet up with the family of Kieran Gorman, who lives south of Arranmore in Sligo. Kieran is the gentleman that was killed in the 9-11 tragedy, his wife moved back to Ireland after his death. If anyone wants to join this trip, feel free to do so.
See you on the sod. Slainte!!!
Beaver Island Election Results
Beaver Island is divided into two townships sometimes with different items on the ballots. There are 242 registered voters in Peaine Township and 266 registered voters in St. James Township. Of those numbers, 202 persons voted in Peaine and 169 persons voted in St. James. Very special thanks to Colleen Martin and Jean Palmer for providing the following information about their township elections for 2002.