50th Anniversary Celebration
Memorable Half-Century Event.. From Avondhu Club Notes Dec 11th 2014..
Sunday December the 7th 2014 will go down in the annals of the Bride Rovers GAA Club. Members and players and supporters gathered in Bartlemy to mark the 50th Anniversary of the re-forming of the Club in 1964. Just as few who attended the meeting a half century ago could have envisaged what lay ahead, when this anniversary event was first mentioned at an Executive meeting in early November little did we think it would be such a success. The Bride Rovers Club was founded in 1928 but in 1962 and 1963 no club was affiliated in the parish. The 'revival' started on December the 7th 1964 and as they say, the rest is history. Former Club player Fr. Gus O Driscoll who ministers in the Phillipine Islands is at home for a few weeks and it was very appropriate that he concelebrated the 9.30 am Mass in Bartlemy on Sunday morning with Fr. Neilus O Donnell PP Emeritus. At the start of mass Club President Pat O Connor, Jane O Driscoll on behalf of the Camogie and ladies football clubs and Billy Finnegan Club Chairman brought symbols of the Club to the altar. The original Minute book from 1964, a hurley and a Rovers jersey were placed before the altar. In his Homily Fr. Gus expressed his joy at being present for this special occasion in the sporting life of the Parish of Rathcormac, Bartlemy and Kildinan. He recalled as a teenager attending the third or fourth meeting of the reformed Club in Rathcormac in early 1965. He paid tribute to the foresight of those who organised the first meeting to get the Club restarted. He recalled the East Cork victories in the 60's and the near misses in the 70's. The purchase of our pitch in the late 1970's gave the club a 'permanent' home which was very important. He went on to recall the decade of the 1990's when Bride Rovers went from B grade to Senior Hurling. Fr. Gus mentioned the success of the Ladies Football and camogie teams in recent years. He said the greatest aspect of the Bride Rovers Club was the unifying force it has been in the parish down the years. He stressed that because of the Club village and rural areas are as one and friendships made playing with and following the Rovers have lasted permanently. In the Prayers of the Faithful we remembered the people who gathered to get the club going back in 1928 and again in 1964. The officers and players of the teams of the 1880's were not forgotten with special mention of Fr. Edmond Barry PP who is buried in Bartlemy Church. After Mass was over everyone was invited into the nearby hall where the meeting took place fifty years previously. An exhibition of Photographs and Club memorabilia was on display - surely proof that we need a Club Museum in the not too distant future. Paddy Mannix was there, he was elected Club Vice Chairman in 1964. It was great to see former players, selectors, officers and supporters from down the years. It was a very happy yet nostalgic occasion as old games were recalled once more - the ones we won and the ones we should have won! We recalled too the great people who served the club in good and bad times down the years and who are no longer with us. They have left us a great legacy and it was nice to think that on Sunday last they were looking down on us, smiling and urging us to keep up the good work they started. A special cake marking the occasion was cut by Paddy Mannix and Pat O Connor. Club Chairman Billy Finnegan spoke and welcomed everyone. He thanked all who had made this day possible and paid tribute to everyone who has been involved with the Bride Rovers Club down the years. He pointed out that these are exciting and historic times for the club on and off the field. He paid a special tribute to Gerard Lane who was to assume the office of Chairman of the Cork County Board the following Sunday and said it was a huge honour for Ger, his family, the Club and the parish. Gerard then spoke and recalled his early involvement with GAA administration over thirty years ago. He asked for the continuing support of club members in the future and he too paid tribute to the great people who have made Bride Rovers a great Club. John Arnold then gave an emotional rendition of the Club Anthem 'Bride Rovers Abu'. Mossy O Sullivan spoke on behalf of the Ladies Football and camogie Clubs. He mentioned that never-say-die spirit that is in the DNA of all Bride Rovers teams which is vital in games whether we win or lose. Refreshments were provided for all. The Commemorative event was truly a special and very fitting occasion to mark a proud milestone in the history of Gaelic games in our parish.
Thanks to Fr. Gus and Fr. O Donnell and to Fr. Leamy also. A special word of thanks to those who put the exhibition together on Saturday night, to Marie Gubbins and her helpers, to Bartlemy Parish Hall Committee and to the Rathcormac Boy Scout Unit.