St. Patrick's Day
In 1940 Palm Sunday and St Patrick’s Day fell on the same day. Junior Griffin remembers wearing a shamrock and a piece of palm in his lapel. This phenomenon occurred in 1799 and won’t happen again until 2391, so Junior is a first person witness to a historic occurrence.
Ita Hannon found these great old postcards
Badminton in the sixties and seventies
(The story of Listowel Badminton Club continued)
The Kerry Badminton Association was formed in Tralee on Nov.4th 1936 In the recorded minutes Listowel apologised for their absence and stated they could not play league that season.
The second season saw Listowel being the only outside club represented with six Tralee clubs and that A.G.M. held on November 19th 1937 saw Listowel represented by M./s Stack and Stafford.
Other Listowel names mentioned in the County minutes in the late forties and early fifties were J.O’Brien, M.Galvin and C.Andrews.
The next phase of Listowel Badminton seems to be the nucleus of the present club. The Boys’ National School built their new assembly hall, known as Halla Realta Na Maidne in 1961 and now Halla Briain Mhic Mhathúna, and the trio of Mary Keane, Jimmy Harris and Jim Coady got together and decided to re-form the Badminton Club. Early members were Rose Molyneaux, Toni Walsh, Fred Daly, Chris O’Brien and Mercedes Galvin.
It is worth recording that on the very first page of the earliest minute book to hand gives details of the Annual General Meeting of 1966. Some details as follows;
The Annual General Meeting of the Listowel Badminton Club was held at Halla Realta Na Maidne on Monday October 3rd 1966.
The following members were present; Mrs. Hilda O’Donnell, the Misses N.O’Callaghan, M.Brennan, M.Malone, A.Scully, M.Harty, P.Ryan and M.Kennedy and Messer’s J. Carmody, J.Griffin, B.Quill, J. McGillicuddy, J.Keane, D. Gibbons, J. Guerin and the hon. sec. Ml. Hennigan.. In the absence of the chairman, Mr. J.Harris (who arrived later), Mr. Gibbons took the chair. The following officers’ and committee were elected for the coming year; Chairman; Mr. John Keane; Vice-do; Mrs Hilda O’Donnell, Hon. Sec. Mr. Jnr. Griffin, Hon. Treasurer, Miss Pat Ryan.
Committee; Miss A. Scully, Miss N.O’Callaghan, Miss M. Harty, Mr. D.O’Sullivan, Mr. D. Gibbons, Mr. J. McGillicuddy. The outgoing Chairman, Mr. J.Harris and the outgoing Hon. Secretary, Mr. Ml. Hennigan did not seek re-election.
Those years of the sixties and the seventies saw the club go from strength to strength with solid workers like Hilda O’Donnell, who became vice-chairperson of the County Board, Sheila Hennigan, Mary Crowley, Thelma McAuliffe, Marjorie Morkan, Patricia Hickey, Jackie McGillicuddy, Ml. Hennigan, John Hanley, Roly Chute, John Kenny, John Keane and Junior Griffin to the fore.
After a few years in the school hall play transferred to the Plaza Cinema which became home to the club for many years and indeed some of the best days of club activities centred around that single court in the Plaza.
The mid sixties saw the club enter teams for the County Leagues and the members compete in the County Championships.
Listowel contested their first ever County League final on March 18th 1967 when they took on Castleisland in the Minor League final. Despite a brave show, it was Castleisland who captured the spoils, winning by 5 games to 3.
The Listowel team on the night was; Ladies, Ann Hartnett, Bernie Costello, Carol Broderick, Maura Brennan; Men, John Keane, Junior Griffin, David Gibbons, Billy Galvin.
The first honours to come to the club did come later, in the month of April in 1967 with the winning of what was then called the minor mens double championship by the pairing of John Keane and Junior Griffin.
This pair won the junior mens double title two years later. Indeed the former won the senior singles title in 1970 and the men's senior doubles title in 1973 with a Tralee partner.
(John Junior Griffin)