Roscrea Musical Society recently had an historic occasion when we got a chance to bestow honorary life membership on four of their true hero’s.
In 2009 the society honoured four men namely Brendan Carmody, Eddie Guilmartin, Christy Maher and George Roe and this time they had the opportunity to honour 4 ladies Eileen Moloney, Margaret Lyons, Mary Pyne and Marie Walsh who have all given a lifetimes input in helping to mould Roscrea Operatic/Musical society into what it is today.
These ladies have given unselfishly of their time and talents over many years in many different capacities in the life of our society. The society has a long and proud tradition dating back to 1940. Over the years they have never shirked our responsibility to take on new shows and challenges. Testimony to this is the fact that they have put on 72 shows with 56 not repeated. Indeed next year’s show will be another new venture when they will be staging 7 brides for 7 brothers from 27th April to 4th May.
Eileen Moloney (nee O Farrell)
Eileen’s first association was with Roscrea Juvenile Operatic Society when she took part in ‘Snow White and the seven Dwarfs’ playing ‘Arbutus’ in 1943. She then took part in her first show in April 1949 ‘Floradora’ at the age of 17. She has taken part in 22 shows playing leading roles for 19 shows. One of her favourite roles was Azzuri in Desert Song 1985. One of her highlights include ‘Aunt Eller’ in ‘Oklahoma’ in 1963. The last show she appeared in was Me and My Girl in 2000 playing the part of ‘Lady Battersby’. Since then she has worked in the booking office in the credit union and the box office for the duration of the shows and also has held the position of house manager and indeed between herself and Paddy they have made that position their own over many years! Eileen also did the role of prompter for a number of years. Liam T. Maher, former Chairman of the Society used to make reference to our ‘female ladies’ and without a shadow of a doubt Eileen is a true lady and an inspiration to us all. She has every programme since 1940 in safe keeping. Many will remember Eileen being onstage singing a duet with Austin Gaffney in Gigi 1987 and due to an ESB strike all the lights went off, they had to wait for about 15 mins until the generator kicked in and off they started again!
She Joined the Committee in 1956 and has been on the committee for 34 different years and counting!! She has held the positions of Patrons & Members secretary, vice-chair and has been on fundraising committees. She became the first Female Chairperson of the society in 1987 and was Chairperson for 11 shows between 1987 & 2000. She also had the great honour of being the first female President of the society in 2009 an office she currently holds, not a bad piece of history!
Margaret’s first association was with Roscrea Juvenile Operatic Society when she took part in ‘Zurika’ in 1952 as one of the court dancers. Margaret took part in her first show in 1958 ‘Desert Song’ and was in 9 shows in total. She played a leading role in ‘South Pacific’ in 1967 playing the part of ‘Nurse Janet McGregor’. She joined the committee in 1974 and has been on the committee for 32 years and counting! She has held the positions of Patrons & Members secretary, has been on fundraising committees and has held the position of Joint Treasurer for 12 years with Mary Pyne. Along with this she has fulfilled the job of wardrobe mistress and has also working tirelessly in the booking office in Roscrea Credit Union and the box office for the duration of the shows.
Mary’s first association, similar to Margaret was with Roscrea Juvenile Operatic Society when she took part in ‘Zurika’ in 1952. Mary took part in her first show in 1956 ‘Oklahoma’ and was in 9 shows in total. She joined the committee in 1974 and has been on the committee for 32 years and counting! She has been on fundraising committees and has held the position of Joint Treasurer for 12 years with Margaret Lyons. Along with this she has fulfilled the job of wardrobe mistress and has also working tirelessly in the booking office in Roscrea Credit Union and the box office for the duration of the shows. She currently holds the position of Joint Patrons Secretary along with Margaret Lyons.
Marie Walsh (nee O Reilly)
Marie’s first association, similar to Eileen was with Roscrea Juvenile Operatic Society when she took part in ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ in 1943. Marie took part in her first show in 1947 ‘A Country Girl’ She has performed in 35 shows playing leading roles for 32 of them. Her first leading role was ‘Gianetta’ in ‘Maid of the Mountain’ in 1948 and her last leading role was in ‘The Joy of Living’ playing the part of ‘Doc Wallace’ in 2006. She has become known as the ‘Duchess’ around town for her portrayal of the role in ‘Me and my Girl’ in 2000. Two more of her favourite roles include ‘Adelaide’ in Guys and Dolls in 1964 and ‘Aunt Alicia’ in Gigi 1987. Marie joined the committee in 1954 and was on the committee for 15 years up to 1990
They say you should not be onstage with dogs and Children and Marie has been onstage with both!! Marie when not onstage often helped out with Make-up backstage and in more recent years She has worked front of house, as did her late husband Michael (RIP)
All our recipients are examples of commitment, dedication and the lasting power real friendship can have on our lives. we Wish them all our recipients long life, health and happiness for the future and many more years working with us all in the Musical Society and indeed to all our members and friends here’s to a wonderful show in 2013 Thanks must go to our Social committee and especially Gillian Wallace and Emma Mcgrath for organising the night and for their power-point presentation, Colin williams for the Tickets, Andrew walsh for publicity and text messages, Roscrea Golf Club for a beautiful spread and all the committee for their help and support. It was great to see such a crowd and a great night was enjoyed by all.