Message to The GAC Membership

10.08.2020

Dear Fellow Members,

I hope this email finds you in good health or on the road to recovery, physically and emotionally.

I want to bring you up to date on what’s been going on at our Club since my last message. If this sounds like the lead-in to a sacrament; it’s not!

As the crocus is an early sign of spring, an early sign of progress on the road to normalcy for us was that fact that that we lacked a quorum at our September 11th Monthly Membership meeting. So, there I was with all the other members of the Executive Committee, “all dressed up and no place to go”. So far, I have resisted calls to solve the problem by amending the by-laws and dropping the required quorum from 40 members present and voting to 5. Aside from the fact that it should not be an insurmountable task to muster 40 members out of 6,000, it takes a quorum at two successive meetings to introduce a vote to amend the by-laws. No quorum; no vote.

We presently allow those members who are forever vigilant against the perils of dehydration, to stay safe by providing medicinal beverages during the meetings. Not being asleep at the switch, we are also considering several suggestions. One, which is a favorite of mine, is to allow bingo between the various Committee reports. Ah well, one can only hope.

Since we did not have a quorum, we did not have an official meeting and hence there were no minutes. However, our intrepid recording secretary, Pat Carolan ever hopeful that at some point in the meeting additional members would show up and give us a quorum, took notes of what turned out to be an informational session. I have attached a copy of his notes for your perusal. I have also attached a photo of the meeting to give you an idea of the set-up.

In addition to the items described by Pat, I am happy to report that our members are making great use of our side yard. For those of you that have not seen what we have on offer and being mindful of the adage, that one picture is worth a thousand words, I have attached a number of photos to this message.

Above are two shots of the side yard beginning to fill up on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. And below is of the sunset over the Club. Not exactly Galway Bay, but it’s the best we can do under the circumstances. We then move into the evening with a picture of the yard with the lights on.

In addition to the normal craic on Thursday through Sunday, I am pleased to report on two very successful events. The first was the successful return of our very popular Trivia Night hosted by our Vice President Faith MacIver, who was responsible for coming up with the idea and making it happen. Here is a picture of Faith assisted by her husband Angus presiding at the outdoor event. In addition to serving as Vice-President and thinking up the questions and answers for Trivia Night, Faith also finds time to host the senior lunches. \Thanks, Faith, for all you do for the Club. In addition to the normal craic on Thursday through Sunday, I am pleased to report on two very successful events. The first was the successful return of our very popular Trivia Night hosted by our Vice President Faith MacIver, who was responsible for coming up with the idea and making it happen. Here is a picture of Faith assisted by her husband Angus presiding at the outdoor event. In addition to serving as Vice-President and thinking up the questions and answers for Trivia Night, Faith also finds time to host the senior lunches. \Thanks, Faith, for all you do for the Club.

The first was the successful return of our very popular Trivia Night hosted by our Vice President Faith MacIver, who was responsible for coming up with the idea and making it happen. Here is a picture of Faith assisted by her husband Angus presiding at the outdoor event. In addition to serving as Vice-President and thinking up the questions and answers for Trivia Night, Faith also finds time to host the senior lunches. Thanks, Faith, for all you do for the Club.

 

We also had a very successful, sold out Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Here’s a shout out to Suzanne Moore and Rose Leahy.

As no Irish celebration would be complete without bagpipes, I am attaching a video, yes you read right, courtesy of the technological skills of the Chairperson of our Communication Committee, Maura Kallaway, I am attaching a video of the GAC pipe band entering the yard. We are all pleased to see Colleen Fenton’s return to the band.

VIDEO PIPE BAND

We were also treated to an exhibition of Irish dancing by dancers from the Lenihan School of Irish Dancing. I have attached a short video of a part of the show. In case you are wondering to whom that bald pate at the beginning of the clip belongs the FBI in Washington has developed scalp recognition technology that will allow us to make an identification. All I can tell you at this time is that it is not mine.

Video Lenihan

Music was provided by the Keltic Kick and Camac. I have attached a picture of Judy Sullivan instructing on how to be a unicorn.

You have a chance to redeem yourself this coming Friday. Please come out for the Monthly Membership meeting and give us a quorum. Granted we will not have bingo, but we will have draft beer, fine wine, water, tea, coffee and whatever else floats your boat. The meeting will be outdoors, so check the weather report or bring an umbrella.

Regards and stay safe,

Gerry Reidy

President GAC Executive Committee

(PS: Unfortunately for those members who cannot receive the electronic version of this Message, Maura has yet to figure out how to embed a video in the print version.“)

 

09.04.2020

Dear Fellow Members,

It’s now September and we are almost through the summer. We continue to benefit from having the use of almost an acre of lawn for outdoor dining. We are very fortunate in this regard and we are the only in-town establishment that can accommodate over 80 diners and still comply with the State regulations as they apply to the required distances between tables. The new tables and umbrellas we purchased last year have served us well. I have attached a picture of the outside activities at the Club on a recent Saturday. We are able to keep the Club up and running only because you have turned out and supported our events and our in-door, out-door and take-out food and beverage service. Speaking of beverages and because I am forever vigilant of the perils of dehydration, I am pleased to announce that imports are again flowing and we now have a number of beers available on draft Including Guinness, Seahawk, Stella, Miller Lite, Blue Moon, Bass, October Fest, Captain’s Daughter and Rosemary’s Baby. I’ve often wondered if the baby was a descendant of the Captain?

Members have continued to support us in other ways. That stalwart crew, that on their own saw a need at the Club and filled it by starting the Monday Night Barbecue has donated $1,000.00 to the Club and I would like to recognize their service and generosity.

Thank you Jay Dunn, Tommy McLoughlin, Mike Dunn, Tom & Nancy Schutte, Joe Martinelli, Lorry & Ellie Scott, Mike Connelly and Eileen Kiely as well as Kevin Dailey for supplying the food and Corky for his assistance.

Our biggest achievement on the road to normalcy, has been the fact that we were able to hold a Monthly Membership Meeting in August in the side yard; the first one since February and we actually had a quorum. “God willin’ and the crick don’t rise”, we will hold our September Membership Meeting in the side yard on September 11 at 8 PM. As with the August meeting, beverage and snack service will be available during the meeting. I am not saying that we would not have had a quorum but for this service, but simply pointing out that coming out for the meeting shouldn’t be a chore. So I expect to see you all there.

We covered a lot of ground at the meeting. Although the minutes are posted, some of our members cannot yet avail themselves of in-door dining at this time and would not be able to read them. To make sure you all know what transpired at the meeting, The minutes can be found below. They were prepared by our recording secretary Pat Carolan and I would appreciate your taking a few moments to read them. They are almost as enjoyable as Pat’s Monthly Messages to the Membership when he was president.

Although the minutes cover all the usual subjects in greater detail and Maura Kallaway our director of communications has sent out announcements, there are a few events I want to highlight.

  • This Monday, the Club will hold its annual Labor Day barbecue from 12 to 2:30. The barbecue will consist of ribs, chicken, hotdog, burger, coleslaw and potato salad assuming you can fit all that on one plate for $17.00. I don’t know how we can make money at that price but Tommy and Corky claim we can; barely. The items are also available on an a la carte basis. Run to your phones right now and make a reservation. We can’t afford to be found wanting at this time.
  • On Friday 9/18, Faith Maciver ably assisted by her partner in crime Angus Maciver, will be hosting the most attended monthly event we have at the Club; Trivia Night in the side yard from 7 to 9. Not to be missed!
  • We will also hold a Half Way to St. Patrick’s party on Sunday September 20th in the side yard. There will be music, pipers and dancers from the Lenihan School of Irish Dancing. Maura will keep you appraised of this “can’t be missed” event.

Although we congratulated our men’s soccer team at the meeting where their coach Jamie Poff presented the Club with a massive trophy, I want to give a shout out to the fact that they are back to back SASL champions this year and but for a demonstrably visually impaired ref who caused them to play a man down for most of the game by issuing a red card, they would have won the State quarter finals. In addition they have started an “Over 50” men’s team which I understand has received the enthusiastic endorsement of the Connecticut Chiropractor Association.

You will also note the minutes contain the report of Nora Reda, the Chairperson of our Good & Welfare Committee regarding our members who are ill or have passed on.

In addition Tom Harding gave an analysis of the financial report and a prognosis of our financial future. As John Cameron Swazie used to say, “we took a lickin and came back tickin”. Although we took a big hit on revenues and profit, we will still finish the year with more cash in the bank than we finished with in 2018.

These are tough times but we will get through them as we got through tough times in the past. In fact, we closed out World War II 75 years ago this month. In this regard and as we move into the autumn I am minded of a poem by Paul Verlaine the 19th century French poet, “The Violins of Autumn”. The poem was a code used by the allies to alert the French underground that the Invasion of Europe was imminent. The first three lines, “The long sobs/ of the violins/ of autumn” meant that the Invasion was to start within two weeks and the next three “ wound my heart/ with a monotonous/ languor” meant that the troops would be landing within 48 hours and it was time to start blowing bridges, railroads and otherwise discomforting the Gerries. In this regard I hope you all enjoy the October Fest we now have on tap. You can even get it without having to blow anything up.

Well that’s the history lesson for today. It shows what happens when a person has too much time on their hands.

Best regards and stay safe,

Gerry Reidy
GAC Executive Committee President

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES 08.2020

08.12.2020

Dear Fellow Members,

Like all of us, your Club  has battled severe financial headwinds while trying to stay  open and accessible to our members.

We a have not had a Membership Meeting in many months and a report on our financial condition is long overdue. I want to share with you our operational  successes and our financial  disappointments.

We have been prevented from doing so up to now, as Gov. Lamont’s Executive Orders limit the capacity at in-door events to 25 attendees while a quorum for the meeting requires a minimum of 40 members in attendance.

With this in mind we will hold our first outdoor Monthly Membership Meeting this Friday at 8pm  in the side yard; weather permitting.

As the capacity at out-door events is limited to a hundred people, please get there early to insure you can get a seat.

As your safety and comfort is our highest priority, all members  must wear masks when entering the Club’s premises. While there is no service at the bar and attendees will be asked to remain seated in their chairs which will be spaced and not roam  around, members of our staff will be circulating  to take any drink orders.

As this  will be our  first time with an out-door meeting, I hope you cut us some slack If things don’t go as smoothly as you would like.

God willing and the creek don’t rise, I will see you there,

Gerry Reidy

GAC Executive Committee President

PS: If you don’t feel up to it or are uncomfortable with being in a setting with a number of people, please stay home and stay safe. We will get a copy of the minutes to you”

June  2020

Dear Fellow Members,
 We are slowly coming back to life from a dark time; but we are doing it in a very measured way. The craic is back. Our side yard is great spot to kick back and relax. We had restaurant and bar sales of $30,000.00 for the month of June. That’s a long ways from June of last year when we hit $100,000.00 but it’s a damn site better than the desert wasteland of April and May. Each weekend gets better and I thank you for that. As you can see from the attached photos, we are now open for indoor dining. This past weekend, live music was provided on Saturday night by Damien Connolly and the mood was magical.
We are reintroducing our early opening on Wednesdays through Fridays and will offer a special happy hour menu of sliders, tacos and mozzarella sticks, for $2.00 a plate. You can also order French fries, (sweet or Idaho), onion rings or waffles.
July 4th will be a banner day for us. We will hold our first barbecue of the year from 12:30 to 2:30. Corky and his staff are going all out. A plate of bbq ribs, bbq chicken, hot dogs, slider burgers with sides of coleslaw and potato salad, or any combination thereof, will be available for $16.00 a plate. If that sounds like a “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” moment, you can get a hot dog and fries for $5.00.
Music will be provided by Chuck & Andy from The C-Sides from 12:30 to 2:30. I hope to see as many of you there as can make it.
For planning purposes, it would be a great help to Corky, Tommy and Chris to get an idea of how many members will be there and I would appreciate your calling (203)254 0673 to make reservation.
Faith Maciver our Vice President and volunteer in charge of a host of popular events at the Club (you name it, she probably runs it) and her side kick Angus, will start up Trivia Night in the side yard on July 10th at 7. No snacks can be brought into the Club as per the Governor’s regulations, but the happy hour and regular menu will be available for participants as well as bags of chips, nuts and pretzels. This should be a sell out and again you should call (203 254 0673) to reserve a table.
The regular menu is available at all regular hours and we continue our take out meal service which has proven to be very popular.
I know members have been asking about when they can use their scrip. I promised you that when the Club opened for in-door dining you could use your scrip for all events. That time is upon us and you can now pay by scrip or credit card. Additionally you can pay by check or gift card. You can obtain a gift card, where the balance has no expiry date, by purchasing one by check at the Club or by mailing in a check and we will mail you the gift card. We are not accepting cash at this time as a safety measure for our members and staff. The dollars in our pockets do not come directly from the mint and unless you made them yourselves, their origin and formers possessors are unknown and we don’t want them floating around among members and staff. I have suggested a money laundering service but we are still working out the details.
Please come out and join me on Saturday when you will hear calls of “Who was that masked man?”. It’s your chance to be incognito as nobody will know you with your mask and should the moment move you, you can even pretend it’s Halloween.
Regards and stay safe,
Gerry Reidy
GAC Executive Committee President
PS: I will be sending a separate message regarding our members.
May 27, 2020
Dear Fellow Members,
Well we are almost through May in these tough times. We are coming through it together, however. The first sign of spring may be the crocus, but for us it was our opening for outdoor dining starting this past Memorial Day weekend. Little did we realize at the start of the year why it would be so memorable
Opening day on Friday marked a milestone in our resurrection. The weather was great. For those of you at home I have attached a couple of pictures of the event. The first was taken of the outdoor dining area by Tommy Flaherty our intrepid general manager who risked life and limb to get an aerial shot from the roof of the Club.
Incidentally, the reason we are requiring reservations is to avoid members coming in close proximity of each other while waiting in line for a table. So, pretend it’s Halloween, put on your masks and come out for the craic. We will also continue our popular take-out service during this time. A links to both menus can be found below.
As you can see, the tables are spaced much farther apart than the minimum required six feet specified in the Governor’s Order. The average space between tables is in fact, fifteen feet but still within shouting distance.
It seemed like an echo of happier times as you can see from the photo of Jude Fitzgerald former Club president and presently well-known bartender, reprising her role in, “Have Guinness, Will Travel”.
Because the members who turned out, told us it was a very welcome and effective cure for cabin fever, we are going to continue the outdoor dining
Wednesdays: thru Friday are 3 to 5pm | 5 to 7pm | 7 to 9pm
Saturday: 12 to 1:30pm | 1:30 to 3pm | 3 to 5pm | 5 to 7pm | 7 to 9pm
Sunday: 12 to 1:30pm | 1:30 to 3p | 3 to 5pm | 5 to 7pm
The number for reservations is 203- 254- 0673.
Members once again showed their concern for others while going through tough times by donating $1,800.00 for our front-line health workers box lunch program. We delivered six hundred lunches to the Carolton Center. I have attached a picture showing the last of the deliveries on a table at the Center. Your concern for others is consistent the traditions of our culture. The Irish have long memories. In this regard you may have recently read about the donations coming from Ireland to the Navaho and other Native American tribes suffering severe economic deprivation as a result of the coronavirus. As you may also know, in an American version of “To hell or to Connaught”, the Cherokee, Choctaw and Creek tribes during their forced 1,000 mile trek to Oklahoma, following their expulsion from their farms in Georgia and the Carolinas, the famous “trail of tears”, took up a collection and sent what they had to Ireland for famine relief. As I said, the Irish don’t forget their friends. I am minded of the old Irish saying, “May God give us the wisdom to know our friends and may he turn the heels of our enemies, so that we will know them by their limp.”
On a sad note, since we have not been able to hold our monthly membership meetings, it falls to me to inform you of the passing of some of our members since our last meeting; Patricia Connelly, Rita Bennett, John Corsair Robert Hough and Breda O’Halloran.
In addition, Club member Brendan Quinn lost his mother Ann and Teresa McCormack and Jim McInerney lost their sister Christine O’Donnell.
Our best wishes and condolences go out to the families.
Stay safe and God bless,
Gerry Reidy
GAC Executive Committee President

May 20, 2020

Dear Fellow Members,

I AM VERY PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT WEATHER PERMITTING, 

THE CLUB WILL OPEN OUTSIDE DINING BY MEMBERS IN THE SIDE YARD STARTING ON FRIDAY MAY 22ND.

As you can see from the photo of the table set-up, we have made the maximum use of our space, with no table closer than six feet to any other table. We are extremely fortunate that unlike many local restaurants, we have a very large outside area that is completely fenced in and we are not forced to utilize sidewalks or parking lots to enable outdoor seating.

No one has any experience in providing outdoor dining in the present situation. We are mindful of the need to take steps to protect the health and safety of our staff who will be preparing and serving the food and drinks as well as you, our members, who will be coming to join us.

I am sure many of us can identify with the ground hog, as it feels like we will be emerging from a long winter spell in our burrows to enter the springtime of our lives.

We have worked hard to ensure everyone has a great experience, while at the same time following the safety measures promulgated by the State for our protection. The last thing any of us wants, is that two months of our complying with the State’s shelter-in- place regulations are wasted by a careless disregard for the safety practices we are required to follow.

By utilizing the outdoor tables, we purchased last summer and the round tables from the Carolan Room, we have been able to field 18 tables.

The menu specially designed for the Memorial Day weekend Is attached. Although there will be no bar area, as part of your dining experience, members can also purchase mixed drinks and beer and wine by the bottle and glass which will served at their table.

As we have 6,000 members for 18 tables, and we need to avoid members waiting in line for tables which would be a violation of the “social distancing” regulations, we are instituting a seating protocol with reservations required.

There will be Three Seatings on Friday 3 to 5, 5 to 7, 7 to 9;   
There will be two additional Seatings on Saturday and Sunday 12 to 1:30 and 1:30 to 3.
The number for reservations is 203 254 0673.

As we are not set up to operate in the rain, please call on the day you are scheduled to come if the weather report is threatening. Let’s hope that we won’t get any snow.

Members will be asked to show their membership cards and they and their families will enter the side yard through the gate in the parking lot which will be clearly marked. All members and family must be wearing masks upon entry. Masks can be removed for eating and drinking.

Although there will a list of procedures to be followed by members posted at the entrance, I want to advise you of some of the measures we are taking to protect you.

  • All members of staff including kitchen, bar and servers will be wearing masks and gloves;
  • No reusable menus will be used;
  • Tables and seats will be sanitized after each seating;
  • Disposable plastic plates, glasses and cutlery will be used;
  • There will be no buffets or self-service stations, all service will be at the tables;
  • No members will be allowed in the building except to use the rest rooms which will be sanitized frequently. Access to the restrooms by members who are required to be masked will be by a different door than that used by the servers.
  • Hand sanitizers will be available.
  • The next rule will be very hard, but we need to do it, parents will be required to monitor their children so as to maintain the required six-foot distance from other diners;
  • We will accept reservations for four members at each table and up to five members of a family;

I note that the Governor has indicated that Clubs can open for indoor dining on June 20th while the Connecticut Restaurant Association has requested an earlier date of June 3rd. We plan to start indoor dining on the earliest date authorized by the Governor at which time we will also accept payment by scrip. At the present time as with “take-out” sales (which will continue during Wednesdays to Sunday s) we can only accept payment by credit card.

I will be sending my usual monthly message to members by a separate mailing.

I hope this Memorial Day weekend will also be memorable as the starting of our reawakening. As we are all new to this, please cut us a little slack if we seem to be inefficient or messed up. We will get better as time goes on. I promise.

WE ARE OPEN!

God bless and stay safe,

Gerry Reidy
GAC Executive Committee President

PS: If any member is not feeling well or has recently experienced any flu like symptoms, we ask you protect yourself by staying home.

Members should also be aware of the State’s recommendation that people in high risk groups such as those with underlying conditions or over the age of 65 should continue to stay safe and stay home.