AGM – 26th Annual General Meeting, 13th April 2013.
Our AGM was held in April at the meeting room in Marsh’s Library – Our thanks for the use of this wonderful venue to to Jason McElligott, who is the new director of the library and to Sue Hemmens, his deputy. Elizabeth Randall from the Huguenot Society in London joined us for the AGM and afterwards presented the newly proposed design for ‘Proceedings’ and other Society materials to the membership for discussion and our input.
Following the AGM, the launch of the book ‘The Huguenots-France, Exile and Diaspora’ took place. This publication, edited by our Chairperson, Dr Jane McKee and Randolph Vigne, was born out of the 2010 International Huguenot Conference, which was held in Derry/Londonderry. We were joined at this event by Muriel McCarthy, former Keeper of Marsh’s Library and longterm friend of the Huguenot Society and by three contributors to the book – Marie Leoutre; Jean-Paul Pittion and Cormac Chesser.
Marsh’s Library – 5/10/2013.
On October 5th 2013, the Society enjoyed a visit to Marsh’s Library in Dublin. Members were shown the many historical and architectural details of the building itself and some fascinating, personal histories of individuals who have worked there through the centuries. Our guided tour was followed by a session in the meeting room of the library, where Sue Hemmens, Deputy Keeper of the library, allowed us to examine some of the oldest books on display. Afterwards members were given the opportunity to visit the garden of Marsh’s Library – an enchanting little haven, hidden well away from the city’s hustle and bustle, but right in the heart of Dublin.
The Lady Chapel – 5/10/2013.
Following an enjoyable lunch and a chance to chat with other members, we resumed our day’s formal activities in the afternoon with a visit to the Lady Chapel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This session was attended by fellows, guests and visitors to the Cathedral. We are grateful to Albert Fenton and Raymond Refausse who spoke about historical Huguenot links with the cathedral and the importance of building up our research material and encouraging Huguenot families both to contribute to and to use the RCB Families Archive which is housed at Churchtown in Dublin.
This was followed by an opportunity for members to examine the Seigne family seals, gain an insight into the wonderful old tome – ‘The Chevalier’s Daughter’ and some precious family prayer-books dating from 18th century Dublin. Dr Marie Leoutre then read a psalm in French from one of these volumes. Dean Stacey joined us for the afternoon and we are very grateful to him for his support in facilitating our visit to the Lady Chapel and for his interest in our history and the on-going preservation of records and personal experiences.
Annual Huguenot Service – 24/11/2013.
On Sunday 24th November at 3.15pm, the Society was again back at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for our Annual Huguenot Service. This year’s sermon was courtesy of Canon Horace McKinley, Rector of Whitechurch Parish in Rathfarnham, who provided us with a wonderful look back through history. Canon McKinley drew parallels between the arrival of Huguenots refugees in Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries and their subsequent rich contributions to the Ireland of today – with the arrival of our present-day immigrants who are already assimilating into our communities throughout the country. You can read the full transcript of Canon McKinley’s sermon here.
Following the Annual Service, members repaired to the Deanery for afternoon tea thanks to the kind invitation of Dean Stacey. This provided us with a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old friends and a chance to discuss the day’s various events and activities in charming surroundings, rich in history.