Dear Friends, supporters and prospective attendees,
We will once again host at St Clement's Retreat and Conference Centre, Galong from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 August.
Thespeakers for the twentieth (who said it wouldn't last!)Shamrock in the Bushoffer another varied and interesting program with an Irish-Australian theme that covers the Irish experience in Australia; and in the old country. Our keynote speaker is well known Irish-born oral historian, writer and documentary-maker Siobhan McHugh together with a great line up of presentations by some twenty speakers as well as verse and music to compliment the presentations.
Another highlight of the event will be theShamrock DinnerinGalong Housewith guest speaker Ms Anne Plunkett, a former Australian Ambassador to Ireland. Full details are on the websitewww.shamrockinthebush.org.au.
Our weekend at St Clement's will give you the opportunity to experience Irish-Australian history in a unique setting. Galong was settled in the late 1820s as the home of transported Irish convict Edward 'Ned' Ryan. For many years Ned's holdings were 'beyond the limits of location'.
Accommodation and facilities at St Clement's have continued to improve with the Retreat House now fully refurbished. Fresh paintwork, new lighting, individual air conditioning, improved bathroom facilities, new bedding and furnishings have resulted in a whole new look for the 'Retro' building. A separate fully self-contained rustic hermitage (with open fireplace and air conditioning) can accommodate three people. The monastery is set in 800 acres of rolling rural landscape with extensive garden and walks. The Lourdes Grotto and a labyrinth modelled on the eleven circuit design of Chartres Cathedral in France are of special interest. A short walk from the monastery is 'God's Acre', Galong cemetery, set aside by Ned Ryan and where some of the earliest pioneers of the area are buried, including the Ryans and their extended family members. The ornate Rusconi memorials are a photographer's delight.
This year we are offering a prize with a difference – a package for two people to attend the Official Opening of St Clement's Museum with an exciting new exhibition in April 2013. The package includes attendance at the official opening, pre-dinner drinks, the three course celebratory dinner, twin ensuite accommodation, breakfast and hospitality basket.