“Tap”ing into the Club’s Past with a Connelly Family Photo
In the New Years spirit of the belonging, fellowship and nostalgia, SADOE Member Michael Connelly (owner of the Old Bridge Pub and Sierra Tap House) sent a picture of his grandfather Walter Connelly (pictured below in the middle looking down with a green hat holding the cane at the bottom wearing a brown jacket) and his great uncle Tom Connolly (standing second from the left). They were among fellow Reno Irishmen at the Elks Club for some kind of celebration in January of 1969.
By the plaque also pictured below, it is assumed that this was a Jan. 20 gathering that inspired the first chartered meeting of earlier incarnation of our organization, Sons of Erin. That meeting was held the former Pioneer Inn (located where the County Courthouse parking lot is on South Virginia in Downtown Reno) on Feb. 21, 1969 by nearly 40 Irish prominent businessmen and politicians of that era to plan the first St. Patrick’s Day Dinner & Show the following month.
However, our de facto historian Pat Martin said he was at this event and seems to think the photo was taken at the actual first dinner. The white aprons with the shamrocks on it would seem to support that theory.
Whatever the actual date this photo was taken (remember this was a half century ago), it is a nice piece of history of our club.
The wooden shillelagh in the photo with a small bronze plaque being held by the gentleman sitting in the middle at the bottom of the picture is one of two shillelaghs that has survived to this day within our club and is kept by the President and Sgt at Arms.