Saturday 27 May 2017
History is in the making! Preparations for the High Tea in Enniscorthy Castle are to be finalized. Today we will travel from Dublin to Enniscorthy by Wexford Bus.
The lovely Moira will be waiting to greet us on our arrival.
She will be driving us to her beautiful home Anam Cara.
This will be our base in Enniscorthy for the next few days.
After lunch I will meet with the lovely Mary O’Higgins and restaurant owner William Kinsella at Enniscorthy castle. We will discuss the final planning for the high tea to be held on Tuesday 30 May, 2017.
The high tea will be an historical first, the first high tea to be held in Enniscorthy Castle. The first Irish Australian to hold a high tea at Enniscorthy Castle and the first Prendergast to celebrate the Irish Australian with roots to Enniscorthy Castle.
These letters, gifts and gestures of friendship are from the four mayors of the areas in Australia where the Prendergast family are accredited with being developers and first settlers.
This is truly an historical event.
Saturday 27 May, 2017. Afternoon.
At 1.30pm Moira drove me to the Castle where Mary O’Higgins welcomed me warmly and then showed me around the castle so that I could view all the latest displays. We decided on the table linen chosen for the High Tea. We discussed the sequence of events for the celebration.
I visited the florist in Enniscorthy to discuss the choice of flowers for the Roche room and will finalize my selection on Monday.
At 4.30pm after I had strolled around Enniscorthy town for a couple of hours, I returned to the Castle to meet William Kinsella Cafe to finalize the catering arrangements, menu and table service for the High Tea on Tuesday. Everything is progressing smoothly.
Sunday 28 May, 2017
After a delicious breakfast served by the always bubbly Moira, I was driven into Enniscorthy to Mass. Along the way Moira stopped to pickup a local lady Marion who was also going to St. Aidan’s Cathedral the building designed by Puggin of Westminster Abbey fame. Marion accompanied me into Mass and we sat together.
The Mass was said in English except for the Lord’s Prayer. It was recited in Gaelic. It sounded so beautiful. Sadly I can’t speak any Gaelic so I could not join in.
Following Mass, Marion invited me to have morning tea with her so she could tell me about the long history of her family who have lived in Enniscorthy for several generations. She has given me quite a lot of valuable information to follow up in my quest to find Prendergast ancestry.
After our morning Tea at the Cotton Tree Cafe, Marion walked me back to St. Aidan’s Manse in the hope that one of the church Archivists was on duty. There was no one there today being Sunday but I will pop in again tomorrow to find records of Prendergast Baptisms, Marriages and Burials in Enniscorthy.
I took some time walking around the grave yard of St. Aidan’s Cathedral but could not find any Prendergast graves. I will venture out to the St. Mary’s Cemetery where I hope to have more success tomorrow.
Mid afternoon I decided to walk back to Anam Cara as the wait for a taxi was between 1 – 3 hours. There was a large sporting event on in town. I got totally lost and had to ask for advice several times.
The Enniscorthy people are really lovely and don’t mind stopping to give directions. I walked for several kilometers and was nearly home when Moira came to rescue me! Sue arrived a couple of hours later – she had gotten really lost, she had ended up in the next town!
Monday 29 May, 2017
The excitement is building with just one more sleep until the High Tea takes place at 2pm tomorrow afternoon in the Roche room of Enniscorthy Castle.
This morning I decided that the dress that I bought in Singapore, the Anne Kelly Linen Dress, was too cool for the weather we are experiencing here in Enniscorthy.
I found the perfect dress right here in Enniscorthy that has Australian links. The manageress of the boutique lived for 9 years in Australia. Her Australian born husband and she met in England and decided to return to Perth, his home, shortly after their marriage. Their two children are very proud of the fact that they were born in Perth. Another two proud Australians who are proud of their Irish roots! They brought their family back to Ireland.
This afternoon I visited the Enniscorthy Castle to tick off all the things on the to-do list.
The Staff are working hard to help me prepare for the High Tea tomorrow afternoon. They couldn’t be friendlier, always with happy smiles on their faces.
Their was a flurry of activity when I arrived as Moira did a quick check with me. We checked the flowers. I needed to buy some. Moira handed me the vase to take to the florist with the instructions “Don’t break that Vase, there isn’t another one!”. Probably a precious antique was entrusted in my care.
I walked to “Annette’s Florist” a fragrant and colourful florist shop with summer flowers in full bloom and ordered a special arrangement of flowers for the side table of the Roche room from the charming Nessa.
We checked the Videos to be played. Back at the Castle the unstoppable Cathy Keane, brilliant tour guide and good friend had arrived and was was taking command of the videos to be played for tomorrow.
We checked the greeting. The welcome video by the Mayor of East Gippsland Shire Council, Jo Rettino will commence the proceedings and during afternoon Tea, the Prendergast trail video compiled by Barry will highlight the Hawkesbury, Monaro, Victorian High Plains, East Gippsland and Whitsunday Regions.
We don’t need to check the menu as William has that organized. William Kinsella from Wildflower Cafe and his staff will set up the Roche room for the High Tea and will serve the High Tea. His menu looks truly delicious and I am sure we will be beautifully taken care of.
Back at Anam Cara, I checked the gifts from the Mayors of 4 regions in Australia. Although they have travelled approximately 20,000 kilometres they have survived the journey and are ready to be presented to Chairman Wexford County Council Paddy Kavanagh.
The last thing that Moira and I checked was the name tags. Back at Anam Cara I emailed through to Enniscorthy Castle my list of guests and, as we speak, the lovely Moira and her team are having the names written in beautiful caligraphy for tomorrows celebration.