Each month we spotlight a Club member.

Nancy and Greg Buckley

I’ve been writing Spotlight columns for some time, and I have found, invariably, that the people being interviewed are uncomfortable with the spotlight. They say things like, “I have nothing interesting to say,” or “I don’t know why you want to talk to me.” And every time, I have found that these individuals are wrong. Each person I’ve interviewed has had an interesting story, including this month’s subjects, Nancy and Greg Buckley. They have had unusual professional and volunteer experiences, and have an enduring love of Cape Cod, a strong appreciation for their Irish heritage, and an active membership in the SOECC.

Both Nancy and Greg grew up as third-generation Brockton residents. In her state auditor’s position, Nancy worked to ensure that the agencies with which she worked handled taxpayers’ money responsibly. In her community activities, Nancy has used both her personal and fiscal skills in organizations such as My Brother’s Keeper, Holy Cross Retreat House at Stonehill College, and formerly, as treasurer for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. An Army veteran, Greg maintained his strong commitment to the armed services in his career in the Veterans Administration. A talented musician, Greg just retired from singing at SOECC, but continues to perform Irish and classic oldies for veterans’ organizations and local fundraisers.

Both Nancy and Greg grew up spending summers on Cape Cod, until they moved here full-time 11 years ago. They have passed their passion for the Cape on to their three children and three grandchildren, Declan, Finn, and the fourth generation Gregory who was born in July. Each weekend during the summer, all the generations gather at the Buckley home. While it can be a challenge having so many people with one bathroom, continuing the family tradition makes the hubbub worthwhile.

Right after they moved to the Cape full-time, Nancy and Greg joined SOECC. Since their grandparents all came from Mayo or Cork, the club seemed a perfect place to meet new friends who share a similar heritage. And they immediately introduced themselves to club members and immersed themselves in the volunteer opportunities available: Greg through his music, and Nancy through her contributions to the dining service. They strongly believe that the volunteer efforts of many members make the club a success. Their advice to new members? You won’t meet people by sitting at the bar on your own. Introduce yourselves to other members. You will find that the people you meet, like Nancy and Greg, have interesting stories to share, and that you have some of your own, too.

Submitted by Helen Niedermeier 

Hannah Kiely CEO of Galway 2020

Each month we spotlight a Club member. This month, we introduce you to Hannah Kiely CEO of Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture:

We were delighted to welcome Hannah to our Club on Thursday night, July 20th. Hannah Kiely was visiting on the Cape with friends and members, Helen and Jerry Niedermeier, whom she met in Galway in October 1999 and she has continued with this great friendship ever since. Hannah was happy to meet so many officers, volunteers, and members of SOECC during her evening at the Club.

Hannah is a native of Waterford on the South Coast of Ireland and has been living in Galway for many years. A well-established business woman, Hannah was previously President of Galway Chamber of Commerce, a director of many organizations, with extensive experience in Ireland and the UK, and the recipient of many awards including Business Woman of the Year. Hannah is involved in many charitable, community and cultural organizations.

Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, has been designated European Capital of Culture for the year 2020. Hannah, in her address to the members here, outlined what this means for Galway, Ireland, and the Irish abroad. The European Capital of Culture is a designation by the European Union for a period of one year, in this case 2020, during which the city and county organizes a series of cultural events which bring about a great opportunity to generate considerable economic, social, and cultural benefits, and raises the image of Galway City and County on an international scale.

Hannah extended the hand of friendship to all the members of the Sons of Erin, Cape Cod and thanked the President, John Flaherty, for his invitation to speak at the Club. She stated that she hoped this would be the start of a strong connection between SOECC and Galway 2020. Hannah will create links with the Club on her return from vacation here on the Cape through the good offices of President Flaherty. If you want more information, consult www.galway2020.ie.

Hannah sees this appointment as, “an amazing opportunity to do something truly transformational for Galway City, County, the wider region and Ireland,” and she concluded, “My head has always been in business but my heart in the arts”.

Charlie Kennedy

There are certain people that leave an impression on you even if you only meet them once. Charlie is one of those types of guys. The son of Thomas and Ann Kennedy, Charlie spent a lot of time on Cape but attended schools in Peoria, IL and Wichita, KS. He currently attends the Habilitation Assistance Corporation of South Yarmouth where he met his current girlfriend, Tish.

Charlie is constantly on the move having worked at Shaw’s, The Flower Shop, the Dennis/Yarmouth school system, Papa Gino’s, Subway, Daggett’s, Ryan’s Family Amusement Center, and at the Sons of Erin. You see him most Friday and Saturday nights helping Katie’s Kitchen Krew.

Read more: Charlie Kennedy

Kitchen Krew

Each month we spotlight a Club member. This month, we introduce you to the Kitchen Krew:

There are 15 members of The Sons of Erin who are always on the spot, but never in the spotlight. This article will start out as a spotlight on one of them, but will also focus much-deserved attention on the entire group: The Kitchen Krew.

Lisa Williams has been a member of SOECC since the early days, but became much more active in the club during the last five years. After retiring from her career as an engineer at Verizon, Lisa and her husband moved to the Cape from their home in Newton. Seeking to become more involved, Lisa offered to help roll silverware in the dining room. Little did she know that this was the first step in extraordinary involvement in the life of the food service. Next, when Katie Fitzsimmons, the dining manager, needed a waitress, Lisa stepped in to fill the bill every Saturday night. After that, Katie needed a fry cook on Friday nights, so Lisa again volunteered. Now, she arrives each Friday at 4:00, cuts the fish up, sets up the fryer, preps for dinner, and fries food constantly until the kitchen closes at 8:00. All volunteer. Every Friday. Year-round.

The members of the Kitchen Krew are an amazing resource to every member of the Sons of Erin. They all volunteer – that means without pay, except for tips – every weekend year-round to prepare and serve the delicious dinners available to club members and their guests. They work to keep their customers happy, efficiently serving as many as 180 diners on a busy evening. They see the Sons of Erin as one big family, and so they go above and beyond the call of duty, covering for one another when needed, doing their best to meet individual requests and dietary needs, arriving early to prepare food and ensure the smooth running of the dining room.

Behind the scenes are the three cooks: Katie Fitzsimmons who cooks on Friday and Saturday, Sharon Morgan who has an eleven-year tenure in the kitchen and who cooks on Thursdays, and Lisa who runs the fryer. In addition to her work at the stove, Katie manages all aspects of the service within strict budgetary constraints, and with the tricky inventory system needed for a part-time dining operation.

They are not seeking the spotlight, but here it is:

  • The originals: Kathy Hegarty and Diane McClure who have been wait staff members since the club opened in the old building;
  • The other wait staff: Penny Shaughnessy (also a Board member), Michelle Dolan, Mary Coughlin, Kathryn Murphy;
  • The Sunday breakfast men: Ed Tierney and Bill Hurley (also a Board member);
  • The 3 young men: Jason Zent, Conor Robertson, and David Dickey, who fill in as dishwashers, help cook, or sub for Lisa, despite holding 2 + other jobs each;
  • The indispensable fill-ins: Dee Petit and Elaine Costigan;
  • And the indomitable dishwasher, Charlie Kennedy who was in the Spotlight in last month’s newsletter.

Although they don’t want the spotlight, here are some things that all club members could consider to help these dedicated volunteers fulfill their responsibilities

  • Consider not asking for separate checks, as this complicates their work life considerably;
  • Educate your guests about club expectations and procedures;
  • NEVER go into the kitchen, due to safety and liability concerns;

And most of all, show appreciation by the way you interact with and provide a tip for your wait staff members.