What do you and Rotary International have in common with nine Irishmen who lived more than 150 years ago? A lot! Read on ...

In the Young Irish Disorders (1848) the following men were captured, tried, and convicted of treason against Her Majesty: John Mitchell, Morris Lyene, Pat Donohue, Thomas McGee, Charles Duffy, Thomas Meagher, Richard O'Gorman, Terrence McManus and Michael Ireland.

Before passing the sentence, the judge asked if anyone wanted to speak. Meagher, speaking for all, said, "My Lord, this is our first offense but not our last. If you will be easy with us this once, we promise on our word as gentlemen to try to do better next time. And next time, surely we won't get caught." Thereupon, the indignant judge sentenced them to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Protest from around the world forced Queen Victoria to commute their sentence and all were banished to the wilds of Australia.

In 1874, Queen Victoria was astounded to learn the new Prime Minister of Australia, Sir Charles Duffy, was the same Charles Duffy she had banished, 25 years before. She demanded to know the fate of the rest of the prisoners and received the following report:

  1. Thomas Meagher: Governor of Montana
  2. Terrance McManus: Brigadier General, US Army
  3. Patrick Donohue: Brigadier General, US Army
  4. Richard O'Gorman: Governor of Newfoundland
  5. Morris Lyene: Attorney General of Australia, succeeded in office by Michael Ireland.
  6. Thomas McGee: Member of Parliament and President of Council, Montreal, Canada
  7. John Mitchell: New York politician, father of John P. Mitchell who was mayor of New York at the start of World War I.

Obviously, these folks made the most of the opportunity. Your opportunity to exchange ideas, build lifelong friendships, and get things done in your community and the world is here now! Make the most of it by becoming involved in community service organizations like Rotary.

In Brattleboro, there are two clubs, the Brattleboro Rotary Club, established in 1950, that meets every Thursday over lunch and the

Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Club, established in 1995, meets every Wednesday over breakfast. Both clubs are currently meeting virtually via ZOOM.

For more information about the Brattleboro Rotary Club visit www.brattlebororotaryclub.org or to learn about the Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary, visit www.brattleborosunriserotary.org.