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And so the day arrived - Saturday 5 March 2011 - and people began to gather just before 7:00pm at Wynn's Hotel in Abbey Street, Dublin for the Jubilee Celebration Dinner of the Society.
People assembled first in the ground floor lounge, (where the centre of conversation seemed to be a magnificent silver wall plaque commemorating the founding of the Irish Army and a splendid stain glass window depicting Irish Literary giants), before going to a private dining room on the first floor.
Our room for the night was the very elegant Abbey Room with its own private bar facility and just the right size to accommodate the forty-four members, spouses, partners and guests who were attending. Those attending were not just from the locality and many had made long journeys including Richard and Renu Walshe from Galway, and representing the Northern Branch, Neil and Margaret McCormack and Alan Dunlop all from Belfast.
During the evening Society Chairman Michael E. Kenny recalled the origins of the Society and it's founding in the Dolphin Hotel which unfortunately is no longer a hotel but is part of the Irish Courts System. For those who visit Essex Street they can still see the name in the stonework and the dolphin emblem can still to be seen too. Michael recalled the names of the original ten founding members and was delighted to be able to welcome as our Guests of Honour William Dick, one of those original ten, and his wife Heather. To mark the occasion William was presented with the Society Jubilee Medal engraved in his honour and the Society lapel pin was presented to Heather.
Mr Darragh Cronin from our patron the Central Bank of Ireland presented the Chairman Michael E. Kenny with a 1961 restrike set of the 1928 proof Saorsát Éireann coinage with a special accompanying citation.
To mark the golden jubilee the Society struck a limited edition commemorative silver medal. It is 38.5mm dia, 1 ounce hallmarked sterling silver.
Medals were also available with a gilt finish.
Obverse: In the right field the three crown badge of the Society, The Numismatic Society of Ireland Jubilee in the left field, 1961-2011 below on a polished field.
Reverse: Wreath on a polished field. Obverse and reverse are finished in frosted relief. Through both of these initiatives the Committee are honouring the original founders and the many members who have contributed to the Society's continued success during the first fifty years.
Attendees at the Jubilee Dinner.
To mark the occasion of the jubilee, Mr Darragh Cronin from our patron the Central Bank of Ireland presented the Chairman Michael E. Kenny with a 1961 restrike set of the 1928 proof Saorsát Éireann coinage with a special accompanying citation.
This set of coins is a restrike of the 1928 proof set. The set was struck in 1961 in the Royal Mint as part of a plan to mint a further batch of 1928 sets. The Irish Government had been using the stock of 1928 sets as presentation pieces for over 30 years and the original 6,001 sets minted had run out by about 1960. The Royal Mint ran off a short run of 50 of these restrike sets. The Irish Government did not proceed with the plan so these 50 sets remain an anomaly in the series. Between 1928 and 1961 minting technology had improved considerably and the quality of the 1961 restrikes is substantially better than that of the original 1928 sets. The coins have deep mirror fields and heavily frosted devices, giving a cameo effect. Many of the scarcer Irish proofs from about 1939 onwards exhibit this quality, but the 1961 restrikes of the 1928 set are the most spectacular of all the proofs in the pre-decimal series. - John Stafford-Langan.
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