The Making of a Trophy
This article was written by Tom Shakespeare. Tom was one of the founding members of the Club.
An extension of the Glaucus story must be about the magnificent Irish Open Spearfishing Trophy. This trophy is the full figure of Glaucus cast in silver. In November 1961, at a committee meeting, Cedric Bowmer, for many years Club Diving Officer and now based in Killarney suggested that the club put up a trophy for the all-lreland Spearfishing Trophy. l suggested that it should be something other than the usual cup. Consequent in Februarv 1962, I again suggested that we should provide a cast figure of Glaucus in silver mounted on a rectangular plinth. This was very well received and was approved. In company with Billy Crowley. we a ranged all the many details. Had we know starting out what was involved, we might never have undertaken the job or made the suggestion.
A relation of Sgt. Neil Bracken, a Mr. Flanagan, who was a pattern maker agreed to make the very necessary pattern from which the mould would be made. To make the mould, Mr. Flanagan needed a set of Drawings from various angles. A club member who to this day wishes to remain anomymous, posed for the drawings. [Editors noye - Tom Shakespeare himself ws the model]. These drawings were done by Sally Exley, since Mrs Shaw-Smith, and her friends in their studio in Merrion Square. Sally was the girl who did the wonderful murals at the Club Rooms in Baggot Street. Neil Bracken, you may recall was the founder of the Garda Sub-Aqua Club, with others, and the driving force behind establishing the Garda Diving Unit.
Billy Crowley made the arrangements primarily with Gunnings. This was a well known firm of Church Furnishers who at the time operated from Huet Street, Dublin. The casting in pure silver cost £53. The casting was beyond our wildest expectations, it was a joy to see. All that it required was a trident and plinth. The pattern for the trident was made by Hans Catzent and made in silver by Jimmy Richental, both club members. The plinth was made from polished black and silver granite by Messrs Harrisons of Pearse Street, Dublin 2.
They were not at first interested, but when the project was explained to them and they were given sight of the casting, they entered into the spirit of things. It only remained to have the silver plates fitted to the plinth and have them engraved with the narne of the trophy, and blank spaces for future winners' names. This work was carried out by Greer & Murphy of Lr. Abbey Street, Dublin 1. It is interesting to note that only Greer and Murphy remain in business at the same address. I do not know where Harrisons and Gunnings are now. Even the "Murphy" has gone away, leaving Greer holding the fort.
The finished trophy was valued at £150 and insured for this amount. It had been intended that the bronze Glaucus currently given to 2nd Place in the Irish Open would be given as a replica to the winner. We were frustrated in our intentions here due to the cost factor.
The price of each bronze casting would have been £21. On top of this would be the cost of engraving etc., Reluctantly, we had to make other provisions for replicas. A conservative estimate would place a cost close on £300 for these replicas today. So in the circumstances, it has all turned out well.
After this Glaucus fades from the minutes. The Trophy will stand as a memorial in years to come as a burst of imaginative thinking by a forward looking committee. This was the period when the weft of club tradition was laid down and into which the club record has been woven ever since. What the fabric of the club will be in 2006 A.D., when the club celebrates its 50th anniversary, is anybody's guess. If the first 25 years are anything to judge by, it would be worth looking at.
See you in 25 years from now.
Tom Shakespeare, 1981