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Remembering a Working Man – Vincent Wynter RIP

Vincent Wynter - of Tullamore Poetry Group and Irish Labour Party
The late Vincent Wynter – of Tullamore Poetry Group and Irish Labour Party. Image from OHS obituary.

The love of the literature of the people,
The politics of the worker to be what he can
The history he was to become a part of
The person, the passions of a working man.

Every man has to be what he wants to achieve
We become in what we partake
Politics, the arts, the archives
The arts for the arts sake.

The encouraging word to a stranger
The tales of those who read and enjoyed
The writers, reciters and the readers
Each in their own way to the arts employed.

In memory of his like, common men founded
Their passion as a group shared
Became more than they ever dreamed it could be
All because a stranger encouraged, as he cared.

Let us be that stranger to another
The shadow behind the name
Be it of a union, society or cultural group
Be the inspiration for what they became.

Vincent Wynter was a trade union organiser, a Labour Party Councillor in Tullamore, and a great help to Offaly Historical society when they were set up to the present day.
He was part of the Tullamore Poetry Group, and encouraged the Tullamore Rhymers Club when we tried to revive the TPG, giving the nod to the TRC to be the successor movement.

I rang Vincent to invite him to some of our gigs, but health and other commitments did not allow him to come, sadly.

He called into my workplace to drop in a leaflet for the Strokestown festival, to encourage us to enter, remembering a raggle taggle crew of literature lovers even when in hospital with his own health issues.

Sadly, that was the only time I actually met him, a few hurried words as the boss shouted over my shoulder that I was needed somewhere in the rush of life that is the workplace.

But he would have understood that, being a working man with a passion for the arts, as we built the Tullamore Rhymers Club to be what we are today, rising like the towns iconic Phoenix from the ashes of the passions fire for the arts that was Tullamore Poetry Group.

It all started with three freinds having a shared vision, and a phonecall to a stranger we are proud to call a freind in so much as we knew Vincent, to what we are today, or will be remembered as.

Perhaps, the greatest thing for any writer or activist, is to be remembered as the inspiration for others, as Vincent Wynter is remembered by us who mourn his passing today.

Reference:
Offaly Historical Society
(Obituary / Facebook)

A good few years back, living in Tullamore, I rang Vincent, seeking to join a writers group in the area.

His old group he told me, consisted of himself and a few other folk now in Old Folks Homes, and the group as it was was practically defunct.

I told him of my vision I had shared with Anthony Sullivan and others of a group akin to the Rhymers Club of London founded by W.B. Yeats and his comrades.

Vincent was very keen to help it get established, offering to give any contacts he had, or references for us, etc, and asked me to keep him posted on our development.

We started as a group of friends meeting up in the Hume house, the late John being a very welcoming host to us.

Anthony, Ken and I started as sharing our work with each other, having the craic, and encouraging our work.

Very akin to the TPG, bar at the time we were all writers, as opposed to having reciters as well.

They arrived in the personages of Mallaghan, Brennan, Lally and others who moved on from the group. Not alone were David, Richard and Cormac great reciters, but they also wrote their own material.

The group rapidly developed to giving readings at arts functions, opening gigs such as Brendan Grace to even partaking in festivals such as Body & Soul, Castlepallooza, etc, and which we are something of a fixture at this stage.

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