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Bartender appreciation day

Originally Posted
04 december 2020

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In an ironic turn of events, it’s today. Of all days. December 4 is International Bartender Appreciation Day.

Bartender Appreciation Day originated in America and is linked to the Sailor Jerry brand and company. The aim of the day is to spread recognition of the work of barkeeps around the world. As part of the event’s history, a petition was sent to the British government asking for Bartender Appreciation Day to be a recognised holiday in the UK and to be a day off for all bartenders.

It may have been withdrawn since, as heaven knows they’ve had enough days off in 2020 to last many careers.

I thought I’d look at the fascinating person whose name (or brand – the importance of their separation will become evident) has inspired the day.

The original Sailor Jerry was born Norman Keith Collins in 1911. His nickname was given to him, as many are, by his father. When aged around 10 years of age, a similarity was noticed between Norman and a particularly cantankerous mule, Jerry, that was owned by the family. His Dad took to calling his boy “Jerry” and the name stuck. He was plain old “Jerry” for the remainder of his childhood.

As many young men did in early 20th Century America, he left home young and struck out to make his way in the world. He lived a nomadic life up to his early twenties, moving across the States, before settling (briefly) in Illinois.


Upon his arrival in Chicago, he met with his muse, tattooist Gib Thomas, who taught him how to operate early, rudimentary “ink” machines.

He joined the US Navy in the late 1920s and saw plenty of service, particularly in the Orient. He gained his moniker, “Sailor”, during this time. In the early 1930s when he’d completed his stint, he settled in Hawaii. He became a renowned tattoo artist and 1942 saw him open his own parlour in the then notorious Hotel Street district of Honolulu.

After WW2, despite his compatriots’, perhaps natural, collective mistrust of all things Japanese, Collins corresponded and collaborated with and learned from Japanese tattoo artists to perfect his art.

In the 1950s, Collins closed his shop in protest due to his belief that he was under “watch” by the US Government.

Some years later, he re-established his business in Smith Street, Honolulu, where, for the next dozen years or so, tattooists from around the world came to learn from an acknowledged master. He is still widely recognised as a pioneer in modern tattoo and body art.

Many parts of his life remain clouded. It’s known that he was married more than once. That’s it. He was married more than once. One of his (we don’t know how many) wives still lives in Hawaii, as do his children and grandchildren. He’s buried in a military cemetery, “The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific”, in Honolulu.

As with many pioneers, his legacy seems to be a litany of commercial and personal arguments over image and brand rights. There is a company that promotes his art and images, producing “no sweat shop” items of clothing and other memorabilia. There is a festival held annually in his honour, with concerts and other events celebrating his art and his contribution to popular culture.

William Grant and Sons now produces and markets a “Sailor Jerry” rum, which is the subject of a long running row between one of his (we don’t know how many) wives, Louise, and the drinks giant. 

She maintains that Collins did not drink and would not have approved of his name being attached to an alcoholic beverage brand. 

It appears, though, that the rum was first produced by the company formed to celebrate Collins’ life and art. Grant’s purchased the brand in the late 2000s.

Sadly, none of his family members profit from his art or any products that have been created subsequently.

Anyhow, I’m off to appreciate the hell out of my local barstaff. If I must partake in a substantial meal to do so, so be it. 

It is International Bartender Appreciation day, after all.  

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Happy Friday.

the crystal anniversary

Originally Posted
27 November 2020

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They say that “I am” is the shortest sentence in the English language and that “I do” is the longest. 
Yesterday, Bozo here and my beloved wife celebrated our “Crystal” anniversary. 15 years, eh?
To reprise an old joke, “You’d get less for murder”, says yer man. “You wouldn’t”, says I, “I’ve checked”. (Maybe we’ll look at the history of custodial sentences on another day).
Given that every year seems to have something associated with it, I decided to take a look in to the history of assigning an object to each.
As with many things, the tradition is a lot older than you might think. It appears to have begun in Roman Times, with a married couple receiving a Silver Wreath after 25 years, and, as was reasonably unusual, given the life expectancy of the time, a Golden Wreath on the occasion of the passing of 50 years of wedded bliss.
The practice seems to have died out for several hundreds of years, until it was resurrected in medieval times in Central and Northern Europe. Again, wreaths were presented, both in Silver and Gold – literally – so it’s reasonable to suggest that it was only those of a certain means or standing would receive such adornments.
Origins of modern associations are, like most items of this nature, a little blurred but it’s thought that the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne became the standard “Diamond” Jubilee. Previously, diamond had been associated with the 75th recurrence of an event.
Prior to the 1930s, only the 1st, 5th, 10th, 20th, 25th, 50th and 75th anniversaries had gifts that were associated with them. Guess what? Some bright spark, working in the arena of jewellery retail in the United States, came up with one for every last one of them!
Much like the “Hallmark Days” that we celebrate furiously throughout the year, it quickly gained currency. The attached image shows a selection of traditional versus modern gifts.
Speaking of gifts, there are some wonderful shops and businesses in the immediate locality. Can I suggest that before you hit “go” on your next Amazon or other global behemoth purchase, you consider shopping local. If not local, then at a minimum, please think Irish. Local enterprises are, and will continue to be, the lifeblood of communities as we return, in stages, to something approximating normality.
We’ve committed to preparing and maintaining a local directory for Dunboyne and the surrounding areas. We’ve around 120 added and are still chasing contact details, logos, sites and social media links for some 40 others. You can see it at
If you are employed by, own or know a local business and you would like to see it added, please drop us a note. You’ll get us at
Anyways, should really return to the actual day job now and wrap up the week. We’re excited for the Toy Show, complete with treats for the kids and adult beverages for the parents.
Have a wonderful weekend and see you all next week. We’re already planning our Wax Anniversary.


Originally Posted
19 November 2020

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Well, there’s a thing. Today, November 19, is International Men’s Day.
Now, we could, of course, just leave that little nugget of information here with a few of these lads – 🎣🎣🎣. 
We could also wait for the inevitable contradictory and potentially polarising “Hell yeah – ’bout time!” and “Sure isn’t every day a man’s day!” comments.
We won’t, though.
The month of November is becoming increasingly synonymous with promoting and discussing Men’s Health, both Mental and Physical. 
The UK’s Mental Health Foundation has designated November as Men’s Mental Health month. 
The Movember campaign has grown, from relatively small beginnings, to being one of the most recognisable international “brands” to promote Mental Health and Suicide awareness. It is also dedicated to providing information on the early detection and prevention of Prostate and Testicular Cancer. 
International Men’s Day has been celebrated across the globe for many years, having been mooted in the 1960s and before. 
It is now recognised in over 80 countries around the world.
This year’s theme is “Better Health for Men and Boys”, aiming to make practical improvements to the health and wellbeing of the male population. 
Other years’ themes have included “Positive Male Role Models”, “Celebrating Men and Boys in all their Diversities”, “Expanding Reproductive Options for Men” and “Stop Male Suicide”. 
Raise your boys to become good men. Mind the men in your lives. Stay in touch with your mates and be a “listener”, rather than a “fixer”. Sometimes just allowing another to share a worry or concern can provide the greatest relief and release. 
It should be noted that some men will continue to be utterly useless when it comes to multitasking and performing mundane chores, but that’s, well, let’s just say that’s different. A case in point is that the website created and published to promote the day is not operational – today, of all days! 
ProofPro is proud to recognise, celebrate and be a small part of International Men’s Day and we will donate 10% of our profits for November 2020 to the Movember movement. 
Have a great International Men’s Day, everyone. And by everyone, we mean everyone.


Originally Posted
13 November 2020

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Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13.
A little research, using Merriam Webster and various other internet sources shows that it’s unclear as to why the number 13 gets such a “bum rap”, but that it may date back to the Last Supper when Jesus was betrayed by one of a group of 13 who met for a meal.

Such a gathering would be (at best) frowned upon in 2020, but that’s a whole different story.
The root of the phobia has also been attributed to Hindu and Norse mythologies.
Whatever its origin, it’s a thing and it first came in to common parlance around 1909 and by 1911, it was popular enough to merit inclusion in dictionaries.
The word is derived from New Latin, from Greek treiskaideka thirteen (from treis three + kai and + deka ten) + New Latin phobia. For reasons that appear to be lost in history, the first “e” in the word was dropped and the spelling triskaidekaphobia has prevailed.
Other words that came into common usage in that 1909 can be seen here – 
Included in the list are “balboa”, the basic currency unit of Panama, “taximan” and “yellow pages”. 
In other fun Friday news, ProofPro has just ticked over the 100 companies mark in the Dunboyne Directory and are still following up – searching for logos and contacts – for 50+ others in the locality. 
You can follow its progress at
If you own, are employed by, or know a local enterprise that you would like to see included in the directory, please drop Gus a note at
There is no charge for inclusion. It’s a free resource for the community.
Have a fun Friday everyone and enjoy the weekend!


Originally Posted
27 October 2020

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Today’s the day! The new site goes live, we’re open for business.
Exhilarated and petrified in equal measure.
“He who dares wins, Rodney”! 
Whilst it’s not “this time next year, we’ll be millionaires”, it’s still a reasonable maxim to live by.
There are still a couple of dead zones on the site, but we’re hoping to have it fully operational by Thursday. 
In the meantime, contact us for any of your Digital and Social needs.
Thankful to everyone who’s sent messages of support, stopped me in the street to wish us good luck or taken the time to call to ask me have I taken leave of my senses.
Grateful if friends could take a look at the site and if you’d be so kind, give the FB and Twitter an ‘oul like and follow.


Originally Posted
21 October 2020

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Perhaps foolishly, I have chosen to create a new business in a time of pandemic.
ProofPro Ireland – – will launch on Tuesday next, October 27, 2020.
Some of ProofPro’s services: 
– Proof Reading
– Copywriting
– Content Management
– Social Media Management
– Digital Marketing
– Web redesign and deployment
With the current restrictions in place, there is an onus upon each one of us to try to support local business in any way that we can. These businesses have been and continue to be critical amenities, without which, we, as a community, would flounder. 
With this in mind, we will create and promote an online Local Business Directory for Dunboyne and the surrounding area.
There will be no charge for this service.
If you would like to have your business added to this page, please send the following to
Business Name
Company Logo (if any)
Opening Hours
Postal Address
Contact Telephone
Social Media Links