The world for the armchair traveler

Visit New Zealand, Ireland and more from the comforts of South Hagerstown High School

Visit New Zealand, Ireland and more from the comforts of South Hagerstown High School

October 08, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

In filming Ireland three years ago, Sandy Mortimer wanted to connect people today with the people of Ireland's past.

The island in the North Atlantic is isolated so nothing gets diluted, Mortimer says.

"Everything is still there of the history and culture for thousands of years," she says.

A glimpse into that history can be seen during Mortimer's "Ireland: Celtic Myths & Splendors," the first in a series of six travelogues being presented by Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown.

Mortimer's travelogue will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium at South Hagerstown High School.

Proceeds from the travelogue shows support the Kiwanis Club's community service programs such as scholarships and Christmas parties for first- and second-graders in Washington County Public Schools and groups such as the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County Inc. and local Little League teams, says Steve Geiman, travelogue chairman.

Last year's travelogue program raised about $2,500, Geiman says.


Other films in the series will look at Vietnam, New Zealand, parks in the United States and Canada, and Route 66.

But first, a look at Ireland.

Ireland fascinates many people, probably because there are many millions of Irish-Americans, says Mortimer, the cinematographer who will narrate the film in person.

According to Census 2000, almost 11 percent of U.S. residents then had Irish ancestry. That's 30.5 million people.

"There's a visceral feeling about going to Ireland that I've had people express to me," says Mortimer, who lives in Kentucky.

Ireland is starting to change rapidly, with more high-tech industry, but there is still so much history.

Mortimer wants viewers to imagine the young men who spent their entire lives at Monasterboice, a monastery started by a disciple of St. Patrick.

Visitors to Ireland can go into a room that is a ruin now, but once young monks lived there carving stones such as high crosses and copying scrolls into manuscripts, she says.

Such high crosses portray scenes of the life of Christ.

Because many people then couldn't read, the pictures on the crosses were used to help convert them to Christianity, she says.

"There was a lot of good politicking going on," she says.

If you go ...

WHAT: 32nd annual Travel & Adventure Film Series, sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown. Starts with "Ireland: Celtic Myths & Splendors" narrated by cinematographer Sandy Mortimer.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11

WHERE: South Hagerstown High School auditorium, 1101 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown

COST: Season tickets for all six travel programs are $25 for adults and $10 for students. Season tickets can be bought at the door the night of Oct. 11, from any Kiwanis Club member or by calling Steve Geiman at 301-739-1981. Single admission tickets sold at the door the night of each performance are $8 for adults and $3 for students.

MORE: For more information, call Steve Geiman at 301-739-1981.

Upcoming shows

Other travelogue shows on Wednesdays are:

· "Vietnam - A Land of Surprises" by Buddy Hatton on Nov. 15

· "The Real World of New Zealand" by Rick Howard on Jan. 24, 2007

· "America's Parklands" by Gray Warriner on Feb. 14, 2007

· "Canada's National Parks" by Dale Johnson on March 28, 2007

· "Route 66 - A Road to Remember" by Charles Hartman on April 18, 2007

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