Rob Donnelly from Avonmore Musical Society, Arklow, Co Wicklow was elected as National President of AIMS (Association of Irish Musical Societies) at the National AGM of AIMS in The Connaught Hotel, Galway, yesterday afternoon (Sunday 26th Jan, 2020) to a standing ovation.
He takes over the prestigious position from Outgoing National President, Seamus Power from Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary, where Rob has served as Vice President of the organisation for the past two years. In his address Rob congratulated and thanked Seamus for the wonderful job he did as AIMS National President over his two year tenure and on his many years’ service to AIMS as a Rep and National Councillor. “It has been an honour and pleasure to serve as Vice President with Seamus and travelling all around the country which I really enjoyed” Rob said.
A large number of friends and members of Avonmore M.S. travelled to support him in Galway at the weekend. Rob thanked Avonmore M.S. who gave him a love of Musical Theatre and who encouraged, nurtured and supported him on his journey to becoming National President of the organisation and he is looking forward to a wonderful and exciting year ahead.
Rob’s journey to his election as National President did not officially start when he was elected National Vice President two years ago in The Horse and Jockey, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, but probably two years earlier than that when he travelled around the country with his great friend and former National President of AIMS, Colm Moules, another member of Avonmore Musical Society and great ambassador of AIMS, possibly something of a record here…. Having attended shows with him, going back stage with both Seamus Power and Colm Moules, talking to and meeting the amazing members of all the societies he visited, he supposed and dreamed one day that might be him, well that is now a reality.
“It is often said but he firmly believes that it is the strength of the organisation (AIMS) and all the musical societies promoting, teaching, guiding and growing the love of Musical Theatre from an early age is where the real talent lies”, he believes.
Rob moved to Arklow in January 1996 from Drogheda, Co. Louth, as a young man for a couple of weeks with An Post, where there has never been a Musical society in his lifetime.
The only time he had seen a musical on stage was in the then Point Depot, travelling to see Colm C.T. Wilkinson in Les Miserables or other shows like Phantom of Opera and visiting other theatres in Dublin. On an amateur basis meeting new people, making new friends and having fun, inspired him to join the local musical society, Avonmore M.S.
Chairman at the time was Padraig Reid, another great friend invited him to attend their review night, travel with him on a West End Trip to see some of the popular professional productions in the West End. At this point he was hooked and there was no going back.
Rob’s family travelled down from Drogheda, to Arklow on Sunday evening to a celebratory party in is honour in The Bridge Hotel, Arklow, along with some of his work colleagues from An Post, and members of Avonmore M.S. where all are thrilled for him.