Previous articleBeautiful Dreamers are weaving through cityNext articleCancellation: 4th of Four Plays Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie WhatsApp Linkedin TAGSCllr Kevin SheahanDirect provisionDoras LuimníFianna FáilIntercultural CitieslimerickMayor of Limerick City and County Twitter Top Fianna Fáil councillor will reject Green coalition deal Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins appointed as Minister of State NewsLocal NewsLimerick Mayor’s cat treated better than asylum seekersBy Alan Jacques – November 27, 2014 671 by Alan [email protected] up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up NEWLY designated Mayor of Limerick city and county Cllr Kevin Sheahan, has condemned Ireland’s treatment of asylum seekers and said he would not treat his cat in the fashion that they have been treated by the State.Speaking at the signing of the Intercultural Cities agreement with the Council of Europe in the city last week, the Fianna Fáil councillor highlighted the positive examples of cultural diversity in Limerick but condemned the negative impact of the system of Direct Provision.“I would not treat my cat in the fashion in which this country is treating asylum seekers. Men, women and children: some of whom who have been waiting a decade as applicants. So we can clap ourselves on the back but we are not lily white,” said Cllr Sheahan.Intercultural Cities is a Council of Europe and European commission initiative, which aims to build upon a network of cities worldwide by sharing examples of best practice on integration and intercultural collaboration.According to Doras Luimni integration policy officer, Dr Matt Cannon, the Mid-West migrant rights organisation initiated Limerick’s participation in the Intercultural Cities network in 2012. Dr Cannon also said it was great to see Limerick City and County Council and Limerick Integration Working Group taking on the challenge of intercultural integration and policy-making.“It is very encouraging to hear the words of support from the Cathaoirleach in regard to the plight of asylum seekers. This illustrates the usefulness of these networks, shared experience and learning on the issues relating to immigration and integration,” he added. Print Facebook Email Doras concerns about ongoing safety and wellbeing of residents in Direct Provision during Covid-19 Pandemic Decision to enter Phase 4 of reopening Ireland deferred to August 10 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Advertisement Changes to the Student Support Scheme for people living in Direct Provision Limerick TD says GLAS payments welcome but ‘much more action’ needed to support Agri-sector
The date most associated with Harvard is 1636. It was on Oct. 28 of that year that the Massachusetts Bay Colony created the first institution of higher learning in the English New World.The gathering of immigrant Puritans described the school’s nearly imaginary creation in “New Englands First Fruits,” a 1643 publicity tract composed for the colony’s London backers. The new College, a “first flower in their wilderness,” was intended to prevent “an illiterate ministry,” the authors wrote, “when our present ministers shall lie in dust.”So why not call 1639 the most significant date? It was on March 13 of that year that the “Colledg at Newetowne,” 8 months old, was renamed Harvard. Just six months before, John Harvard, a Cambridge-educated minister living in Charlestown, had died at age 30. He bequeathed to the college 320 books and the princely sum of 779 pounds, 17 shillings, and two pence. To put that money in perspective, two decades later, the nearly penniless College gratefully recorded a gift of cotton worth nine shillings, along with a pewter flagon, a fruit dish, and a sugar spoon.Bear in mind the plebian source of John Harvard’s wealth. It came from his father and two stepfathers, who were, respectively, a butcher, a cooper, and a grocer. John Harvard himself had a sort of magical literary provenance. His parents, Robert and Katherine, were introduced by William Shakespeare.Or why not call 1642 Harvard’s primal year? It was then, in September, that the College held its first Commencement, graduating nine seniors. At least three soon crossed the Atlantic the other way, one to serve as a diplomat for the rebellious Oliver Cromwell and another to study medicine in Italy.Reverse migration was a concern; educated young men still felt the tug of Mother Europe. Of Harvard’s first 20 graduates, 12 moved to Europe, and only one returned. There was also a shortage of College entrants — teenage boys proficient in Latin and Greek who, once admitted, were willing also to take on Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac. During the rest of the 17th century there were no Harvard graduates in five of those years. In two others, 1652 and 1654, there was only a single graduate.In the Commencement of 1642, there was little that we would recognize today, other than that the ceremony opened with a staff being struck on the floor and was interrupted by copious eating and drinking. Exercises were conducted in Latin, including public “disputations” meant to illustrate a student’s grasp of ancient languages.Starting in 1642, in imitation of Old World universities, candidates for a bachelor of arts (A.B., or Artium Baccalaureus) posted broadsheet academic statements representing the scope of their work: theses, pro virile defenendae they were prepared to defend the morning of Commencement. Candidates for a master of arts (A.M., or Magister Artium) posted Quaestiones pro modulo discutiendae, single questions in logic, mathematics, or other fields that they answered that afternoon in the affirmative or negative.No one received a diploma, a tradition that started in 1813. If you wanted one, you paid a calligrapher to design and draw it. And class rank? That was set within a few months of your freshman year, based on the social standing of your parents. (After 1772, the names of graduates were listed alphabetically.) No honorary degrees were awarded until 1692, and the first for accomplishments outside of academics was bestowed in 1753. It went to Benjamin Franklin.At Harvard’s first Commencement, there were other stark differences. In 1642, Massachusetts Bay Colony settlements extended less than 30 miles along the Atlantic coastline and fewer than 20 miles inland. Harvard itself consisted of just two buildings along the southern edge of a cow yard. The “college,” tucked behind Peyntree House, where the first classes were held, was an E-shaped frame structure of complex jogs and gables. “Very faire and comely within and without,” and “too gorgeous for the wilderness,” observers wrote. It stood approximately where Grays Hall is now. To imagine the first Commencement, stand there. But add to your reverie the fact that nearly everything you hear is in Latin, except at meals; that the prayer hall is next to the buttery; and that Harvard made its own beer. Bring a halfpenny for every quart.In those days too, wolves still prowled what is present-day Cambridge Common. Beyond what is now Linnaean Street was a howling wilderness, a Grimm Brothers gloom hovering at the edge of fairy-tale Harvard. The barrier of forest and beasts was so daunting that it took the Puritan founders of Cambridge another century to spread their settlement as far north as present-day Rindge Avenue, a mile from Harvard Square.All around was “unexplored wilderness — extending over … fragile dwellings its fear-inspiring shades,” wrote historian Josiah Quincy III of the College’s first years. “In the night,” added this Harvard president (1829-1845), “slumbers were broken by the howl of the wild beast, or by the yell and the warwhoop of the savage.” Contemporary feelings and fears were laid bare in “New Englands First Fruits,” whose first page says of Native Americans, “our very bowels yerning within us to see them go downe to Hell by swarms without remedy.” About 30 years after Harvard’s first Commencement came the violent King Philip’s War, in which 12 colonial towns were destroyed and 10 percent of white men of military age were killed, along with untold Native Americans.But just south of the College in 1642 was spread a pleasing footprint of civilization. Cambridge, the first planned town in New England, was a neat grid of streets, curving in one place only because a stream gave Crooked Lane (now Holyoke Street) its name. Near the corner of present-day Winthrop and J.F.K. streets was a wharf for ocean-going ships. They sailed up the tidal Charles River, then glided north along a dredge-deepened creek. Until nearly 1830, timber was off-loaded there from a Harvard-owned forest in Maine, harvested so student rooms could be heated in winter.Harvard sold its interest in the timber ship shortly before another auspicious date in the history of Commencement: 1836, when the college marked its 200th year, and when Harvard first consciously celebrated itself. Before then, finances and the restraining modesty of Puritan tradition made such celebrations unlikely. Consider, for instance, 1736, when Harvard could have celebrated its first hundred years, a numerical moment that today universally prompts remembrance and rejoicing. The College’s earliest historian, Benjamin Peirce, skipped over the date entirely.And new rules of that era were promulgated “for reforming the Extravagancys of Commencements,” a contemporary wrote. Liquor was banned, along with plum cake, boiled and roasted meats, “Pyes of any kind,” and “unsuitable and unreasonable dancings.”By 1836, “dancings” were a joyful fixture at Commencements, and lasted through most of the 20th century. Today, it’s hard to imagine squeezing 20,000 Harvard celebrants onto any dance floor, even to mark a 375th anniversary. Still, they could give dancings a try. Just keep an eye out for wolves.
UK defined contribution (DC) pension schemes are struggling to find the right form of measurement to assess their effectiveness, according to Aon’s latest survey, How do you Measure up? UK Defined Contribution Pension Survey 2020.The study, which looked at more than 200 UK DC schemes, covering more than half a million members and £50bn (€59.5bn) in assets, showed that respondents want to offer competitive, ‘good value’ DC schemes – with most wanting to do more than the minimum level required – but many are not measuring whether they are succeeding in meeting their objectives.John Foster, principal consultant at Aon, said: “While it’s right that there has been a strong focus on what is being paid into DC schemes, it’s vital that the focus is not just on the short term but just as strong on what the outcome will be.“We have been actively helping sponsors and trustees of DC schemes to set objectives aligned to individual member needs as well as meeting the employer’s strategic goals.” Key findings include:More schemes aim to benchmark contribution rates against thier peers, than aim to deliver sufficient funds for employees to retire;One in three schemes do not measure progress against their objectives;65% of respondents do not know the projected outcome for a typical pension scheme member;Just 25% of employers consider pension outcomes in the context of future workforce planning;One in three trust-based and one in five contract-based schemes plan to move to a master trust structure in the next five years;65% of respondents said they would like to spend more time communicating with employees on pensions.Foster said it is essential to “make sure that there are robust measures in place to be able to check progress against these objectives and to identify where resources can be best focused”.He added, however, that at the moment “we feel that the measurement process is rather hit and miss and doesn’t actively demonstrate value”.Jo Sharples, partner and head of DC investment proposition at Aon, believes there could be value in moving into a master trust structure.“Many schemes are moving to a master trust structure to help with their aim of delivering better member outcomes. We believe that this could help them to free up time and resource to focus on retirement adequacy or for the master trust providers themselves to pick up on the adequacy challenge,” she said.She added: “It is imperative that those running pension schemes understand the areas where they can really add value and which areas could better be delivered through a professional third party.”Retirement standardsThe recent launch by the Pensions & Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) of its Retirement Living Standards, has highlighted the progress that many DC schemes need to make, and it is generally clear that the industry has a long way to go to reach the PLSA’s aim of 90% of schemes using targets to help members understand how much they need to fund their retirement.Steven Leigh, senior consultant at Aon, said: “The PLSA’s Retirement Living Standards is a great initiative to get people thinking about how much they really need to be able to retire in the way and at the time they would choose. However, it also important to remember that a DC pension will not be the only source of income in retirement for most.”Aon is working with schemes to help their members understand the entirety of their likely retirement wealth, which could include the state pension, pensions from previous employment and other savings so that they can see how much they will actually need to aim for from their current DC scheme, he explained.“The forthcoming pensions dashboard could provide an industry-wide solution for the pensions savings aspect, but until then the onus is on individual schemes or employers to provide an holistic view of likely income in retirement,” he said.