‘Waterford 1100′ trade and exchange project for secondary schools

To mark Waterford’s 1100th anniversary, WIT’s School of Business has created a project focusing on the city’s lengthy history of trade and exchange, with 10 secondary schools taking part in the venture.
Over a cup of tea at 33, The Mall, WIT’s John Maher (of the Department for Accounting and Economics and the Centre for Newfoundland and Labrador Studies) filled in The Munster Express on the project.
“We thought that this would be a timely and opportune way, on the ‘Waterford 1100′ theme, to promote Waterford’s history through trade and exchange,” he said. “And I hope that it can also provide those involved with the project with a window into the future in terms of how the people of Waterford and its hinterland are likely to conduct business in the years ahead.”
“The project is open to Transition Year and Fifth Year students from Waterford city and its environs; (both English and Irish-speaking) so, I wrote to all the local schools during the summer and in September, I personally visited all the schools and used a presentation by which to further discuss the initiative with students.”
The school entries may be from individuals or student groups and may take several forms, including multi-media and written essays.
The Waterford Library and Archive services will provide support to teachers coordinating their students’ involvement, while the best projects from the participating schools, as well as the overall winner, will receive cash prizes.
John Maher added: “It’s important to remember that very few things, be they social, political or economical, are forever; we have to learn from our history that the capacity to adapt to news is fundamental to survive, and for all our upheavals, Waterford is still here, 1100 years later. And that says much for the resilience of successive generations, including today’s citizenry of course.
“We have learned much from the Norsemen, the Normans, the English, the Anglo-Irish and of course we continue to learn from those relatively new ethnic groupings now living and working in our city, be they from Eastern Europe or Africa, for example. And that, for me, has been a key element to why we’ve survived in this ancient settlement for 11 centuries. We keep evolving.”
Said WIT’s Dr Tom O’Toole: “It is intended on completion of the competitive process to make the best projects available for view by the public, at WIT and in local libraries.
“Thus we can all look forward to learning of the students’ reflections on the historical patterns of trade and exchange and what they envisage as emerging in the 21st century.”
John Maher also thanked the project’s external partners – Chartered Accountants Ireland, Glanbia, Enterprise Ireland and Waterford City & County Council, for their “tangible support” for the venture.
“It reflects an understanding of the principles ‘mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí’ agus ‘ar scáth a chéile a mhairimd’ which means that the prospects of our community are significantly dependent on the energy and effort of our coming generation and also our collective capacity to collaborate.”
He concluded: “This project is only a small piece of a greater mosaic that we all ought to survey to fully recognise and gain a greater understanding of our city from historical, cultural and economic perspectives.”

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