Tá áthas orm bualadh leat

Being the newest member of the Celtic Life International clan, I have been asked to share a little about myself and how I became involved with this publication.

I have lived in the Greater Toronto Area for most of my life – for the past 30 years in a heritage home (built in 1897!), living with my husband, two children, a varying number of cats and books…lots and lots of books.

The written word has always been a source of comfort and security for me. I think it stems from the assurance of knowing that I am surrounded by endless stories. My profession, on the other hand, has traditionally involved numbers, financial statements, and budgets. I have worked in the world of Finance for my entire career in one capacity or other – most recently, operating my own firm supporting small business and helping not-for-profit organizations achieve financial security. Although very rewarding, there has been a small, but constant voice (maybe with a wee Irish accent) moving me in another direction. This past year, which has been so difficult for so many, turned out to be a gift for me, resulting in the opportunity to take stock of my life and consider new paths and possibilities. The chance to get involved with Celtic Life International seemed serendipitous, and 2021 appeared like a very appropriate year for a new adventure.

Often, and for too long, we are prepared to accept the status quo of our lives. Then an event nudges us beyond our comfort zone that presents other options.

My parents came to Canada from the U.K. in the mid-1950s; dad arriving in advance after accepting his dream job with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), with mum following weeks later in the middle of winter (amidst a storm that left her stranded in Gander, Newfoundland!) Their final destination – Halifax, Nova Scotia – was where my siblings and I became first generation Canadians, growing up, like so many past and present, with the unrelenting pull from “back home.” My Irish heritage comes courtesy of my mum; she was a vivid storyteller who could easily bring childhood memories of Ireland to life with only a few words. Her family was originally from Tipperary, later relocating to Cork. In fact, my great-grandfather was the Lord Mayor of Cork for a short period of time. Naturally, I am very passionate about my Irish ancestry and feel strongly connected to Celtic culture; those deep roots resonating through the music, the inflection in speech, the unique sense of humour, the symbolism, and the region’s rich and robust past.

Reflecting on my parents’ courage to leave their homeland for a different life, it seemed like the ideal time for me to pluck up a little courage of my own – not by moving across the Atlantic, but by bringing an entirely new world to my door.

Although early days for me, I am fortunate to be working with an incredible team and to have been given the occasion to build on the 34-year legacy that is Celtic Life International. I appreciate the achievements that Angus M. Macquarrie accomplished over that time, and I am confident that we will continue to provide an unsurpassed excellence in journalistic quality by bringing this unique voice to our ever-expanding audience. As always, our mandate remains to connect the Celtic community, defining and redefining and refining who we are as a people, and reminding the world that we are more relevant today than ever.

Exploring Celtic culture – its people, places and history – means more than reflecting on the past, however; as a living, breathing identity and entity, it needs to be nurtured carefully to evolve. I am eager to be a part of that process and excited to be taking this new journey with all of you.

Siobhán L. Covington