I n September 1939, five Irish Magicians - Ned Thorpe, Paddy Woods, Hubert Lambert and John Reddin decided to create a Society of Magicians in Dublin.An advertisement was placed in the local press which drew about thirty to the first meeting...The SIM was born!
Our isolated early years
Due to “The Emergency" (known outside Ireland as World War 2) the developing years of the Society were somewhat isolated from Magic in other countries. Unfortunately during this period there were no visits of Magicians to any of the four Dublin Variety Theatres. Access to British dealers was difficult and their range was severely diminished due to shortage of raw materials. However, magic books and conjuring magazines did produce some very creative performers and their influence is still in evidence today.
The International Brotherhood of Magicians
A highlight of the Society's history was the first, all Ireland, Magician's convention in the early 1940's and being host to the NAMS convention at the end of that decade. An off shoot of the successful all Ireland conventions was the formation of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.) Irish ring in 1949.
Dai just wouldn't take the cash!
In the 1950's the Society was very active with annual public Magic shows throughout Dublin and the rest of country. We had numerous famous lecturers including the incredible Dai Vernon. At the end of his long and fascinating lecture he announced that as he had such an enjoyable evening that he would take no payment. A wonderful gesture which was testament to the Irish hospitality we are famous for.
"There was nowhere to be lousy!"
T elevision came to Ireland in the sixties and while this opened up a new performing arena for established performers it killed what had been the training ground for beginners. The local Parish Sunday night concerts came to an end. In the words of Hubert Lambert "There was nowhere to be lousy!".
The variety halls and working men's clubs soon followed suit. And with them went the opportunity to see visiting Magicians live. In spite of this The SIM flourished and today we have over sixty members many of whom are full time professionals.
And so the Society continues to succeed in its founding aim, " To foster the art of Magic and to organise social functions whereat the members may gather" (Article researched by historian and Magician Neville Wiltshire)