“The Cornish are an open-hearted people, but we will not be taken for granted,” said the Grand Bard of Cornwall, Merv Davey, Telynor an Weryn, as he addressed a substantial, flag waving crowd at Truro’s High Cross today.
Celebrating St Piran’s Day, the patron saint of tinners, the Grand Bard was inspired by the noisy crowd of enthusiastic schoolchildren, who with teachers and parents had joined the annual St Piran’s procession alongside countless Cornish supporters as they snaked their way through the town.
“It’s now almost two years since we gained recognition of our National Minority status and we must continue to consolidate and assert this identity.” said Merv Davey.
“We must learn to rise above petty definitions of Cornishness and encourage and support all those who feel that indefinable sense of place and longing to embrace our Celtic culture and play a full part.”
“We have a long history of welcoming people into our culture and we applaud all those who cherish Cornish and Celtic culture as we do, but to those who are not so bothered about our heritage we say loud and clear, ‘Handle Cornwall With Care’.”
Swelled by ranks of attentive onlookers the sizeable crowd was urged to take inspiration from the Cornish men and women, some famous and many not at all famous, who have helped make Cornwall great.
“Let’s be inspired by our beautiful Cornish language, still very relevant and still present, for example, as place names in our communities,” said the Grand Bard, “and perhaps we may in turn inspire others to learn a few words and phrases as a unique badge of identity.”
Referring to plans for a National Library and Archive in Cornwall, which was also a key point of reference for the Deputy Grand Bard Elizabeth Carne, Melennek, in her address to the townspeople, the Grand Bard expressed a growing sense of pride with developments in Redruth.
“I am so proud to be Grand Bard at such an exciting time in Redruth’s history. We must be even more ambitious for Cornwall and ensure that we show how proud we are with our towns and communities who have helped make things like Kresen Kernow – the new Centre for Cornwall – happen.”