Pes da ov bos omma ow perthi kov a Vighal Josef an Gof ha’n vertheryon Gernow. Enor vras yw ragov. Meur ras dhywgh hwi Lannahevran a’ga galow. Kannas Gorsedh Kernow ov avel Bardh Meur, mes ynwedh kannas an dre Bosvena, le may’ma solempnita kovheans Tomas Flamank, kothman Mighal Josef, an gorthugher ma.
It is a proud moment for me to be here commemorating the memory of Michael Joseph and the Cornish martyrs. It is a great honour, thank you St Keverne for the invitation. I represent Gorsedh Kernow as Grand Bard, but I also represent the Town of Bodmin where they are holding a ceremony in commemoration of Thomas Flamank, Michael Joseph’s comrade, this very evening.
The Cornish martyrs defied the most powerful ruler of their time to protest the right of Cornish people to justice, freedom and the expression of our cultural identity. This statement of Cornishness has been re-iterated time and again throughout the five centuries since.
The last few days have seen events that will lead to momentous change for all the nations of the United Kingdom, including Cornwall. It is important to remember that these events do not affect our status as a national minority, nor the formal recognition of our language and heritage. The Language Charter and National Minority status are both Council of Europe treaties, not EU. The World Heritage Site is regulated by UNESCO. The UK has not voted to leave either of these institutions.
We do face a time of change, but the Cornish are good at change and use it well. Bear in mind that within the last generation the population of Cornwall has increased by 200,000 due to in migration. Far from being a problem we have turned this on its head. We have drawn people into our culture and achieved global recognition of our distinctive Cornish identity. The key to our success lies in our motto “one and all” and our inclusive culture. We welcome people who wish to join us in being Cornish wherever they come from.
To put it colloquially Kool Kernow – Kernow Splann!
Bardh Meur Kernow
26es mis Metheven 2016