12.8.19 Gorsedh Kernow names 12 new Bards for 2019

The initiation of the Reverend Julyan Drew

A deep feeling of pride in being honoured with Cornish bardship will be plain to see this year as 11 proud initiates, with just 2 from outside Cornwall this year, wait to take their place among the 500 or so existing members of the College of Bards of Gorsedh Kernow.

Gorsedh Kernow, now in its 90th anniversary year, was established with the aim of celebrating and promoting Cornwall’s distinctive Celtic culture and the historic mining town of St Just in Penwith provides the setting for this year’s Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival which includes the iconic blue robed bardic ceremony on Saturday 7th September.

The high point of the ceremony, which starts at 2pm at the world famous Plen an Gwari, will be the inauguration of 11 of the 12 new bards in recognition of their outstanding work in serving Cornwall and her distinctive Celtic identity.

Owing to exceptional circumstances and failing health, one of the new initiates, Rev Julyan Drew, was initiated into the bardic circle in June at a special ceremony surrounded by his family and held in his home in Newlyn.

“Being awarded a bardship is a great honour,” said Grand Bard of Cornwall Elizabeth Carne, Melennek “especially as the ceremony is conducted in front of gathered members of the College of Bards, alongside representatives of our sister Celtic nations of Wales and Brittany, other Cornish organisations and friends and families that support Gorsedh Kernow and come together on this special occasion to celebrate our precious Cornish culture.”

The importance of work done to promote Cornwall’s history, community arts and Cornish identity features strongly in this year’s group of candidates.

The new bards for 2019

Mary Ann Bloomfield, Botallack, for promoting the Cornish element in     community arts.                                                                                                    

Richard Cawley, St. Mawgan, for services to Cornish wrestling.                     

Greg Drew, South Australia, for promoting the knowledge of mining technology and his commitment in the Cornish Diaspora.                                                 

Rev. Julyan Drew, Newlyn for a lifetime’s promotion of Cornwall in everything he does. (Please see note below**).

Rosie Fierek, Gunnislake, for promoting the Cornish element in community arts.

Ronald Hogg, Newlyn, for research and promotion of local history in Newlyn.

Michael Jenkin, Bodmin, for promoting Cornish identity at home and overseas.

Kate Neale, Porthcothan, for promoting the revival of Cornish music in Cornwall and the Diaspora.                                                                                  

Paul Phillips, Helston, for being an outstanding promoter of the Cornish dialect.

Gwenno Saunders, Cardiff, for services to the Cornish language through music and the media.

Colin Short, St. Austell, by examination in the Cornish language and continuing service to Cornwall.

Kathy Wallis, Rillaton, for being an enthusiastic promoter of Cornish folk arts. 

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Further notes for Editors

Gorsedh Kernow exists to promote and maintain the Celtic Spirit of Cornwall and to give expression to such spirit, to encourage the study of Cornish history and literature, the Cornish language, to foster Cornish art, music, dance and sport and to link with other Celtic countries.

**On Tuesday 11th June the Grand Bard Elizabeth Carne, Melennek and a small group of bards gathered for a short private ceremony at the Newlyn home of the Rev Julyan Drew, a new initiate who had graciously accepted the honour of bardship with the intention of attending the 2019 bardic ceremony in St Just. Sadly, due to his diminishing health, Rev Drew’s family felt that he may become too fragile and that it would be too much for him to take part in the September ceremony, and it was decided that the honour of bardship would be conferred on Rev Drew at his home at the earliest possible time. Julyan, dressed in his bardic robe and surrounded by his loving family, was received into the bardic circle in the presence of a small circle of robed fellow bards who participated in a shortened ceremony which concluded with the Grand Bard Melennek presenting Julyan with his certificate, confirming his bardic name of Hwilor an Golow (Seeker of the Light). Smiles and congratulatory applause from all those present rounded off a very intimate and emotionally moving event. The family of Hwilor an Golow expressed their heartfelt thanks to the Grand Bard and to Julyan’s fellow bards for agreeing to arrange such an event which proved to be very special for all those who were there.  We are very sad to report that Hwilor an Golow died on 25th July.

The annual procession of bards and installation of 11 of the new initiates into the College of Bards will take place on Saturday 7th September at the 2pm ceremony at the Plen an Gwari as part of the Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture. The procession will be led at 1.30pm from Cape Cornwall School by Grand Bard of Cornwall Elizabeth Carne, Melennek, accompanied by the Mayor of St Just Cllr Marna Blundy and local girl Emily Earley as the “Lady of Cornwall.”

The bardic names of the 11 of the 12 new bards will also be made known for the first time at this ceremony, which will be conducted in the Cornish language although it can be followed easily with the English translation. All are welcome to attend the ceremony and there is no charge for this event. 

The Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture runs from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th September and, as well as the main bardic ceremony, has a variety of events including a Literary Festival, a one-day conference – ‘Global Kernow Today’, the Adults and Young People’s Awards evening and exhibition of awards winners work, the ever popular Cornish troyl ceilidh, Cornish market, a gala concert, a ‘Come All Ye’ song session, Cornish language taster morning, walks and sung Evensong in Cornish.  Most events are free of charge and all are welcome to attend. 

For more information about all the Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture events visit the website  www.gorsedhkernow.org.uk

For more information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact enquiries@gorsedhkernow.org.uk  or visit the Gorsedh Kernow website