Gorseth Kernow - Penzance 2007

Speech by the Grand Bard


Note the black and gold banners
Note the black and gold banners


Your Worship the Mayor, Honoured Guests, Fellow Bards,

Gorseth Kernow is grateful to Penzance for the welcome today and for all the help we have received in staging this event. This is a place where Cornish Culture is thriving, from the Arts and Sports to festivals and celebrations. People across the Tamar, please take note!

Many famous people have had their roots here, too many to mention them all, so I have chosen a few. One has to begin with Sir Humphry Davy, the Star of Penzance. What a talented man he was!Although he did not come from a rich family, he achieved so much, becoming a scientist and President of the Royal Society and a founder of the Zoological Society. He was also a poet and an inventor.

William Colenso, another son of Penzance, was a notable botanist who went to New Zealand as a Missionary. He, a Cornishman, translated the New Testament into the Maori language. If only the same had happened for the Cornish Language in the sixteenth century, who knows what might have happened? With the Prayer Book and the Bible translated only into English, the decline of the Cornish language was hastened.

Two sons, and so now a daughter! Maria Branwell was born here. She was the mother of the Bronte family. Biographies of Charlotte, Emily and Anne state that she was a Cornishwoman, and her genes were in these great novelists.

These are people who made their mark in history. Gorseth Kernow honours them , but also all those who are serving Cornwall and our vibrant culture. At this time, when there are those who seemingly would like to blend our culture into an anonymous south-western mix, it is more important than ever to support and enjoy our language, music, dance, sport and theatre!


Vanessa Beeman, Grand Bard, Penlee Gardens 1.9.07


Note the black and gold banners
Note the black and gold banners


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