Our 2019 Annual St. David’s Day Luncheon was held on Saturday, March 2nd at the Nutmeg Restaurant in East Windsor, CT.
Video And Photo Gallery Included
photos by Leslie Spencer with labels by Susan Davies Sit; video by Ed Brown
event description by Dr Danny & Shirley Gilmartin
On Saturday March 2, on a very snowy morning, 45 members and friends of WSWNE made their way to S .Windsor, CT. It turned out to be a slow drive for many of us, but upon our arrival, the Nutmeg was decorated with Welsh flags and daffodils, delightfully festive. We greeted old and new friends, all of us feeling quite virtuous at having braved the elements to be with our compatriots on such a day.
We set about enjoying each other’s smiles and chat, and explored the table of Welsh ware cared for and attractively presented by Mark and Janet Taylor. The large map of Wales with thumb tacks marking our places of origin was a magnet once again. Thanks to Don Sit, Welsh music was playing in the background.
Those of us who were born and bred in Wales will remember that Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant ( St. David’s Day ) was a holiday in all our schools. In the morning we celebrated with a concert, for which we had been rehearsing for weeks! Everything was conducted in Welsh – our songs and sketches with plenty of singing and reciting. We girls were so proud to wear our Welsh costumes on St David’s Day. But I digress. Back to the Nutmeg.
Following a video message from the First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakefort, we held a brief Annual General Meeting which was conducted by our indefatigable and dauntless president, Susan Davies Sit. The Board for 2019-2020 was nominated and confirmed .
Our lunch began very appropriately with Leek and Potato soup (Cymry ym byth ) and it was good. There was a buzz of conversation and sounds of laughter around the tables. Forty five Welsh, however orderly, can make a joyful racket. Three children became quick friends with each other, and the adults took delight in their antics.
Every year we all look forward to seeing Edward Brown and Beth Roberts Brown in their charming and colorful Welsh costumes at our events. This year we had the added pleasure of listening to them describe the purpose of each layer of what they wore. They stood, they smiled, no modelers runway needed. A fascinating presentation. Good show!
We listened attentively to Howard Davies of Bethesda, Syr Caernarfon, reading a poem in Welsh entitled ‘ Lleisio ‘, by Ifor ap Glyn, the poem was written for the UN’s Year of the Indigenous Language 2019. It was a thought provoking poem for all, and especially apt for those members learning to speak Welsh. It stresses the importance of the speaking of the language. A translation of two lines says: “It’s verve comes from being voiced, and on children’s tongues it will live”. This truth came home to me forcefully when a new member, from Culverhouse Cross in Morgannwg (Glamorgan ) told me apologetically that he spoke little Welsh but his granddaughter in Wales was a fluent Welsh speaker. Oh joy! Diolch i chi, Howard, for the poem. It was music to our ears.
And now to our keynote speaker for this year, Ms Diane Owen of the Washington DC Welsh Society. Diane is a descendant of Welsh immigrants and she has learned to speak Welsh fluently. She delighted us all . She was both vivacious and inspiring. Diane offered us a guide towards learning the language based upon her own learning experience, it was a story of dedication and she gladdened our hearts.
The last line of our national anthem is
O bydded I’r hen iaith barhau
O, let the old language live on
With splendid people like Diane Owen indeed our ancient British tongue will not only survive, but flourish.
Enjoy video of the full presentation below.
We stood for our National Anthem to close our celebration of St. David ,”he who was of princely birth, but chose poverty”. We sang with renewed vigor and patriotic zeal for our small, beautiful beloved country.