December 2011 - Rhagfyr 2011

Important Dates


Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 2.00 p.m.

Christmas Carols and Afternoon Tea,

Knox Metropolitan United Church, 8301 - 109 Street, Edmonton


Friday, January 20, 2012, 6.00 p.m.

St Dwynwen’s Day Pub Night and Quiz.

The Lion’s Head Pub, Radisson Hotel, (formerly Coast Terrace Hotel)

4440 Gateway Boulevard


February 11, 2012

Harp and Vocal Competition

Evening concert at Muttart Hall, Alberta College, 7.00 p.m.


Saturday, February 25, 2012.

St David’s Day Banquet, 6:30 p.m.

University of Alberta Faculty Club



Spring Concert


Annual General Meeting and Social

April 13, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

9908-114 Street, Edmonton



May 16, & 17, 2012

Argyll Casino


Heritage Days.

August 4-6

Hawrelak Park


Additional information about above events:


Pub Night - Linda Franklyn reminds us that there will be a prize for the winner of the quiz on January 20 . Last year’s winner was Marilyn Isitt. A section of the th lounge has been reserved for the Society from 6:30 onwards. The pub has a menu online if anyone wants to check it out. Last year several people chose to order food, but this is completely optional. The event was well attended despite inclement weather and members enjoyed the evening.

Harp and Vocal Competition - organizer, Glynys Hohmann informs us the competition is also open to members’ children and grandchildren. For information about entering, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


President's Corner

Brrr! By the time this newsletter arrives, I hope the weather has warmed up. However, the snow does make me think of Christmas and getting organized with baking and gifts and shopping.

I hope that you will attend the St David’s Welsh Society’s Annual Christmas festivity - Christmas Carols and Tea - on December 11, 2011 at 2 p.m. in Knox Metropolitan United Church lounge. Vivien Bosley will lead the singing and her friend, Donna Mae Mohrmann, will play our favourite carols. So come out and enjoy singing and treating yourself to tea and Christmas goodies! I really regret that I will be unable to attend and wish everyone a Happy Christmas in advance. I will be busy enjoying the antics of 4-year-olds as they dance at my granddaughter’s Christmas Dance Concert.

Both of the fall events - the Wine and Cheese and the Pot Luck - were a lot of fun, with good food and great company. Once again Nance and Mike Smith graciously hosted the Wine and Cheese. Although Marilyn Isitt did not attend the Pot-luck, she kindly made all the arrangements.

The annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch was held at the Moose Factory, with forty people in attendance. The St David’s Welsh Society of Edmonton receives help and support from many people: Society members, members of the St David’s Welsh Male Voice Choir and friends of members. The Society could not continue without this assistance.

The members of the phoning committee, Linda Franklyn, Sue North and Marcia Hunt deserve special recognition. They telephone and email all members prior to events. This is not an easy task and is frequently very time-consuming. Please help them by phoning back when they leave messages. We do need to know that the message was received in order to plan according to the number of people who will be attending events.

I look forward to 2011 activities. We will be celebrating St Dwynwen’s Day on January 20 at the Lion’s Head Pub in the Radisson Hotel (see Linda Franklyn’s note above). The Banquet is always a great event. In addition the Board is looking at events that include rugby.

There will be no Gymanfa Ganu next year. Although it is sad to lose an old Welsh tradition, declining attendance, combined with difficulty in finding someone to lead the singing, made the Board realize that we need to try something else. This year we are trying a completely new format by hosting a spring concert and tea. The Phoning Committee will keep you posted as to the date and location.

As you know, the Society supports the Edmonton Opera by donating money annually towards the opera chorus. This has been acknowledged with the gift of three sets of tickets. The Board decided to hold a draw for these tickets at various events. The lucky winners to date are Walter Epp, who attended the double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci and new member Sandra Rees will see The Mikado. The third set, for Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio, will be drawn at the St. David’s Day Banquet. Only members are eligible for the draw, so if you want a chance to see the opera, come to the banquet!

Please note that the next Casino will take place on May 16 and 17 at the Argyll Casino. Please come out to help.

Nadolig llawen and Blwyddyn Newydd dda!

Eluned Smith


Tidbits on my Welsh Trip from Mike Tomlinson

Several members of the Society went back to Wales last summer. Here are accounts of their visit from two of them:

Tidbits on my Welsh Trip from Mike Tomlinson

1. There is a move by various Town Councils to make an effort to offer services in both English and Welsh. Consequently those currently employed will be offered Welsh language training. Many local schools are also adopting Welsh as the language of instruction; in fact my cousins in a Welsh school in Carmarthen are in a grade three class and this is the first year they will have English.

2. As a result of the increase in Welsh language promotion, my other cousin’s mother-in-law coined the term ‘Welshies’. She said “Yes, there’s lots of Welshies around now - people that speak Welsh!” Hah!

3. We visited and toured Cardiff and Cardiff Castle. The castle was given to the people of Cardiff by the 5th Marquis of Bute after he had had it restored in the early 1900's. He thought he was going to lose his profitable trade, so he moved to Scotland. The history of the castle dates back to Roman times and parts of the Roman wall still survive. The site also includes the remains of the Norman keep with the transformed Victorian Mansion.

4.A little tid-bit: the castle grounds will be hosting the British cheese festival, with over 1500 different kinds of cheese on display. The organizers were worried about security because at one of the last festivals, over 1500 pounds of cheese were stolen.

5. Cardiff was named Capital of Wales in 1947. Before this there had been no Welsh Capital City.

6. At the time of our trip, Wales was successful in advancing to the semi-finals at the Rugby World’s Cup in New Zealand. Everyone knows the result of the game against France on October 15. Ieuan Evans (and he is not alone) claims that Wales was cheated by a bad call by the referee.

7. Cardiff is the home of the Welsh National Assembly and the Welsh National Opera.

8. Millenium Stadium of Cardiff has been named as a site for some of the Olympic football games when the Olympics come to London next summer. What a lift for Wales to be involved!

9. We all know about inter-city rivalries, but nothing tops Cardiff and Swansea. I was getting jerseys for our sons: Warren is into rugby, so I got him a Welsh World’s Cup jersey. Evan is into soccer, so I thought that since Swansea is now in the premier league this year, I would get him one of those. Well, I was almost thrown out of the store! They would not even broach the subject. Fortunately my Canadian accent saved me! Hah! The only place I would get a Swansea jersey would be Swansea, so I ended up getting a Wales colours football jersey instead, A good laugh now!

10. One of the newest crazes in Wales is windsurfing at the Gower, where windsurfing enthusiasts have set up schools. We drove by Caswell Bay, which had a fairly major training operation.

11. Whilst in that area, my cousin showed us the summer home of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones. We could only see the roof, but apparently her Mum lives there.

12.Llanelli, my place of birth, is showing signs of the downturn with the new development of a large shopping precinct at Testre. Unfortunately, the downturn is hurting quite badly, but that’s progress!

13. My cousin works in maintenance at the Felinfoel Brewery (Double Dragon Beer) so he is not immediately affected. He also pointed out that the new rugby field for the Scarlets is quite impressive and that they are hoping for big returns.

14. We paid a visit to Morriston Cemetery in Swansea; my Mum, her paretns and other family members are buried there. A new Crematorium/Cemetery opened a year or so ago in Llanelli. Apparently the old cemetery closed down in the late 50's.

Mike Tomlinson

Miriam and Ed Roberts' Trip to Wales

Miriam and Ed Roberts also went to Wales. Here are Miriam’s thoughts:

2011 National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Ed and I attended the 150th Eisteddfod in Wrexham on August 5th and 6th. I volunteered at the Clwyd Family History booth once again. It was a time to put my Welsh speaking into practice. I was told my Welsh is “ardderchog”. However, I always feel less than perfect when speaking to my fluently Welsh-speaking cousins, but, unlike me, they haven’t lived outside Wales for over 50 years!

The booth was a good place to meet friends and relations while giving visitors help with family history. Once it became known I was there, many people came to see me.

On August 6th, we went with my brother and sister-in-law to hear the male choirs of between 20 and 45 voices.. One of Ed’s relatives was singing in a choir from Llandeilo. Rhosllanerchrugog Male Voice Choir won the over 45-voice choir competition. Their version of ‘Oes gafr eto’ was very lively and must have pleased the adjudicator. We saw another of Ed’s relatives, Trefor Pugh, receive the cup for singing a folk song.

When we were leaving the pavilion after the afternoon session, I recognized Berwyn Jones from Nebraska, who is an enthusiastic promoter of the history of the Welsh on the Prairies. He had been sitting a couple of rows in front of us. He called his wife Martha Davies to join us. Martha and I were both in level 7 at the Cwrs Madog in Camrose. Another little reunion.

We stayed in the field and had supper before going to the evening concert, where once again we saw many people we know.

The eisteddfod choir had only had one practice just before the concert with the Wales Chamber Orchestra. Unfortunately, in the first half the choir was drowned out by the orchestra. The soloists for the concert were David Kempster, Geraint Dodd, Ann Atkinson and Anne Williams-King. The gentleman sitting next to me said he was from London. He did not have a Welsh background, but he and his wife have been coming to the National Eisteddfod for 13 years, making a holiday of it in the different places it is held. Part of the reason he comes is to get away from the hubbub of London as well as to enjoy the culture.

Touring Britain and Ireland

We spent two weeks in North Wales and the border area of England visiting family and friends before going on the Britain and Ireland Escape bus tour. I drove while we were in Wales. I wanted to go to Anglesey to see Parys Mountain near Amlwch, where my great-great-great-grandfather had been a copper miner in the mid-1800's. This copper was used as cladding for the wooden ships, to prevent barnacles developing on the wood, which slowed down their passage. We walked up to see the cavity in the ‘mountain’ where the copper had been extracted. When we went to see if there were any remains of where they had lived, I could see no trace of any dwelling. We then decided to go to see Llynnon Windmill, which is a working flourmill. Alongside the mill were two round houses built of wattle and daub, complete with thatched roof, demonstrating how Iron Age farmers lived in that area. After our tour, we had afternoon tea at the mill. We were sitting next to a couple who asked me if I understood Welsh; the lady asked me if I could translate a poem written on the wall of the café. I managed about 80% of it, so she asked one of the waitresses if she could translate it. When she said she couldn’t, it gave the lady a better appreciation of my efforts!

After our visit to Wales. We joined the Britain and Ireland escape tour. Our tour guide was from Wales. In Scotland we went to see the Edinburgh Tattoo and in Ireland we enjoyed an evening Ceilidh. We only spent part of one day in Wales, much to our guide’s chagrin. We also spent part of a day in Cornwall and visited Jamaica Inn, proud of its past smuggling activities. While touring Scotland, we were entertained on the bus with Scottish music and in Ireland with Irish music and in Wales with Welsh music, making the tour a truly Celtic experience. The tour guide asked him if I could help him say ‘A warm welcome to Wales’ in Welsh when we arrived in Holyhead on the ferry. My Welsh was put to the test again!


I received a bundle of newspaper clippings from my sister-in-law keeping me in touch with what is happening in North East Wales. One clipping had more information about my cousin who has a yogurt business called “Llaeth y Llan”. Now that the company is selling its products over the Border, they have trouble with the name. Fancy that! The factory is on their farm, which is on a very narrow road impassable by articulated lorries, so they have to use smaller vans. They may have to move the factory to the main A55 road. The most recent award they received was the NFU Cymru Natwest Welsh Community Champions Award.


Welsh Books

We received a copy of O Tyn y Gorchudd from a cousin. I had written a report if it in 2003. The book has now appeared in an English translation as The Life of Rebecca Jones , and is translated by Lloyd Jones, with the Welsh on odd-numbered pages and English on the others. Angharad Price won the prose medal for this book at the National Eisteddfod in 2002. In 2003, the book was awarded the title Wales Book of the Year, and was considered an instant classic. On the international scene, it made its author the first Welsh language writer to be promoted by Scritture Giovanni, an EU-sponsored initiative. The book has also been adapted for radio and discussed by bloggers as being ‘the first masterpiece of the twenty-first century’. It‘s a shame this book was written after my mother died, as she was Rebecca’s first cousin. In 2012, the family will have lived in the same location for 1000 years, since 1012 AD.

Lladd Duw is a book which was written by my cousin’s son, Dewi Prysor and is published by Y Lolfa. As the title suggests, it is about the absence of God in people’s lives in the 21st century, with their lives being described as a rat race. This life style is said to kill people’s hopes. I have not read this nor his other three books: Brithyll, Cravia and Madarach. Lladd Duw is meant to have a deeper theme, though it contains black humour and is described as ‘striking’. It is not meant as an attack on believers in God.

Miriam Roberts.



As proof of Ieuan Evans’s contention that the Welsh Rugby team was shafted in New Zealand, I offer an article that appeared in French in Le Monde just before the tragic semi-final match with France:

“We’re French. I’m 100% behind France, but I wouldn’t mind if Wales won when they’re playing the kind of rugby they are at the moment. It’s the kind of rugby that’s going to pack the stadiums and encourage young people to get out on to the rugby field. Such a small country; such likeable and carefree young people; it’s great! I hope we beat them, but for rugby in general, a Welsh victory certainly wouldn’t be a catastrophe”

Unfortunately, that victory didn’t happen, which, for Wales, was a c a t a s t r o p h e .


Bit of Welsh

Lest people think that no progress is being made with Welsh, I offer a snippet from the diary I write for the reading group with Andrew Jones (who very kindly corrects us) and Maggie Dower. I received a postcard from Switzerland with a picture of a fox, which reminded me of encounters with foxes I’ve had in my life. (Maggie thinks the fox must be my spirit animal) Here is the one in Wales:

Unwaith, roedden ni’n aros gyda ffrindiau yn Abertawe. Bryd hynny, roedden nhw’n byw yn nhí ardderchog roedd rhan yr ystad Castell Clun. Roedd e wedi perthyn i’r curad, a roedd e’n dí o gerrig brydferth iawn. Mi ddeffrais i’n gynnar un bore a gwelais i cadno yn sefyll yng nghanol y lawnt. Rhyfedd!

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