The Cornish in Victoria, Australia, got together last month for 3 days of Cornish heritage, friendship and fun! [16, 17, 18th March 2012]
As part of the 41st Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival, it was back to Eaglehawk, a town within what is now the City of Greater Bendigo but has a proud Cornish history of its own.
Interstate visitors from New South Wales and South Australia arrived on Thursday evening and Friday morning and joined their closer Victorian cousins for a bus tour to Woop Woop – a unique sculpture garden and gallery based on Australian colloquialisms and humour (over 100 sculptures depicting Australian sayings, unusual native ‘plants, and ‘Galvo Country’, where three-dimensional figures mix with the ‘local wildlife’).
Back at Eaglehawk on show were fascinating displays on Cornish themes in the old Mechanics Institute, and then on to a ‘Meet the Cornish’ night in the Uniting Church.
Lots of fun, with jokes, singing and a visit from the ‘Oss – then time to catch up over a nice cup of tea and home-baked cakes.
Saturday is the day of the big street parade, and all the Cornish associations and family groups present marched together under sunny blue skies, with their banners and St Piran’s flag held high
Then the town’s Canterbury Gardens was the site of the 25th Assembly of the Bards of the Gorsedh of Cornwall in Australia. Twenty blue robed bards processed to the circle marked out in among the flower beds.
The lovely ‘Lady of Victoria’ presented the ‘fruits of the land’ to the leader, Peter Trevorah (Mab an Gwylvos) and a team of dancers performed their part of the ceremony.
The ceremony is performed wholly in the Cornish language, except for a welcome by the local Mayor.
There have been a number of the Bardic Assemblies in Eaglehawk since the first in 1990, and the next will be in Nowra NSW in October this year.
A dinner was held on Saturday night, and a special heritage service at the Eaglehawk Uniting Church on the Sunday morning.
After a wonderful weekend together these Cornish Australians travelled up to 1,600km to return home – to tell their Cornish cousins and family and friends of the time they had ‘back in Eaglehawk’.
Loaded 1 May, 2012