A gathering of more than 120 bards from Cornwall and elsewhere (with 4 from Australia) took part in a procession and ceremony on Saturday 7 September, 2013. Bards representing the Gorsedds of Wales and Brittany also attended.
The annual Cornish Open Gorsedh this year was held on the Glasney Fields site of the old Glasney College, a former monastery founded in 1265 and abolished in 1548 that could be said to be Cornwall’s first ‘university’ and centre of learning and culture.
18 new bards were inaugurated, including those for proficiency in the Cornish language, for contributions in Cornwall and nearby (Cornish wrestling, rugby, music, crafts and the promotion of culture), and two for their work for Cornwall in Australia.
Winners of a competition for people who wanted to pay tribute to Cornwall were also announced.
Categories ranged from poetry to essays and from photography to watercolour painting, with successful applicants hailing from the likes of London, York and Brittany.
A brave woman from Helston who has received a string of awards after facing the killers of a soldier in London was also presented with an honour. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett was acclaimed by the Bards of Gorsedh Kernow for her actions in confronting the killers after they had attacked Drummer Lee Rigby in the streets of Woolwich earlier this year. Ms Loyau-Kennett, who lives in Helston, is of part French background, and has been widely praised for her courage. She was recently given a bravery medal by the French Government and has also been asked to take part in two national awards ceremonies recognising inspirational women.
In her speech the Barth Meur (Grand Bard) Maureen Fuller talked of Falmouth’s university and wider education. “We stand here in a place heavy with Cornish history,” she said. “Today we now have here a university campus again, a little further up the hill.
“Penryn now has new students in its midst and at Tremough this week, we have officially opened the Gorsedh Kernow Bardic Collection, which holds books written by bards or about bards. “Higher education has started in this place again, including Celtic studies,” she added.
However, the Grand Bard also said Cornish heritage should have more of a place in primary and secondary schools in the Duchy.
“All children should be taught the history of where they live and given a sense of place,” she said.
“Let Cornish history be taught in all Cornish schools. It is the right of all Cornish children.”
The Bards of Gorsedh Kernow web site: www.gorsethkernow.org.uk