Sunday, May 13, 2018

Welsh Heritage in Idaho

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to participate in the dedication of the Welsh Heritage Square in Samaria, Malad Valley Idaho.

I scored an excellent Welsh cake at the refreshment table.
Let me get my political diatribe out of the way. There is nothing wrong with celebrating any culture as it can be done without denigrating others. This was a community event and Welshness was not a requirement. There was a gentleman who appeared to be an African-American cowboy who was talking to a lot of people and must have been a local. For all I know, he has Welsh ancestry but it is entirely beside the point. All are welcome to celebrate and there is no false superiority of putting down other heritages.

It did seem like a blessing that it did not rain more than a few, sporadic drops. The rain was torrential coming through Odgen that morning. My old Potuguese, now Welsh mentor, Dr. Dennis, was present in his Welsh costume along with his wife.


Interesting how connections come back over time. It was 40 years ago that he was my Portuguese professor!
Sister Dennis sang "Ar Hyd y Nos" ["All Through the Night"].


Dr. Dennis gave a short presentation on some of the Welsh settlers of Malad Valley including ancestors of Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He even gave a shout-out to his researcher apprentice (me) and asked me to raise my hand out in the crowd. I did and also doffed my Welsh, flat cap to Elder Andersen as he looked out to see where I was. So, there was that.

There was a traditional Welsh dance by some young girls:


Not being an official LDS function, I thought there would be no harm or copyright issues in recording Elder Andersen's address. I did not record the dedicatory prayer thinking that a bit too irreverent.


Everything considered this was a beautiful event. And not waiting in line to shake Elder Andersen's hand (there had already been that "shout-out"), I headed out past the refreshment tables and grabbed those delicious Welsh cakes!

Cymru am byth!

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