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Iowa Welsh Society To Hold Summer Event

     The Iowa Welsh Society invites its members and non-members to a Summer Event on July 20.  This event will be held at the John L Lewis Memorial Museum of Mining and Labor in Lucas, IA. The board meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by a sack lunch at noon. Regular meeting will begin at 1 p.m. in the Museum's reserved rooms. Coffee/Tea will be provided. Bring a finger food to share.  

     Tour of the museum is available from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with an admission fee of $2. The museum will be showcasing their new display of recently discovered coal-mining artifacts. Directions to Fry Hill Cemetery will be provided to pay respects to Welsh miners who lost their lives in mining accidents in the local mines.  

     John L Lewis, the son of Welsh immigrants, led the unionization of miners as well as other labor groups until his death in 1969. The museum provides a look back into the years when coal mining was active in various parts of south central Iowa. The museum is located just off Hwy 34 in Lucas County at 102 Division, Lucas IA.  

     For more information about the museum go to: coalmininglabormuseum.org. For more information about the Iowa Welsh Society go to the website Iowa Welsh Society or to their Facebook page.  Questions may be directed to 319-541-2876.  

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St. David's Day In pella

Enjoy these photos from our annual gathering in Pella, Iowa, during St. David's Day.

Iowa Welsh Celebrate St. David’s Day

Article And Photos By Danny Davis

  Several hundred people, decked out in the Welsh colors of green, red, and white, gathered in Columbus Junction Saturday, to celebrate their Welsh heritage during the seventh annual St. David’s Day festival. 

  Observed by Welsh all around the world, the date of St. David’s passing is used to celebrate Welsh culture and tradition through Welsh music, food, and parades.

All of that pride-of-heritage was on display Saturday, as nearly 100 people carrying signs with their ancestor’s names walked in the parade, which went down Main Street and ended up at the American Legion, that had been decorated with Welsh signs, flags, and balloons. 

  When they arrived, they were treated to a traditional Welsh meal that included Lobsgow stew, Welsh cakes, laverbread, blood pudding, Welsh cheese and desserts.  

  The festivities inside the Legion began when Sara (Evans) Mayo led the crowd in prayer, and sang several traditional Welsh songs, including the beautiful We Will Keep A Welcome (In The Hillsides). 

  After recognizing some of the Welsh family names in attendance, she was joined by Iowa Senator Nate Boulton of Columbus Junction, in the singing of the Welsh National Anthem, which anyone who is Welsh will tell you is no easy feat; especially for someone who doesn’t speak Welsh. “I took a summer class in college to learn to speak it, so I can say a few phrases, but that’s about it,” said Boulton, who is part Welsh and was an integral part of getting the festival going. “My cousin Troy (Pugh) and I returned home from Wales and began talking about holding a festival to celebrate our Welsh heritage and honoring the Welsh who still live in our area. Troy ran with the idea, and it has turned into a celebration that continues to grow each year. It’s been a real honor for me to not only be a part of it, but emcee it each year,” said Boulton.

  Ronda Van Auken Redlinger has been involved in the festival for all seven years and noticed this year’s attendance was down from past years. “This is a good size. I think we are all happy with the turnout, but it’s not the biggest event we’ve had. I think the cold weather turned people away. I know some of the families, who were unable to come, have kids who are participating in various athletic events, and we have our snowbirds who are out of state still.”

  As a result of the cold temps, there were only a handful in attendance who were 100 percent Welsh. “It’s great to have them joining us today,” said Boulton. “They have made such an impact in the area and helped build these communities, so it’s pretty special that we are here today to honor them.”

  For those interested in genealogy, some of the Welsh family names in attendance were Jones, Hughes, Thomas, Foulkes, Rees, Peters, Davis, Davies, Arthur, Pugh, Morgan, Evans, and Edwards.