Biennial General Meeting

New Plymouth

Saturday13 May 2023

Thanks must go to the Taranaki branch for organising and hosting this meeting.  Their hospitality and warm welcome are typical of our Cornish heritage.  As usual a wonderful spread of food was provided, including Cornish pasties.  After the official business got out of the way, entertainment included a couple of presentations by the Cornish Association president, Judy Wright and musical entertainment was provided by Peter Garvin who sang a number of well know Cornish songs including, Sweet Nightingale, Padstow May Song and The White Rose.  Songs that got those attending, foot tapping and singing along. 

For those of you who are not familiar with these Cornish folk songs. Please enjoy these videos.

Sweet Nightingale, sung by the Aurora Voices of the Burnside High School, Christchurch, New Zealand - Link

Padstow May Song, sung by British folk-rock band Steelye Span - Link

The White Rose, sung by the Newquay Male Voice choir - Link 

These wonderful Cornish "One and All " sweat shirts worn by Lynne and Gerald certainly made an impact with everyone.

If you are interested in purchasing your own sweatshirt or other Cornish gifts, books, music, clothing, St. Piran flags and jewellery they can be found at -  Link

Clive is a small town, 10kms from the city centre of both Napier and Hastings in the Hawkes Bay.

Pictured next to one of his many cameras is the host, Colin. 

Hawkes Bay - 4 May 2023

The Cornish gathering in Hawkes Bay have once again been out and about.  Nineteen NZ Cornish Association members recently met at the home of association member Colin Trevelyan in Clive.

Colin, whose ancestors came to New Zealand in 1875, has collected and curated a wonderful museum of cameras, photographic memorabilia, hospital and aerial mapping equipment along with a number of vintage cars.  The museum is no longer open to the public and the group were given a personal guided tour that was enjoyed by all.

Before the tour, the group enjoyed lunch and with more new members joining, the attention was once again drawn to the map of Cornwall that is now steadily filling up with their Cornish connections. A newsletter from the NZ Cornish President was also handed out to those attending.

Dennis reading from his Great Grandfather's diaries

Taranaki Branch - 15 April 2023

Branch member Dennis Simpson shared with members his Great Grandfather's diaries as the 1st Harbour Master at Port Taranaki. 

Covering topics such as the history of the establishment, shipwrecks in the Taranaki region and a copy of the address given by the current harbour master. 

The talk was enjoyed by all and generated a lot of discussion.

Pictured below a selection of memorabilia brought along to share with members.

A very attentive audience 

Christchurch Branch 8 April 2023

The members enjoyed watching the latest Fishermen's Friends film "One and All " at their monthly meeting.  A short break was taken to enjoy afternoon tea and then continued with the remainder of the film. Feedback from the branch - a great success. 

What better audience could you have than a Cornish Association 

Cornish Gathering in Hawkes Bay - 24 March 2023

Through our website and face book presence we are attracting several new national members. Two new members, Paddy and Richard who have recently joined in the Hawkes Bay were keen to get a regular “Cornish gathering” organised.  Here pictured is the lunch that took place on 24th March with 11 people attending.  A welcome newsletter from the NZ Cornish Association President was given to each attendee along with a map of Cornwall and this proved to be good starting point to get the conversation flowing. Further meetings/outings are being planned to take place every 6 weeks. If this is something you may be interested in, please email our National Secretary and he will pass on your details. Contact details can be found on our "New Zealand" page.

Les unwrapping his gift of a beautiful Cornish Engine house, under the watchful eye of Christchurch Association President Jeanette and his sister Heather. Heather is also a Cornish Bard and is wearing her Bardic robes.

Christchurch Branch AGM – 11 March 2023

After 53 Years of being branch secretary at the Christchurch Cornish Association, Les Mitchell has decided to call it a day and pass on the baton.

Les took over the role back in 1970 when secretary at the time, Mrs Blake, stood down due to ill health. His association with the branch goes back much further as a member, along with his late mother and his sister Heather who is still an active member.

Les was recognized by the Gorsedh Kernow for his promotion of Cornwall in New Zealand and in 2009 joined the ranks of Cornish Bards from around the world.

Although standing down as secretary, he is still keen to take an active role in the branch and has joined the committee where his input will be greatly valued.

Dorothy reading a poem that she had written specially for the occasion. 

Les with his wife Lynda who was presented with a bouquet of flowers for her support given over the years.

Les also received a number of cards and a special cake for him to cut, along with a very nice afternoon tea to enjoy with branch members.

Christchurch Branch -11 February 2023

Christchurch branch held their first meeting of 2023 with a gathering of 15 people.  

There were the usual news updates from Cornwall, the monthly NZ president message and Heather leading the singing with the Cornish song of the month "Cornwall My Home" by Harry Glasson. A great favourite with Cornish choirs.

Joyce and Les treated everyone to a couple of Cornish ghost stories and this provoked some discussion and stories by members of their own experiences.   

The meeting finished with the usual delicious afternoon tea. 

Some of the audience listening intently 

Taranaki Christmas Lunch - 13 December 2022 at Cobb & Co, New Plymouth 

An excellent assortment of raffle prizes, including a selection of goodies brought back from a recent visit to Cornwall by the association president.

Eighteen members of the Taranaki branch held their final meeting of 2022 with a Christmas lunch at Cobb & Co in New Plymouth.  They are pictured here holding their copy of the NZ 60th Anniversary booklet.  The booklet was presented to each member as a gift from the National Association.  According to branch secretary, Carol Cowling, "everyone was thrilled with the booklet and some members have asked for extra copies"

Christchurch branch, Christmas meeting 3 December 2022 

This year's production by committee members was an adaptation of "The Green Man", a well-known character from traditional folk culture. 

Staring Les as “The Green Man”

Standing in for Father Christmas this year and assisted by Green Woman, Green Man then presented a small gift of a chocolate bar and a copy of the just released history of the New Zealand Cornish Association 1962 - 2022 booklet to members. 

Dorothy and Jennie as the narrators

Dorothy cutting the Christmas cake

Adrianne & Jennie our wonderful tea ladies.

More entertainment was provided by Celia’s word game, provoking much sighing and head scratching.

Heather and Nadine lead the singing with some well-known carols including the "Sans Day carol" and finishing with "While Shepherd Watched" to the tune Lyngham.  This is the traditional tune sung at Cornish Christmas celebrations. 

Click on the link to hear the Port Isaac Fisherman's Friends sing "While Shepherds Watch" to the tune "Lyngham" in the Chapter House of Wells Cathedral - Link

Pictures from the November 2021 Christchurch Meeting - The theme for the meeting "The Enjoyment of Books"

Guest speaker, Renee Blackburn from the “Book Discussion Scheme”

Our masked crusaders!!

Keeping with the theme of books.  The members watched a video book review by Simon Savage. These books were chosen by the  Duchess of Cornwall for season one of her "Duchess of Cornwall's Reading Room.

Jennie delivering the prepacked teas

Pictures from the August 2021 Christchurch Meeting - the meeting had an island theme

Long standing members David and Olwyn King cut a cake on the double occasion of Olwyn’s birthday and their 70th wedding anniversary

Guest speaker, Bert Walker, gave a talk about a holiday in the Chatham Islands.

We couldn’t let the occasion go by without reminding everyone about our beautiful islands off the coast of Cornwall – The Isles of Scilly.  A video followed Julia Bradbury on a 5-mile circular walk of St Martin’s, before island-hopping to Tresco..

Heather leads the members in the song "The Sweet Nightingale" adding to the collection of Cornish songs that the members have been learning and enjoying each month.  

Isles of Scilly themed table decorations

The Isles of Scilly from the air

Pictures from the May Bi Annual AGM Held in Christchurch 2021

Pasty lunch is always a favorite with the members

Musical Entertainment

A wonderful display of Cornish Bards past and present associated with the Christchurch branch

The AGM makes a start with Heather acknowledging Nick Bartle (the national secretary) as the latest association member to be honored in the list of Cornish Bards for 2018

As its May month it must be Helston Flora!! – With music provided by Heather and friends. Some of the more energetic members had a go at the Furry Dance

Our three current bards (L to R):

Heather Mitchell-Gladstone - KERNEWES ILOWEK 

Nick Bartle - DEN AN SOTH


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