Feb 18, 2010

Llangollen Eisteddfod President Terry Waite Delivers A Personal Invitation To The People Of Patagonia

“There is a word that allows for poverty to become extinct, for war to be eradicated and famine to cease to be. There is a beautiful, brilliant word for this – it is PEACE”. Alex Pasley (16), Llangollen Peace Message Winner, 2009.

Terry Waite is a well-travelled man but few journeys have meant as much to him in recent years as his recent visit to Gaiman, Patagonia. This small village (population 6000) in the Argentinian heartland was founded in 1865 when 150 Welsh immigrants arrived here on their ship the Mimosa and now, in the twenty first century, the community has retained much of it’s inherent Welshness.

‘It’s incredible when you walk the streets and hear this wondrous mixture of Spanish and Welsh’, says Terry. ‘I’m convinced that Gaiman is a unique place in terms of its linguistic and cultural make-up and, I must admit that I was completely entranced and enchanted by it’.

Being a predominantly Welsh village of course, music was very much in the air and Terry Waite soon encountered the sweeping tones of a local choir.

‘What a sound! Those voices were absolutely amazing! And the peculiar thing is- if you closed your eyes, and tried your best to ignore the heat, you would have sworn that you’d just been transported back into the Dee valley!’

There was an important reason for Terry Waite’s pilgrimage to Gaiman because Terry is the President of theLlangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and he took with him a message from the Festival- a message of goodwill, peace and (appropriately enough) harmony.

‘I think people sometimes forget that Llangollen was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize back in 2004’, says Terry. ‘The Llangollen peace message has become an integral part of the festival and I thought it would be marvellous to deliver a message of my own, from Llangollen- in the heart of the homeland- to other side of the world. My words would hopefully echo the noble sentiments of the famous Llangollen peace message’.

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod takes place between July 5th and 11th and, this year, the festival expects to attract competitors from Patagonia. In addition to the competitive events and the pageantry and colour a series of Gala Concerts this year will feature such luminaries as Nigel Kennedy, Only Men Aloud, Karl Jenkins and Bond.

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