Greetings from the Festival
Hello friends, as we countdown the months to the next Festival, we will be visiting some of the wonderful support events being held. This month, the Australian Celtic Fashion Awards team have begun planning their exciting program for next year. They are happy to announce that entries into all categories will be free which will no doubt be extra encouragement for many fashionistas wanting to get involved. The theme for 2021 is A Tartan Day Out. There are categories for Junior (under 18) Open and Seniors. All mediums are welcome knitted, woven, stitched, leather work, millinery, dressmaking, haute couture, accessories, release the artisan and be creative. More details will be revealed via our website in the coming months.
Rhonda Bombell, Tourism & Events Officer
Glen Innes Severn Council
Feature Article – Australian Standing Stones Management Board
Judi Toms D Urr
Chair, Australian Standing Stones Management Board
September at the Stones
September 7th, 2020 marks the 29th anniversary of the raising of the first stone of the Australian Standing Stones array. The first stone raised is known as the Alexander Stone as it was named in honour of Peter Alexander, the then Convenor of the Celtic Council of Australia and instrumental in Glen Innes being given the honour of having Australia’s national monument to Celtic heritage.On September 7, 1991, the local Jelly Beans tug o’ war team used a block and tackle to raise the stone. Prior to this, the local Catholic priest had ‘blessed’ the hole with a bottle of whisky! The Alexander Stone marks the entry to the winter solstice avenue and can be found on the eastern side of the array. On September 7, 2016 a small ceremony was held to mark the 25th anniversary. Guardians were piped to the Alexander Stone by the Glen Innes Pipe band and renewed their vows. Their vows were once again blessed by the spreading of whisky around the base of the stone.
September 8th flag lowering for Asturias. The Day of Asturias is a public holiday in Asturias in northern Spain on September 8th each year. It marks the birth of Mary, mother of Jesus. The flag of Asturias shows the Victory Cross in gold on a blue background. The Greek letters Alpha and Omega hang from the horizontal axis of the cross and are a direct reference to the Book of Revelation ‘I am the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end….’ The ASSMB will hold a flag lowering ceremony at 5pm at the Stones to acknowledge Asturias. Come along and enjoy this free event, taste some traditional food, toast Asturias and hear more about this Celtic area.
September 21st is the Spring Equinox. Check the ASSMB Facebook for details on our activities for this event. We hope for a clear sunny day to watch the sun’s shadow fall on the solar noon spring equinox plaque.
The Declaration of Arbroath
by Garek Fysch
2020, marks the Declaration of Arbroath’s 700th anniversary. It was written at Arbroath Abbey where Robert I’s chancellery of government was located at the time. Written in Latin, the Declaration was sealed by eight earls and about 40 barons. The letter emphasised Scotland’s right to be a nation, sowing the seeds of Scotland’s independence and was addressed to Pope John XXII.
Plans for the Declaration to go on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on Friday March 27 were cancelled when the Museum was shut as a precaution against the coronavirus. Today, only 19 seals remain, and the document, which is cared for by the National Records of Scotland, can only be occasionally displayed in order to ensure its long-term preservation. So if the letter was addressed to the Pope in Avignon, France, what is it doing in Scotland?
The answer is simple. The letter that was sent to Avignon – the copy that actually went to the Pope – is lost. What we have is a copy written at the same time. It’s still 700 years old and that’s the document that survives today that we call the Declaration of Arbroath.
What it was originally called is a mystery. The name Declaration of Arbroath has only been in use for about 100 years. The Declaration is about A3 size and was originally thought to have been written on calfskin. The consensus now is that it is written on sheepskin.
It famously said: “For as long as 100 of us shall remain alive, we shall never in any wise consent submit to the rule of the English, for it is not for glory we fight, nor riches, or for honour, but for freedom alone, which no good man loses but with his life.”
Garek Fysch D Ua
Chair Caledonian Society Glen Innes
Dancing the Celtic Seasons
By John Rhys Jones
Other News and Updates
Next month we’ll have more updates for you on the 2021 Australian Celtic Festival – Year of Ireland & Isle of Man as well as more featured articles from our guest editors.
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