This month’s newsletter features all the updates you need on the 2020 Festival – Year of Ireland and Isle of Man, along with some interesting articles from our guest writer from the Australian Standing Stones Management Board and the Caledonia Society based here in Glen Innes Highlands. And don’t forget to read this month’s Celtic news with a whole lot more.
We’re excited to announce some of the first acts to be confirmed for the 2020 Festival.
Voyage of Irish Dance and Scotia Highlands Dancers
QLD Irish Association Pipe Band
Moreton Celtic Fiddle Club
Check out our performers profiles here
Applications & Bookings
Applications and bookings are now open to participate in the Festival. Make sure you don’t miss out!
Feature Article: Australian Standing Stones Management Board
Welcome to the new look Australian Celtic Festival newsletter. I hope you enjoy the many and varied articles in this edition and those to follow.
On behalf of the Australian Standing Stones Management Board, I look forward to presenting articles on the history of the Standing Stones. In doing so, I acknowledge the work of John Mathew, D Urr, author of ‘The History of the Australian Standing Stones’ and a committed member of the Australian Standing Stones Management Board.
‘IN THE BEGINNING….’
The Australian Standing Stones are the National Monument to the Celtic contribution to Australia’s development.
In 1982, the Celtic Council of Australia was formed to preserve Celtic culture, promote Celtic learning and to provide a mutual support network. Representatives from Welsh, Scottish, Manx, Irish and Cornish heritage were nominated as members of the Council.
The Celtic Council of Australia, under the Chairmanship of Peter Alexander, decided that a physical and permanent monument would provide an important reminder of the cultural contribution Celts made to the Australian way of life.
Local Government areas in NSW were invited to be involved in the building of a Celtic commemorative circle of standing stones which could also serve as a fitting backdrop to host Celtic festivals. Approximately twenty applications were received. Glen Innes was considered the most suited, with not only a hugely enthusiastic and positive working committee, but an area which could boast Scottish, Welsh, Irish and Cornish settlements and villages along with a natural source of granite from which the standing stones could be born.
On Sunday 26 August, 1990, the announcement was made that Glen Innes was to be the home of the Australian Standing Stones. The announcement was celebrated in Glen Innes with a street parade including Celtic dignitaries and supporters being heralded along the main street by the Town Crier and the stirring pipes of the Glen Innes Pipe Band.
The task had begun. The local steering committee, led by proud, resident Cornishman, John Tregurtha began the design task and the sourcing of suitable stones – it proved to be more daunting than first thought. Each stone needed to be approximately 5 and a half metres long as one third of this would be cemented into the ground. A strong, tall circle of standing stones that everyone could be justly proud of, was planned with a deadline of just over ten months set for the whole project to be completed.
The majority of the stones came from the Mount Mitchell area, east of Glencoe with others sourced from Dundee and East Pandora.
The first stone placed was to be named the Alexander Stone, in honour of Peter Alexander, the Convenor of the Celtic Council of Australia at the time and who led the Standing Stones Steering Committee.
Next month …….’The Raising of the First Stone’.
Judi Toms D Urr
Chair, Australian Standing Stones Management Board
Feature Article: Caledonian Society of Glen Innes
Just say the word ‘Scotland’ and the image that first springs to mind is probably that of a kilted piper.
Tartan and the kilt go together like Haggis and Whisky….. or should that be Schnitzel and Beer!
Classical Celtic culture emerged in central Europe around modern Austria, Bavaria, Southern Czechia (Bohemia) and Switzerland. The earliest major Celtic settlement, dating from 1200 BCE, was found in Hallstatt, Upper Austria.
A small scrap of Tartan in Vienna’s Natural History museum may have Scottish tailors quaking in their brogues. The sample is actually one of the oldest pieces of Tartan in the world predating any found in Scotland and may
indicate that Austria – not Scotland – is the true home of the kilt.
In The Mummies of Urumchi, by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, the author writes, “Like the Scottish tartans… the Hallstatt tartans contain a rhythmic mixture of
wide and very narrow stripes… The overall similarities between Hallstatt twills and recent Scottish ones, right down to the typical weight of the cloth, strongly indicate continuity of tradition.”
Tailor Thomas Rettl has a family business based in the mountainous region of Southern Austria, close to where scraps of the original tartan cloth were found. He now designs and sells his own range of kilts and highland gear. Mr Rettl, head of the Carinthian Highland Club, says the Celts may have conquered Scotland but originally came from Europe and the Austrians have
every right to lay claim to the traditional Tartan:
This Carinthian Celt plans to create a new traditional costume for the locals. Instead of the Lederhosen and the Dirndl, the traditional clothing known as
“Trachten”, he wants them to “kilt up”.
Such silliness aside, though the Scottish kilt is the recognized icon of tartan, it is not tartan’s only application. Most cultures have produced some form of tartan cloth. But the kilt is uniquely Scottish.
Mr Rettl intends to continue his line of original Celtic kilts. Though not a Scotsman by birth, like a true kilt wearer, he never lets on just what is
underneath the pleats.
Article based on an interview with Astrid Nolte Radio Prague and notes by Garek Fysch Chair Caledonian Society of Glen Innes incorporating Donau Rhein Verein – The German and Austrian Club.
Glen Innes Highlands launched a new website and campaign
Glen Innes Highlands have launched a new website and campaign on all of the things that make our town so unique – from Celtic history to adventure sports and touring.
Whether you’re visiting, thinking of a tree-change or looking to start a business, buy a business or invest in our town, Glen Innes Highlands is a great place to raise a family, change your lifestyle and become part of a vibrant community.
Check out the website here.
Want more Celtic News?
We’ll have more performer announcements and more feature articles from the Glen Innes Highlands community.