Greetings from the Festival

The Australian Celtic Festival HQ has been busy connecting with performers to see how they have been holding up during this hiatus in planning. It was a pleasure to receive their emails and enthusiasm for returning to the Australian Celtic Festival next year. The pandemic has had the most dramatic impact on those in the performing arts and with government legislation changing daily we can see some light ahead. At present no announcement has been made regarding 2021 but we want to ensure our residents and visitors that your safety and enjoyment will be paramount for the event.

Stay tuned, be safe and keep well.

Rhonda Bombell, Tourism & Events Officer

Glen Innes Severn Council


In the meantime – quench your thirst

St Andrews Day –  30th November 2020
A free local event open to the public will be held at the Australian Standing Stones on Monday the 30th of November to acknowledge St Andrews Day. Attendees will be welcomed by the Australian Standing Stones Board who will have some entertainment as well as flag lowering ceremony, activities start at 4.30pm.

The Caledonian Society of Glen Innes celebrations – 30th November 2020
*tickets required $30-$35.
Members and friends of The Caledonian Society of Glen Innes are invited to celebrate Scottish culture and food at their 10th annual St Andrew’s Dinner. They are holding an Al Fresco event filled with Scottish food, music and entertainment all infused with that Scottish culture we all know and love at Crofters Cottage and surrounds. Reservations can be made at Carelles, Grey Street Glen Innes and you can keep up to date via their Facebook page @calysocietygleninnes.

Spring Equinox at the Australian Standing Stones

September 22 was the date of the Spring Equinox, the day the sun was directly above the equator heading south to the tropic of Capricorn in December. With Earth’s orbit bringing the sun to warm the southern hemisphere, the equinox is a happy time to celebrate, with the cooler Glen Innes Highlands winter weather reaching its end. Remembering always drought and bushfire, it was with an element of good tidings that the day of the equinox was cloudy with rain.

A good crowd gathered at the venue of the Australian Celtic Festival, including Mayor Carol Sparkes, and was treated to a Glen Innes Highland Tours walk throughout the Australian Standing Stones precinct by Judi Toms, who is also Chair of the Australian Standing Stones Management Board. Refreshments were available at the Crofter’s Cottage, provided by the Caledonian Society of Glen Innes, and at the time of solar noon a glimmer of sun gave us a hint of the noon-time shadow crossing the equinox marker to the delight of all.

But this was an extra special Spring Equinox gathering, because an award that would normally have been given at the Australian Celtic Festival was able to be made. The Celtic Council of Australia honours individuals for services to the Australian Celtic communities, and the Australian Celtic Festival is one of the events in which these are given.

It was a delight to be able to honour Eirwen Petersen for her honourable and distinguished service to the Welsh community and the Celtic community of Glen Innes over many years. To her was awarded the CCA award of Duine Uasal (Post nominal – D Ua; From the Irish language – “Honoured Person / Gentleman or woman”).  Happily, the honour had been kept secret for the four and a half months since it had originally been planned, and with her usual grace it was accepted. Congratulations Eirwen!

John Rhys Jones
Australian Standing Stones Management Board



The Battle of Bishops Court
by Garek Fysch D Ua

Did you know that a naval engagement between British and French ships occurred off the coast of The Isle of Man on 28 February 1760 – an episode of The Seven Years War?
Known as The Battle of Bishops Court, also known as The Defeat of Thurot, it was an engagement between three British ships and three French ships.
The French had previously captured and occupied the Castle of Carrickfergus in Ireland and were believed to be en route to raid Whitehaven and Liverpool in England.
The French force under famed commander and privateer François Thurot were brought to battle in the Irish sea within sight of the Mull of Galloway in Southern Scotland and Jurby Head on The Isle of Man at 9am.
The French force was battered into submission and Thurot was shot through the heart and died during the action. The British captured all three French ships, Maréchal de Belle-Isle, Terpsichore and Blonde.
30 captured French officers and 1,000 prisoners were repatriated to France on May 10.
A memorial to the battle, called Mount Æolus, consisting of two cannons and the bowsprit of the Belle-Isle, which washed ashore on the Manx coast near Bishopscourt, was built in the grounds of Bishopscourt, Isle of Man. The wooden bowsprit was later replaced by an inscribed stone pillar. The guns were stolen in 1987, and have not been recovered.

The Australian Celtic festival 2020 was to have honoured Ireland and The Isle of Man, this will now occur in 2021.

Garek Fysch D Ua
Chair Caledonian Society of Glen Innes.

Other News and Updates

We will have more articles, news and updates for you on the upcoming Australian Celtic Festival next month.

Save the date – 29th April – 2nd May 2020

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