Thursday, 18 May 2023
Kernewek Lowender Copper Coast Cornish Festival
Welcome! Good afternoon.
Rod and I are delighted to be with you in Moonta at the official launch of the Kernewek Lowender and to celebrate 50 years of this wonderful festival with you.
This is particularly so because my maternal great grandfather was born in Perranwell near Goodhavern, and Rod grew up near there and went to school in Truro, only 8km away.
Extraordinary that we should have met and married in Hong Kong, spent many happy holidays in Cornwall and be here today.
We have received a warm welcome and experienced the sense of Cornish pride and community.
Today we are all experiencing Kernewek Lowender – Cornish happiness – by celebrating the history, heritage and traditions of the brave pioneers who travelled to the other side of the world for a better life.
The hardy Cornish men and women who first left Cornwall in the 1840s against the backdrop of a potato famine and a slump in the mining industry and brought their expertise and pioneering spirit here.
Their industry, in all senses of the word, contributed to building our State, as their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have continued to do so through to this day.
Several of our Premiers were either born in Cornwall or had Cornish heritage: George Waterhouse, James Boucaut, John Verran, Robert Richards, Don Dunstan, and David Tonkin; and there are many more luminaries with Cornish heritage, including Sir John Langdon Bonython, the artistic benefactor, and Kate Cocks, who was appointed as the State’s first woman police constable.
Fifty years ago, the first Kernewek Lowender was held here in Moonta and more than 15,000 people filled the oval.
Every two years, the festival has been held throughout Moonta, Wallaroo, and Kadina.
I am sure the original committee would never have envisaged that the celebrations would grow in the way they have, orr that, over its 50‑year history, the festival would have brought well over one million people to explore the region.
Thank you to the volunteers, past and present, who have given the magic gift of their time to make this so.
Thank you also to all the schools, sporting and community clubs, businesses, town associations and individuals who become involved.
No other festival in the world offers such diverse, authentic Cornish and mining related activities in an area steeped in history, heritage, and culture.
It gives me great pleasure to declare the 2023 Kernewek Lowender open!
Termyn Marthys re gas bo!
May you have a wonderful time.