A Short History of the Early Days of "The St. David's Welsh Society of Georgia"
Written by Sally Evans Funderburk
In late 1983, three Welsh-born persons living in Atlanta, David Greenslade, Janet Sherry, and Sally Evans Funderburk decided to attempt to find others interested in forming a Welsh Society in Georgia. After many phone conversations back and forth, David had an article published in the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. David and his wife, Suzanne, had recently returned from a coast-to-coast tour of the USA in a motor-home, their purpose being to visit as many Welsh Societies as possible, and subsequently he wrote a book about their travels. It was called "Welsh Fever". The article in the newspaper comprised of stories of their travels and an invitation to people in Atlanta who would be interested in helping to establish a Welsh Society of Georgia, and to join in a celebration of St. David's Day on March 1st 1984, to phone him. Five people responded and were asked to attend a meeting at Jan's house in Dunwoody to join Jan, Sally, David and his wife Suzanne. At this meeting officers were elected: David as President; Olwen Xander as treasurer; Berwyn Jones as Secretary; and Sally as Newsletter Editor. A vice President would be elected later, if needed. The main topic of our first official meeting was a St. David's Day dinner. Jan graciously offered her home for the dinner, and a menu was selected.
During the next week or two many more phone calls were received, and a meeting in February 1984 was arranged, to take place at David and Suzanne's home. It was "standing room only" a tthis time because so many people turned up. It was obvious a larger venue would be needed. Jan Sherry agreed to coordinate a banquet at Lenbrook Square on Peachtree Road, which was a well known facility for senior citizens, at which her mother-in-law resided. A notice was placed in the Atlanta paper as well as in the newspapers of several other local counties. The replies were beyond all our hopes! Jan decided to ask for a larger room at Lenbrook, and three days before the event, we had to curtail the number of guests who wanted to attend to 90 people, though the final count of people seated was 95. The menu was typically Welsh and was followed by an address by David Greenslade, our President and a musical programme consisting of communal Welsh hymn singing, led by Sally Evans Funderburk. An animated audience sang "Hen Wald fy Nhadau" to close the celebration.
To discuss our first official meeting, a planning session was held by the core committee. A name was chosen for the society: "The St. David's Welsh Society of Georgia"; our first meeting place would be St. James Presbyterian Church on Riverside Drive, Berwyn Jones' home church and where his wife was organist (a plus for the Society; she played piano faithfully for all our gatherings for many years). Plans were made for having Welsh Language lessons, forming a small choir and producing a monthly newsletter, which we decided to be called "Yr Hwyl". Sally Evans Funderburk was elected as vice-president and editor of "Yr Hwyl". From then on, the monthly meetings have been held on the second Sunday at 2pm, with an average of 45 people attending.
The venue has changed three times during then and now. We moved to Esther Stroud's home church of Brookhaven Methodist, and when she moved to Skyland Methodist Church, she graciously allowed us to follow her there. We have been meeting in the parlor of the Dunwoody Methodist Church for about 5 years, thanks to Bill and Hefina Phillips who are members there.
© 2002 The St. David's Welsh Society of Ga.
Y Côd Post Da/The Good Zip Code Gan/By Karl Welsher
(Cychwynais i lunio brawddegau am y llun yn dosbarth Sally. Yna ysgrifennais i y stori "Y Côd Post Da". Côd post tref Dunwoody yw 30338. I started to construct sentences about the picture in Sally's class. Then, I wrote the story "The Good Zip Code" The town of Dunwoody zip code is 30338.)
Y Côd Post Da
Mae'r Llewelyns yn byw yn 30338, y côd post da. Mae nwh'n byw mewn ty mawr coch gyda ffenestri fframiog. Mae car moethus pinc gan y Llewelyns. Mae hi'n braf bob dydd, achos does dim ymbrelo gyda'r llaethwr.
Mae Dewi Llewelyn yn dad cariadus. Mae yn ddyn tawel. Mae Dewi yn codi am chwarter wedi chwech i ddarllen yr AJC, y papur newyddion. Mae e'n gwrando ar y Radio Cymru bob nos. Mae Dewi yn tyfu rhosynau pren, lelog a lafant. Enw'r ci yw Billie. Mae hi'n chwarae pel yn yr ardd gydag e.
Mae Lelog Llewelyn yn fam llethol. Mae hi'n hoffi coginio "Brecwast Golau Cannwyll" bob dydd. Mae hi'n coginio cig moch a wyau ac mae hi'n gwneud te gwyrdd. Mae Lelog yn ffonio eu ddwy chwiorydd, Rhiwbob a Paill bob dydd ac yn siarad am Pobol y Cwm.
Mae y plant yn byw lan lloft. Mae'r bachgen, Glyn, yn yr ystafell weli. Mae e'n gwybod ei fod e'n mynd i'r Coleg Y Drindod. Mae Siân yn ymolchi nawr. Mae hi'n gwybod ei bod hi'n mynd i weithio yn Siop Y Pentan..
Ac mae llun mam yng nghyfraith Llewelyn yn yr attig.
The Good Zip Code
The Llewelyns live in 30338, the good postal code. They live in a big red house with sash windows. The Llewelyns have a luxurious pink car. It is nice everyday, besides the milkman does not have an umbrella.
Dewi Llewelyn is the loving father. He is a quiet man. Dewi gets up at quarter past six to read the AJC, the newspaper. He listens to Radio Wales every night. Dewi grows tree roses, lilacs and lavender. The dog's name is Billie. She plays ball in the garden with him.
Lilac Llewelyn is the overwhelming mother. The mother likes to cook "candle light breakfast" everyday. She cooks bacon and eggs and she makes green tea. Lilac phones her two sisters Rhubarb and Pollen everyday and talks about Pobol y Cwm.
The children live upstairs. The son, Glyn, is in the bedroom. He knows that he is going to Trinity College. Siân is washing now. She knows that she is going to work at the Y Pentan Shop
And the picture of Llewelyn's mother in law is in the attic.
© 2003 The St. David's Welsh Society of Ga.
Yma yw Cynllun 4:
Learning Welsh Over the Telephone
By Shelby Price
For many years of my life, I have found other languages interesting. It is of no coincidence that I have dictionaries of German, English, Spanish, Italian and Philipino in my study. Nor that from our local library, that I have very briefly studied Japanese and more recently Gaelic. And for some years spent time on Spanish music and speech. Yet in all of this did not find fully the drive or passion to become very fluent in many of those languages. Then through my geneological research I discovered that I am of Welsh ancestry. This prompted a pursuit of study to find out who are the Welsh. Then I discovered Cymraeg (Welsh). It is difficult to express the joy I felt when I learned my Welsh ancestors had their own special ancient language.. The thrill I felt to learn that it is in use today and used in increasing amounts is difficult to express. Right away I had to seek out a WELSH Society amd a course in the language. So after finding on the internet that the nearest active WELSH Society , the Saint David's Welsh Society of Georgia, was over 120 miles away, plans were made to visit the monthly meeting. I was also thrilled to learn that Cymdiethas Madog was soon to hold their annual course there in the Atlanta area as well. Immediately upon visiting the meeting I joined the Society and almost immediately registered for my initial course in Welsh with Cymdiethas Madog. I couldn't understand why the Society meetings weren't completely conducted in Welsh. There was so much to learn.
In preparation for the course I studied on the internet with the few on-line courses there. It was a big help not to go into the course cold. Then at the course I bought some tapes and books that have also assisted. The most important of which is the geiriadur (dictionary). So back at home, a great distance from any known WELSH speaking people, I sought to continue my studies in what I had learned was called the "language of heaven". And here is where I found the greatest obstacle. There was no one to interact with. How could I learn a language that I had no one to speak it with? Studying a language but not being able to speak it is a lonely prospect. Sure there is the internet. Then there are the tapes. But where is the companionship of friendly conversation? The support of others learning the language with you? I tried sending e-mails to others in Welsh but the replies all seemed to be in English. Apparently my Welsh was so poor that what I did compose was so poorly written that it was either humorous or insulting. Then there were also family responsibilities and family illness that took me away from the language for a while. But the love of language runs deep in my veins, and soon I was back at the studies. One day a dear friend at one of the Society meetings asked me a simple question, "Shelby what are you reading in Welsh?". And "What Welsh music are you listening to?". So I realised two areas that were substantially lacking. Believe me, when I first purchased some music in Welsh I fell in love. It didn't matter that I didn't understand entirely the words that were sung. The sound touched my heart and soul. I knew for sure that something had been missing from my life; and that Welsh is truly a beautiful language. This was a great help. So on the other prompting I also sought out some literature. By taking a short newspaper article in Welsh or a poem I would sit down with the dictionary and attempt to translate it. Believe me this can be a difficult task, especially with a language containing word mutations and spellings that were so unfamiliar to me. I simply had to do something. I still wanted to become fluent in Welsh. Not just to say "Good morning." and "How is the weather?"; but, to speak, to pray, to read, and most importantly to write well in Welsh. Then one day at one of the Society meetings an opportunity and a blessing occured.
For many years it has been my contention that when a person learns to pray in a language that it has reached a level of great importance to that individual. So I had taken a copy of the Lord's Prayer in Welsh with me to the meeting in hopes that the Society's intermediate level tutor would go over it with me. Much to my satisfaction she was very happy to do so and I was pleased to make some initial progress on it. This prompted her to offer for me to join the intermediate class of Welsh language study with the Society. It is a group that meets every Tuesday night for group study. Of course I was thrilled but how could I participate since I commute over 120 miles one way to the meetings. Then the idea of telephone lesssons came up. Imagine what I felt when some one offers to take up their precious personal time to teach me a language on the telephone. There are simply not many people like that in the world. Yet here was the opportunity and we began. What has developed is a combination of internet communication and weekly phone lessons. Much emphasis has been in translating articles from English to Welsh and then sending them to my teacher via e-mail. I also study the vocabulary that is necessary to translate the article. Then on the phone we go over the translation and work on the correct pronunciation of the Welsh. I know that I am blessed to have a native Welsh speaker to help in this task. Try to imagine a person born in Alabama and a resident of Tennessee undergoing a tongue and brain transplant to speak and read Welsh correctly. Some of my translations have been so far out that mildly ridiculous is too subtle a description. Yet perhaps one of the greatest helps is the instructors assistance in correctly pronouncing the words and sounds. I found that on my own , even with the internet and the tapes, that I would incorrectly learn the pronunciations of important sounds and imbed these in my mind to the point of habit such that changing them has beeen a difficult thing to do. This method of study has provided the interaction that was so badly needed to begin to develop conversation and a sharing of the joy of the language and the culture. The articles we have worked on have taken on a greater level of clarity. The poetry a keener level of beauty. One specif ic point that has become increasingly important is the instruction on breaking the words down for the correct pronunciation of the syllables. There is a marked difference of emphasis on the syllables of words in Welsh compared to English and knowing this is essential to speaking and understanding what is spoken to you correctly. The hours my teacher has spent in going over my e-mails and on the telephone are precious gifts to me for there has been no charge. Perhaps this is one of the gifts of the language, for it bonds people together and helps give them a common culture.
Of course if it is possible to attend classes and regularly join in with friends in study of a language that is the best way. After all it also helps to see the words pronounced or spoken. And in a group there is a greater sharing of learning techniques and solutions to the challenges one faces in the task. But often in life we must find the best solution given the circumstances at hand. And so this is working for me. I still work on the internet courses. Even still I send out e-mails in Welsh, but now I also get some replies in Welsh. And fortunately through the kindness of another an important element toward success has beed added, that essential ingredient of sharing peronnal instruction through our telephone Welsh lessons........................
My deepest gratitude to my teacher Sally Evans Funderburk.
© 2003 The St. David's Welsh Society of Ga.
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