It is an honor for the North America Wales Foundation (NAWF) to award the Heritage Medallion for 2019 to the Welsh Gymanfa Ganu Association of Wisconsin (WGGAW). This is the highest honor that the Foundation gives to individuals or organizations distinguished by their contributions to North American Welsh life.
Welsh American life in Wisconsin has flourished since the middle of the nineteenth century when circumstances in Wales brought families to Wisconsin to seek a better, freer life. These migrants distinguished themselves by their ethnic foundations which have given the Welsh their identity and survival through the centuries. Central to these are the practice of religion and the characteristic ability of the Welsh to express their beliefs through hymns, the words of which they elevate with belief, passion, and emotion into song. Hence the Gymanfaoedd Ganu, which the Association has so faithfully and magnificently preserved and performed. The motto of NAWF is to ‘preserve the history and promote the culture’. With this in mind our decision to invite the WGGAW to accept the Heritage Medallion was made with great enthusiasm and eager anticipation.
NAWF, as will be evident from announcements in this booklet and elsewhere, promotes our culture by facilitating with scholarships and personal contact the ability of young people with a passion for Wales and things Welsh to cross the Atlantic, in both directions. We believe that their knowledge of the activities of the WGGAW will serve to enhance their passion further.
So please join us in joyful song to celebrate the activities of the WGGAW, this strong pillar of Welsh American life established here in Wisconsin. Annwyl gyfeillion, diolch yn fawr iawn am yr hyn y gwnewch! Dear friends, thank you for what you do!
The Welsh Gymanfa Ganu Association of Wisconsin