Cwrs Cymraeg Y Man Cyfarfod, 1999
Well, what a week it was! Cwrs Cymraeg Toronto '99, Cymdeithas Madog's 23rd annual Welsh language week, has now come and gone. And from the responses by students and teachers alike, it was a great week of Welsh language learning. For those not able to join us, here's your Cwrs Cymraeg Toronto '99 Wrap-Up.
On July 18, seventy-eight Welsh language students from all over North America gathered on the campus of York University in Toronto for Cwrs Cymraeg Toronto '99, Cymdeithas Madog's 23rd annual Welsh language week. Some of the students had been learning Welsh for years while others were completely new to the language. But all were looking forward to a week of hard work (and a little fun). And they weren't disappointed.
There were seven classes covering six levels. The beginners were introduced to the Welsh language by Hefina Phillips and Aled Davies. Those with a little background in "yr hen iaith" ("the old language") were in the capable hands of Alun Hughes and Steve Morris. For students with more experience in Welsh, there were classes lead by Mark Stonelake, Heini Gruffudd and Emyr Davies. All in all, there were classes for every level of Welsh language learning.
After classes, there were workshops ranging from basic reading skills and an introduction to Welsh poetry to viewing the latest CD-ROM based learning materials. And after the workshops, the Cwrs Cymraeg Toronto '99 choir met to rehearse. By the end of the week, the choir was so good, it would put the Morriston Orpheus to shame.
In the evening, the activities were more relaxed. They ranged from a welcoming reception (hosted by the Toronto St. David's Society), a twmpath Welsh folk dance (complete with some horned rams) and a quiz (with fabulous prizes) to a Toronto bus tour (complete with a picnic and a cymanfa ganu at Dewi Sant Welsh United Church), an evening in the Elephant and Castle British pub and a Welsh language film. The highlight of the evening activities was the Saturday night noson lawen where classes and individuals took turns providing the evening's entertainment. The evening concluded with the awards for the cwrs eisteddfod. There were many deserving winners in three levels. Particular note should go to Paul Graves for winning the prestigious Cymdeithas Madog chair.
All in all, it was a very busy week. And when Sunday rolled around, the students left for home tired but now knowing so much more Welsh.
It takes a lot of people to make a Cymdeithas Madog Welsh language week work. At the risk of leaving some deserving names out, the local committee of Cwrs Cymraeg Toronto '99 would like to thank:
- The fabulous teaching staff of Aled Davies, Hefina Phillips, Alun Hughes, Steve Morris, Mark Stonelake and Emyr Davies. Particular thanks to the lead teacher for Cwrs Cymraeg Toronto '99, Heini Gruffudd, for all his hard work over the past year.
- Wayne Harbert and the Board of Cymdeithas Madog for all their work to make this year's cwrs possible.
- Reverend Jackson, the Board of Session and the congregation of Dewi Sant Welsh United Church for their great welcome and support.
- Myfanwy Bajaj and our good friends at the Toronto St. David's Society for their help
- The staff of York University for making our stay so pleasant.
- But most importantly, thanks to the 78 students of Cwrs Cymraeg Toronto '99 for their interest in the Welsh language and their driving enthusiasm. Cwrs Cymraeg and Cymdeithas Madog only exist because of the determination of students such as these. It takes many hours of work by many people to organize a Cwrs Cymraeg. But when you see the effort these students put into learning Welsh, it makes every second worthwhile. Diolch yn fawr i chi i gyd - thanks to you all.