More on the Celtic Conference

Following on from Val’s news piece below, I found this in the minutes from (Yn Cheshaght Gailckagh) on the afternoon of Hollantide* 1918. The rest of the minutes are bleak: there is still war, the island is in a state of unrest, there has been no real advance in Manx literature and the society’s much loved secretary,  Miss Sophia Morrison, has passed away.  But there is this:


One of the most interesting events of the year was the Pan-Celtic conference at Birkenhead, which was convened by the National Union of Welsh Societies, and held in association with the National Eisteddfod of Wales. Representatives from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany and Mann attended, and a (helpful and illuminating week was spent. A report of the recent work of Yn Cheshaght Gailckagh was read, and was well received. A Celtic Union was formed with the object of united efforts being made for the protection and development of language, literature and nationality in all the Celtic countries, each national society appointing a strong national committee. It is hoped that this union will do good work and stimulate the interest of belts in their sister nations.

And further on, in a report on the Society’s accounts, this: Copies are yet in stock of Mr H. P. Kelly’s “First Primer,” which is intended for juveniles. It is illustrated, and costs only threepence. If anyone has one of these, please contact me. H.P. was my grandfather and I’d love to purchase a copy.

*Hollantide Eve is November 11th. So I’m guessing that this means Hollantide is the 12th. What is significant here is that the tone of the minutes is so miserable “May peace be declared before next Hollantide, and our men home again from their long forced exile!” yet the First World War ended when Germany surrendered on November 11th 1918. Their wish had already come true — they just didn’t know it yetNor, it would seem, when the minutes were written up as they lack any sort of upbeat message.