Pupils from St Joseph’s were proud to take part in the second annual St Piran’s Parade, a celebration of Cornwall’s patron saint (although St Michael and St Petroc may disagree) and of pride in all things west of the Tamar. Year Four pupils represented St Joseph’s at in the parade alongside those from 8 other local primary schools and pupils from Launceston College.
The schools gathered in Launceston’s magnificent town hall, where they were organised for the parade into the centre of Lanson, the historic capital of Cornwall. Cllr Tremain, town crier for the past 40 years, began the formal element of proceedings before Mayor Cllr Gordon addressed the gathered school children and members of the public. He spoke of St Piran, and that the children should be proud of who they were, where they came from, and of being Cornish (for those who were.)
Cllr Nancarrow then read the poem My Young Man’s a Cornishman by Cornwall’s poet and Launceston resident Charles Causley, before Cllr Tremain celebrated the life of St Piran , his escape from Ireland and his arrival at Perranporth, floating on the millstone that was intended as the instrument of his martyrdom.
A rousing rendition of the unofficial Cornish anthem Trelawney, (Parson Hawker’s Song of the Western Men) followed before the parade was blessed by the Reverend Alison Hardy, regrouped and paraded through the Castle grounds and back to the warmth of the Town Hall. Here, the children showed their dancing skills to traditional music played the town band before joining together in song. Pupils from many primary schools performed songs and poetry, including a performance by St Joseph’s Year 4. Their piece St Piran was written and directed by Mrs Skerry – a superb performance that really spoke of the life of St Piran.
Pasties were then provided for all children and staff thanks to the tireless work of Cllr Young’s team of volunteers and the kind sponsorship of the event by local businesses and volunteer groups.
Meanwhile, back at St Joseph’s, pasties were also the order of the day for lunch, a great Cornish delicacy. The traditional food of the miner was appropriate to mark the patron saint of tinners, whose flag of a white flag on a black background flag is said to symbolise white tin coming out of black ore, as well as the light of truth shining in the darkness. Following this, Year 3 and Year 4 were treated to lessons in Cornish, lessons they greatly enjoyed. On St Piran’s day, even in the rain, Kernow bys vyken – Cornwall is great!