Monday 1st March - St David's Day

SCHOOL BOY MEMORIES OF DYDD DEWI SANT c. 1970

Happy St David's DaySt David’s Day on the first of March was an important day in the school calendar. At Primary School the morning would be given over to a concert to which parents were invited. This was made up of sketches, recitals, dance and singing all performed in Welsh. For those who were not Welsh speakers this meant many weeks of learning and practising beforehand. At lunch time we all went home.

At Secondary School St David’s Day was also celebrated with a half day. Normal lessons were taken until midday and then the whole school of about 300 boys went to the Parish Church for a service of celebration of St. David. It was the custom for us to pin a leek to the lapel of our blazers. Being a crowd of boys it was inevitable that we should try to outdo one another by wearing as big a leek as possible and during the church service the tradition was to eat the leek. By the end of the service  there was no trace of incense in the air due to the overpowering onion-like smell of the leeks.

                                                          Simon Birch

St David
According to legend his mother, St Non, gave birth to him on a Pembrokeshire clifftop during a fierce storm. The spot is marked by the ruins of Non’s Chapel, and a nearby holy well is said to have healing powers. 

St David was at the heart of the Welsh church in the 6th century. He  became a renowned preacher, founding monastic settlements and churches in Wales, Brittany and southwest England.  He became Archbishop of Wales, but remained in his community at Menevia (now called St David's).  His shrine became a great place of pilgrimage; four visits to the shrine at St David's were considered the equivalent of two to Rome, and one to Jerusalem!

Although he was a great preacher, the message by which St David is most remembered is not a flowery piece of preaching but a simple statement about simplicity. It comes from his last sermon.  "Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things that you have heard and seen me do."