03/02/05 — Dillard celebrates Wales Day

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Dillard celebrates Wales Day

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 2, 2005 1:45 PM

The Irish have St. Patrick's Day. The Welsh have St. David's Day.

March 1 marks the celebration of the patron saint of Wales, a day for Welsh all over the world to celebrate their culture. So Josie Whysall, the media coordinator at Dillard Middle School, who is a native of Wales, declared Tuesday to be "Wales Day" at the school.

Ms. Whysall moved to America in 1984. She said she has given presentations on her native country at public libraries while she was living in Michigan, and once before when she joined the staff at Dillard three years ago.

On Tuesday, a travelogue of the country was broadcast on the school's TV during the morning announcement time. Students visiting the library were treated to a display of books and other memorabilia from Wales, which is part of the United Kingdom, along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Ms. Whysall was in native dress as she introduced the students to the language and music she grew up with. She also explained why she was wearing a daffodil, the national flower of her country.

"On March 1, women wear a daffodil in their lapel, men wear a leek," she said. A leek is small plant that is part of the lily family.

Ms. Whysall said that when she was growing up, she had to travel 10 miles to school by train each day.

Then she taught the students the Welsh words for the days of the week and the months of the year.

After pointing out her homeland on the map, she entertained questions, told them a story and served Welsh cakes.