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Story of the Poster and Song Book

Posterposter and song book

In order to promote the concerts of the Choir in Patagonia, tour organisers Welsh Patagonia worked with a local artist Daniel Mayor, of Balero Producciones in Esquel, to produce a cinema-style, full-size poster which was intended to convey the importance of the concerts and the love and respect in which all things Welsh are held in Patagonia. The poster contains the logo of the Choir, designed especially for the tour by Balero Producciones, an image of the Mimosa, which carried the first settlers in 1865 (and where the artist took the liberty of changing the original British Union Flag which flew atop her mast to the Welsh Dragon), Dewi the Tehuelche indian (the Tehuelches being almost single-handedly responsible for ensuring the early survival of the settlers) and a small group of settlers. Dominating the scene is a group of singers positioned between a condor soaring over the Andes and a southern right whale wagging its tail respectfully to the Mimosa. It would have been churlish to have singled out any individual choristers to appear in the picture, nor any individual section of the Choir, so the designers decided to portray well-known Welshmen watching over and protecting their charges.
They were carefully chosen for the specific contribution they could make to ensure the tour's success and are, from left to right:

1- Windsor Davies, the Choir Marshal, responsible for discipline and stage presentation.
2- Sir Harry Secombe, the Goon, responsible for keeping up morale during the long aeroplane trips.
3- David Lloyd George, the Politician, responsible for arbitrating in disagreements between second tenors and all the rest of the Choir.
4- Stanley Baker, the Protector, responsible for singing Men of Harlech to frighten off any aggressive local native.
5- Gwynfor Evans, the Teacher, responsible for ensuring the group's Welsh language abilities were up to scratch.
6- Desmond Llewelyn, the Scientist, responsible for inventing cures for hangovers and tired voices (he was Q in the James Bond films).
7- Sir Geraint Evans, the Tenor, responsible for concert solos, and the token member of the Choir who knew all the words of Italian Salad.
8- Ivor Emmanuel, the Songwriter, with dual responsibility for developing new songs in commemoration of the tour and as tour Rabbi.
9- Dylan Thomas, the Catering Manager, responsible for the fair division of food between choristers and wives.

Finally, the poster contains the dates and locations of all the concerts in Argentina and the logos of all the organisations associated with the tour.

Song Book

In support of the Cymanfa Ganu and concerts, and as a souvenir of the varied musical traditions in Welsh Patagonia, a special song book was prepared. In Welsh, Spanish and Mapuche (the local indian language), the book is a pocket-size vade mecum containing over 100 songs sung by the people of the region.

Since the book celebrated the songs loved by the people of the region, it was felt that the front and back covers of the book should equally pay tribute to all those who made a strong contribution to making the place what it is today. So, Balero Producciones got to work again, removed all the logos and text from the original poster and repainted the characters to become from left to right:

1- Edwin Roberts, from Flintshire, one of the chief proponents of the idea of a Welsh settlement in Patagonia and who, with Lewis Jones, travelled to Patagonia ahead of the Mimosa to make preparations.
2- Llwyd ap Iwan, the son of Michael D Jones who was shot and killed at a hold-up in a grocery store at Arroyo Pescado, near Esquel, probably by ex-members of Butch Cassidy's gang. He is buried in the cemetery in Esquel.
3- John Murray Thomas, from Bridgend, arrived on the Mimosa aged 17, became a successful businessman and organised the 1885 Rifleros expedition to the west to look for new lands in the Andes. He was the brother-in-law of the Rev. Abraham Matthews, known as the Bishop of the Settlement.
4- Francisco Moreno, an Argentinean national hero who founded the national park system and who, together with Sir Thomas Holdich, played a key role in the 1902 Plebiscite which ensured that the Beautiful Valley (Cym Hyfryd) of Trevelin remained part of Argentina.

5- Lewis Jones, from Liverpool, a founder of the Colony after whom Trelew is named.

6- Coronel Jorge Fontana, the Governor of Chubut who led the Rifleros expedition.
7- John Daniel Evans, another Mimosa passenger who, as "Baqueano", guided the Rifleros safely to Cwm Hyfryd. He is best known as being the sole survivor of an indian attack on himself and 3 comrades and attributed his survival to the ability of his horse, Malacara, to leap down a steep river bank and carry him to safety.
8- Guillermo Rawson, the Argentine Minister of the Interior who made the original agreement with Lewis Jones and Love Jones-Parry which led to the establshment of the settlement.
9- Michael D Jones, from Llanuchllyn near Bala, was the main driving force behind the establishment of the colony and is considered the founder of modern Welsh nationalism.

The back cover of the songbook contains the logos of all the Welsh colonies in the province of Chubut: Welsh Patagonia.


Esquel - Chubut - Patagonia - Argentina - Email: info@welshpatagonia.com