Welsh Roots? Check out the Cambrian Benevolent Society…

Growing up, I was always told that my Morgans were Welsh (so far, just English, but that’s another blog topic!).  I have been a member of various Welsh societies and Welsh newspapers and newsletters, but it wasn’t until recently that I came to know about the Cambrian Benevolent Society of Chicago.


The Cambrian Benevolent Society of Chicago was founded in 1853 and is celebrating it’s 160th Anniversary this year.  The society was formed much like many societies and groups were formed – to help early immigrants get through, well, life.  Those who found themselves with hard times or who were just ill prepared to live in America (it was supposed to be the land of riches, right?), were helped by the Cambrian Benevolent Society.

The Society’s main focus has changed, but it is a society rich in culture.  There are 4 areas of focus each year:

St. David’s Day lunch (March), Gymanfa Ganu (April/May),  summer picnic (July), and decorating the Welsh Christmas tree at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Upcoming events for the society:

Oak Park, IL
March 2 – The Cambrian Benevolent Society of Chicago St. David’s Day Dinner and 160th Anniversary of the Society, 12:00 noon-4:00 pm, Carleton Hotel, 1110 Pleasant St. We will present a reenactment of the birth of the Cambrian Society in 1853 by Welsh native and accomplished actor, Winston Evans. $28 for adults, $15 for children 6-12 years (under 6 free, reservation required). Info: Dilys Rana or chicagowelshcambrian.org

April 28 – The Cambrian Benevolent Society of Chicago Spring Gymanfa Ganu, Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church, 744 Fair Oaks Ave. Doors open at 1:30 pm, program begins at 2:30 pm. Trefor Williams of Milwaukee will be Music Director with Dianne McCarty as accompanist. Te bach will follow.  Info: chicagowelshcambrian.org

If you live in the Chicago area, consider joining us for one of the events mentioned above.  There will be plenty of Welsh culture and even Welsh language!

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