The California Cornish Cousins is an organization founded in November 1991 to stimulate interest in Cornish culture, to preserve Cornish heritage and to share family histories and genealogy. Membership is open to any person of Cornish heritage or any person in full accord with the stated purposes of the Society.
ST. PIRAN’S DAY CELEBRATION (Patron Saint of Cornwall and Miners) March 5, 2022 in Downtown Grass Valley, California
2021 ANNUAL GATHERING OF THE COUSINS June 18-20, 2021 in Grass Valley, California CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19!
2022 ANNUAL GATHERING OF THE COUSINS Tentatively June 10-12, 2022 in Grass Valley, California
2021 Fall Luncheons – Luncheons will resume in 2021. Details to follow.
BOOK COMING SOON! Cornwall, My Country by Howard Curnow
Howard Curnow was a great influence on the Cornish movement both in the United States and in Cornwall. He died this week, leaving behind a completed autobiography. The publishers are asking for a show of hands from those who would be interested in purchasing Howard’s Cornwall, My Country, completed in the last year of his life. The book will go to press soon and they would like to print an appropriate number. If you would like to reserve a copy, please contact Gage McKinney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a description of the book and sketch of Howard’s remarkable life:
Cornwall, My Country is a soon-to-be-released autobiography by an amazing man. In Howard Curnow’s own words, the story of his life unfolds from his 1936 birth in St. Hilary and through his childhood on the farm during and after the war, his education, and his career. He has led the most remarkable and eventful life, much of it in the cause of preserving and championing the Cornish identity, history, and culture.
At the age of seven Howard Curnow hit the local Cornish headlines when he fell under a one-ton steel roller in a field on his father’s dairy farm. Since then, he has never been completely happy when any further from Cornish soil!
Here, Howard tells the story of his remarkable and eventful life, from early days as one of seven children on the farm in West Cornwall, including watching as German bombs fell on his St. Hilary birthplace, to his 25 or more visits to the USA and Canada where, on one occasion, he found himself branding a wild buffalo with red hot irons. He visited Australia, New Zealand, and even Cuba to promote Cornwall and meet local members of the Curnow family.
After leaving school and the farm, he spent time in the Royal Navy and, for his National Service, in the Army at NATO headquarters in Paris. Here his Cornish background was responsible for his being given pride of place at a dinner hosted by a Breton duchess for guests from 16 different countries. Between his military experiences, as a student in Birmingham he made two discoveries of historic significance and was also responsible for averting a potentially costly disaster at the Ince Power Station on the Wirral Peninsula of northwest England.
Returning to his beloved Cornwall as a qualified teacher, he used a hitherto overlooked Act of Parliament to establish a then unique program under which many of his students were given the benefit of work experience, now a national requirement for many youngsters throughout the country. Much later, he took a group of Cornish students, aged 10 to 18, to the 2009 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, where the TV news gave them the accolade of putting on “the best little show in town.” On one visit to Westminster he sat, all on his own, totally unnoticed, in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Over the past decades, nobody has worked harder than Howard in the cause of preserving and championing Cornish identity and culture; from organizing and hosting the “Grand Curnow Homecoming” of 1990 at the family farm, attended by 350 visitors from all over the world, to leading a “walk” to London on the 500th anniversary of the Cornish Protest March on London in 1497; from reviving Cornish traditions such as St. Piran’s Day celebrations, to persuading Cornwall Council to fly the Cornish flag rather than the British over offices. In his “spare time” he built his own house on the family farm!
Howard Curnow’s tireless efforts on behalf of Cornwall were rewarded in 1990 by his induction as a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh.
California Cornish Cousins is a 501(c)7 nonprofit social organization.
Our Annual Gathering is held in June, often at mining locations on historic Highway 49.
An annual Fall Luncheon is held in October in Northern, Central and Southern California locations.
CORNISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE SOCIETY
SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN CORNISH SOCIETY
PACIFIC NORTHWEST CORNISH SOCIETY
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Membership Dues in the California Cornish Cousins are $25.00/year due May 1st.
For questions about membership, click to contact Yvonne Bowers, Membership Chair