April 19-21, 2024 Stratford

2022 Gold Award Winner – Meriel Simpson

Meriel Simpson photoThe Board is happy to announce that the 2022 Gold Award recipient is Reverend Meriel Simpson of Toronto.

Those of you who have frequented the Ontario Welsh Festival will be very familiar with Meriel as she has been involved with the Festival since 1983, having served not only as a Board Member, but also as President for two separate terms. You will also remember her lovely soprano voice as she entertained us with Welsh solos. In fact, it was Welsh singing that first attracted her to Dewi Sant Welsh United Church. She was an integral part of Merched Dewi (and will continue to be so – as and when we are able to sing together again!)

She served four terms as a Member of the Board of Session at Dewi Sant Welsh United Church and in 2007 authored “With a Song in Our Hearts”,  a comprehensive text of the history of the Welsh church, detailing the important milestones in its 100 year history.

In 2004, thanks to the Rev Roger Roberts (now Lord Roger Roberts),  Vision TV produced a programme about Dewi Sant WUC. Meriel worked with the film editor to produce these episodes.

Meriel is also a huge fan of Welsh country dancing and in 1986 co-founded a group called “Dawnswyr Y Ddraig Goch” which performed at several cultural events in the Toronto area.

Meriel has been a tireless and willing worker in the cause of Dewi Sant Welsh Church and more generally the Welsh community for almost 40 years. Even as she has embraced her role as minister of another United Church in Toronto for the past few years, she supports Welsh initiatives whenever possible.

Meriel is a friend of all things Welsh and is a most deserving recipient of this year’s Gold Award. Llongyfarchiadau, Meriel.

-Hefina Phillips