Why a twinning ?
The idea of the twinning existed many years before the creation of this twinning. The motive for twinning is complex. Different people have different priorities.
Firstly, there needs to be a will to create relationship between communities, to exchange ideas, opinions and experiences. For an effective twinning, it is important for the twins to resemble each other in size and to have some common interests. Each of these can then give to the other new ideas about life in the twin, ideas on education, economy, culture, etc.
A twinning can also open the mind and spirit to the world in general. It is a way to discover another way of life with its advantages and disadvantages and to accept differences.
Why Plogonnec ?
Llandysul a’r Fro is a strong Welsh speaking community. The language is very important to the Welsh speakers and there was a great interest in twinning with another Celtic speaking community, to share information regarding the language and the culture and the pressures and problems facing these. This meant that the twin should be a rural and bilingual community.
Some years before 1982, some members of Merched y Wawr (a local branch of a national association for women) went to Brittany to investigate the possibility of twinning but did not find an appropriate partner. In 1983, the idea of twinning was launched again. Cylch Cinio (Welsh dining club for men) supported this and a steering committee was established, with Huw Bevan-Jones as chairman and Philip Ainsworth as secretary, to further explore the idea. Wenna and Huw Bevan-Jones went to Brittany , contacted Per Denez in Douarnenez, whom they already knew, and he suggested two communes corresponding to the description already agreed. Plogonnec was one of those.
The first visit to Plogonnec was not very successful. The contacts had reservation about twinning in general and there did not seem to be much interest in the matter. Later, after returning to Wales , they received a letter from Lukian Kergoat, asking them again to explore the twinning and proposing the names of Jaklin Pennaneac’h and Yann-Ber Rivalin, who could be interested. The first contacts between the two towns were made in 1985 and the idea of a twinning between them took shape on both sides.
The creation of the twinning
On the 4th April 1986 , the town council of Plogonnec gave its agreement for the creation of a twinning. A first general meeting was organised for the people interested in the project. A group of a dozen people produced a document (dossier) describing the commune to present to Llandysul.
In Llandysul, the District Community Council supported the twinning in principle but stipulated that it should be self-financing. The Llandysul dossier was send to Plogonnec in April 1987.
These dossiers allowed descriptions of each twin to be presented to the inhabitants and officials of the other.
In Plogonnec, on the 26th of May, the temporary twinning committee was made official by the election of a subcommittee, with Jaklin Pennaneac’h as a chairman until 1997. In Llandysul, the steering committee remained as before.
A first trip to Llandysul was organised from the 10th to the 12th of July 1987 . About thirty people from Plogonnec took part in what became a real cultural exchange. They visited the area and discovered Welsh music groups, but they had not come alone. A billig (to make crepes) was in the bus with them as well as a “boull-tenn” game and musicians. Demonstrations of singing, dancing and crepe-making were impressive. The trip took place in a happy atmosphere and was a good omen for the future.
A return trip was organized in October. About thirty Welsh people came to discover Plogonnec and continued the cultural exchange started in July. Links began to be woven between the two communities. The twinning started on a good base.
On the 16th of July 1988 the first part of the charter was signed in Llandysul, in the presence of the maire of Plogonnec and the chairman of the Community Council of Llandysul, when about forty people from Plogonnec returned to Llandysul for a long weekend. The second part was signed on the 20th of August 1989 in Plogonnec, during an impressive ceremony. 75 Welsh people took part in the event. The Llandysul-Plogoneg twinning was now official.
Plogonnec commune is an administrative district and most, but not all, of the participants from Plogonnec are from the commune. The same applies for Llandysul a’r Fro, although the latter covers a larger area and is more diffuse.