John Roberts Heritage Fund

John Roberts Heritage Fund

Cronfa Dreftadaeth Telynor Cymru

Welshengerie Noyelus Kova

The John Roberts Heritage Fund was founded in 2019 to keep alive what’s left of our Welsh Kale Romany/Gypsy culture, language and music for this and future generations. 

The first project is Shikawa Romanus | Learning Romany. An online learning community. The language lessons consist of 22 modules of Welsh Romani as spoken in everyday life. 

The Shikawa Romanus | Learning Romany program contains historical and cultural aspects of Romani life with music, stories and poetry created by contemporary Romani artists.

The speaker on the course is Bob Lovell who learned his fluency in Old Welsh Romanus from his father, Adolphus Lovell. He was born into the traditional Romany life at an Atchintan – stopping place at the Rom camp in the Upper Race, Pontypool, South Wales. There he lived a travelling life with horse and vardo. Bob Lovell was born after Adolphus went to New Zealand in 1947, where he stayed and raised a family. 

Learners of Shikawa Romanus can register, download and study the materials. The course materials, that is an e-book and recordings are free and funded by the John Roberts Heritage Fund. An annual fee of $5.00 covers the cost of using the learning platform.

Founder of the John Roberts Heritage Fund is Frances Roberts Reilly one of his direct descendants and in the direct line of Abram Wood, noted fiddler and storyteller.

A future plan in 2022 is to award a scholarship to a young triple harpist who will carry on John Roberts’s triple harp music as a legacy for Welsh Kale Romany/Gypsies and Wales.