The Annual Feast of St Hygenus
What is the Feast of St Hygenus? Not sure if Pope Saint Hyginus had anything to do with Trigg Morris, however, it has traditionally become an annual event to celebrate the Birthday of one of the Founder Members of Trigg Morris, namely Dr Christopher Penton. Although Chris Penton died many years ago, Trigg Morris still traditionally celebrates his birthday. The first Feasts were held at his flat, within the grounds of St Lawrence Hospital, and the later ones were at his house in Wenford Bridge, and it was several years before the team realised that we were attending his birthday party! Chris was born in 1911 and died in November 1987. The first Feast in its current format was held at Blisland (then called The Royal Oak) on the 11th January 1988. We have organised something nearly every year since and the venues : the Old Inn at St Breward, The Masons Arms and Blisland.
Who was Dr Penton? Dr Chris Penton worked up country and was offered a posting to the Psychiatric Hospital in Bodmin but wouldn't take it unless there was a Morris team nearby. Fortunately Trigg Morris had formed in February 1971 and Chris arrived at about the same time as Pete Philp in September 1971. Chris took over as Foreman from Phil Beamont who had taught Trigg from day one in February 1973 and held the post until 1982. He introduced the policy of only dancing 3 traditions max, concentraing on the individual styles of those traditions. He spoke 16 languages, four of them fluently, including Arabic and Russian. Situated at Berlin University, he returned to the UK in 1938 and during WW2 became an advisor to the British Army on Psychological Warfare!
What happens on the night? We start the evening with a session of dance, before retiring to the bar for an après Morris. A hat resembling a Turkish Fez is passed around and at this point anyone can take possession of the hat, place it upon their head, if they wish and do a party trick, whether singing, reciting, playing an instrument or anything else before passing it on. It is not a requirement that you have to do something but more of an opportunity to do so, if you are feeling brave. During the evening, we toast Dr Penton with a shot of Rum and Shrub, bought from funds. This does depend on it still being in production ....
In 2020 - the Feast had to be a virtual affair - Hats both real and imaginary were worn, and the tradition was upheld
In 2021 the Feast resumed - but in the well ventilated and lateral Flow tested circumstances of our practice hall
A last remnant of Shrub was passed round.
Mind you - if you are looking for odd Saints - In Switzerland there is the famous resort town of San Moritz
- named after Saint Morris - a Christian martyr