GODIVA LEADS THE WAY ON HERITAGE OPEN DAY

Join the celebration on Friday 12th September 2014 www.heritageopendays.org.uk

● “Dame Goodyver’s Daye” is an annual feast celebrating the heritage of Coventry’s Lady Godiva. On Friday 12th September beginning at 11.00 am in Coventry Cathedral Ruins.Coventry’s present-day Lady Godiva, Pru Porretta, will welcome 18 wonderful Godiva Sisters from different parts of the world, each with their own different culture and faith.

● Traditional costume from around the world,live music,Chinese,African,Irish and contemporary dances performed by the Sisters, local schools and communities.18 Greetings from each Sister using languages from their own countries.

● A dramatic procession with live drumming and 18 huge banners (2 metres high) will move from the Ruins to arrive at the statue of Lady Godiva in Broadgate just before 12.00 noon. The chorus of a special Godiva song “Lady on the Horse” has been written and will be sung by hundreds of children,also a special dance by Lady Godiva and her Grandaughter to “One Big Family”all are invited to join in. The Sisters bring baskets of food from their own cultures to be blessed and given for everyone to share.

● This celebration is unique to Coventry, reflecting our ancient past and joining the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-faith family living here today celebrating Peace and Reconciliation. Many special guests,dignitaries,local schools and communities will take part. The event is free.

ENDS

“2014 is a landmark year for Heritage Open Days,” says Loyd Grossman, Patron of Heritage Open Days. “Over the last two decades we’ve enabled millions of people to visit thousands of places that are normally closed to the public, helping to put local heritage at the forefront of community life throughout England. This summer we’re looking forward to our most spectacular festival ever – a unique national celebration that brings our hidden history to life.”

Notes to Editors:

● Lady Godiva was the most famous benefactor in the history of Coventry. Over 500 years ago the original celebration of Dame Goodyver’s Daye was celebrated by the Cappers and Felt-makers on the day of her death – 10 September 1067. Pru Porretta re-introduced the feast day 15 years ago. It started in a small way until in 2002 five multi-cultural Sisters became part of the celebration and the Godiva Sisters family was formed. This has now grown to 18 Sisters each with their own story to share. Today we celebrate with the Lord Mayor of Coventry, civic and community leaders, students from Coventry University, local schools and families.

● The 18 Godiva Sisters in 2014:

Irish Sister: Angela Hart from Coventry Irish Society

Caribbean Sister: Gloria Donaldson as Mother Mary Seacole

Christian Sister: Kusumika Chatterjee as Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Chinese Sister: Margaret Tse as Hua Mulan

Japanese Sister: Takako Higuchi as Sadako Sasaki

Sikh Sister: Jaspreet Singh as Maharani Jindan Kaur

Hindu Sister: Seema Shah as Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi

Serbian Sister: Slavica Stojsavljevic as Princess Milica

Sister for Disability: Bhanu Dahbi as Annie Sullivan

African Sister: Consolata Zvirikuzhe as Nzingha, Queen of Matamba

Latin-American Sister: Adriana Atkinson as Policarpa Salavarrieta

Muslim Sister: Saira Khan as Muslim Sister

Polish Sister: Magdalena Stradomska as Queen Jadwiga of Poland

Refugee/Asylum Sister: Anastasia Chokuwamba of Coventry Refugee Centre

Malaysian Sister: Raja Rahawani as Princess Puteri Saadong

Halleluyah Sister: Sylvia Davoll as Eliza Shirley

Brahma Kumaris Sister: Cherry Steinberg

Wisdom Sister Representative from Elders

● Pru Porretta asked each community to choose a hero, who would embody and represent that community in a wider context. A working-group was set up to design and create, with guidance from a textile artist, a banner depicting that hero and her story using the tradition and style of that community. One member of each group was chosen to act the character of the hero, but more importantly to become a Godiva Sister and to be an “animateur” among her community, someone who gives of themselves to those less fortunate, someone who makes a difference and builds a legacy of inspiration for the future.

● Heritage Open Days is England’s contribution to European Heritage Days, taking place across 50 countries. Other events in the UK are Doors Open Days in Scotland (www.doorsopendays.org.uk); Open Doors Days in Wales (http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/opendoors/?lang=en); European Heritage Days in Northern Ireland (www.ehsni.gov.uk); Open House London (www.open-city.org.uk).

● Heritage Open Days is run locally by a large range of organisations (including civic societies, heritage organisations, and local councils), community champions and thousands of volunteers.

● On a national level, Heritage Open Days is co-ordinated and promoted by the Heritage Open Days National Partnership with funding by English Heritage. The Partnership brings together Europe’s largest conservation and heritage charity in the form of the National Trust (www.nationaltrust.org.uk), the most extensive network of local community based heritage organisations through Civic Voice (www.civicvoice.org.uk) and expertise from the leading coalition of national voluntary heritage organisations in The Heritage Alliance (www.theheritagealliance.org.uk).