Waldemar Wower 1971-2018
In 2009 Waldemar and the other DSWAI founders were participants in a training course practicing entirely dry stone technique. A friendship soon emerged between the three that saw many days and evenings spent talking about dry stone and what could and was being done with the medium in the training center and out there in the international dry stone ‘scene’.
With Waldemar being the main driving force, the three DSWAI founders began following groups in Canada and the U.S. who were holding events and creating public space works in dry stone.
Waldemar began showing his fellow DSWAI founders images and videos of people like John Shaw Rimmington and what he and others were doing in Canada to promote and actively engage with dry stone as a creative medium for expressing a new wave of stone craft without the use of mortar. The fascination was infectious and soon the three began to discuss the idea of doing something in Ireland to establish a dry stone walling group. Waldemar would regularly say “We should do something here!”
Eventually, this notion was made real when the three founding members of DSWAI sat
down and put pen to paper, forming the Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland on 21st August 2009.
In 2013 Waldemar was one of the many professional wallers on-site in Lough Boora to launch the Gathering of Stones project.
The DSWAI owes its foundation to Waldemar Wower.
Despite his huge admiration for the dry stone wallers of Canada and a desire to visit there and ‘join in’ with them, Waldemar never managed to make the trip.
He became ill in early 2018 and died of cancer in October of that year.
In 2021 a working group of 3 DSWAI and 3 DSC members met for 5 weeks with the intention to draw up a proposal document for the Bursary. Following a suggestion from one of the other DSWAI founders to name the bursary after Waldemar it was agreed by that group to adopt the name. Hence the ‘Waldemar Wower Bursary Award’