I think I have made some progress for this problem. However I am not getting the solution. What I have done is created a new block in the app/design/frontend/default/layout/page.xml file.
I have added this:
<block type="page/html_welcome" name="testwelcome" as="testwelcome"/>
There seems to be a built in core function called “welcome”. It can be viewed at app/code/core/Mage/Page/Block/Html/Welcome.php. So That is the reference in the page.xml file.
Then in the header.phtml file in app/design/frontend/default/template/page.html I placed a call for:
<?php echo $this->getChildHtml('testwelcome') ?>
And finally I created a new template file called testwelcome.phtml in app/design/frontend/default/template with the following code:
<p class="welcome-msg"><?php echo $this->getWelcome() ?> <?php echo $this->getAdditionalHtml() ?></p>
I can get the welcome message to display, but I can’t seem to get it to render any changes.