May 2012 Newsletter

The May 2012 newsletter can be found by clicking on the Read more link below.



Newyddion - Mai 2012

Annual General Meeting Wednesday 18th April 2012  


We had a successful AGM last month, with twenty-one members attending. The following were elected to the Committee:


President Pat Price Yr Enfys contact John Roberts
Vice-President Fay Hall Newsletter Fay Hall
Secretary Bryce Henley    
Treasurer Olwyn Henley    
Committee Sylvia Williams    
  Terry Price    
  Hugh Bevan    
  Vera Shepherd    

Odwyn Jones acted as Returning Officer as John Roberts is unable to drive at night so could not attend the Meeting. Thank you Odwyn!


Life Membership – Sylvia Williams

Sylvia Williams, Immediate Past President, was accorded Life Membership of the Welsh Society of Western Australia at our Meeting on 16th May. Congratulations to Sylvia for this well deserved recognition for many years of service to the Society.


Message from President Pat

Thank you to members for electing me as your President for the coming twelve months. I pay  special tribute to retiring President, Sylvia Williams, who has given years of service to the Welsh Society in Perth, and who we now honour with Life Membership. Happily, she will continue to act as a committee member.

 We are always interested in members' ideas; so please do let us know if you have any special thoughts as to what we could do in the way of activities or program content.

 New members are always being sought so if you have any friends with Welsh interests, please do bring them along. Visitors are always welcome in any case.


Program for the coming months

Wed 20th June
10:30 am City of Perth Citizens Community Centre
Wed 17th July 7:30 pm
South Perth Bowling Club Nosen Lawen
Wed 15th Aug 7:30 pm South Perth Bowling Club Hoy
Wed 18th Sept 7:30 pm Time and venue to be confirmed
Wed 19th Oct 7:30 pm South Perth Bowling Club Bring and Buy
Wed 21st Nov 7:30 pm South Perth Bowling Club Dylan Thomas Celebration Evening and Welsh Supper
Wed 18th Dec 7:30 pm South Perth Bowling Club Christmas Program

 Member's News

Sylvia Williams is still in Joondalup Rehab Unit undergoing treatment for pain relief (hip). She is looking forward to getting back home again soon. Pat and Terry visit her regularly.

 Good Wishes to Secretary Bryce Henley who is recovering at home after a successful bowel operation and will be back at the club very shortly. He has been doing some work for us at home, and has been in touch with Pat and Fay.


Brian Walley tells us that Mel Davies in the UK attended a conference in Swansea on the history of copper smelting.


Mr. & Mrs. B. Walley.  21 Farrelly St. Margaret River. WA 6285.

 As mentioned in the February newsletter Brian and Mair are happily settled in their new home at Margaret River. We gave you the new address in our last newsletter, but here it is again in case it has been mislaid. They would love to hear from their old friends in the Welsh Society.

 Can You Help?

 Bryce recently received an email from a Mrs. E. Shaw asking for help with Welsh lessons. The family expect to be in Perth for the next three years. They have young children. In her message she says:

 "I am particularly looking to be involved in or help set up a group that would help those with young children maintain a contact with the Welsh language, and possibly exchange resources while in Perth. As I am not fluent, I am not confident to run this on my own and so am looking for a small group of like-minded people who would like to meet together "

 News from Welsh Free Church

 The Welsh Church continues their regular monthly Services at Trinity. It is good to hear that PatRobert's daughter is now back working three days a week.

 Derek Myall - Our Cycling Champ's Story

 "Every so often something wonderful happens. You get lucky, and when you do it gives your life a great boost! Sometimes I manage to win a cycle race and the last one, racing at Kewdale with the "West Coast Masters", was one of the most satisfying wins of the season. It was sponsored by the family of Colin Rossitter, and to win my category in this event gave me a great feeling of pride and pleasure.Colin was one of the most popular and most respected riders in WA. He won many awards on the track and road but he also organised the famous Collie-Donnybrook Classic on several occasions. He also won medals at State and World Championships in the International Fireman’s Games. Colin also encouraged young riders and was a valued member of the committee and contributed a good deal to the running of the club. As I said, sometimes you get lucky, and I feel privileged to have won a race in Colin's honour and had the award presented by Colin's wife and daughter. "

 Editor's comment:

 Thank you Derek for this story. Isn't it great to read such an upbeat letter! How many more stories have our members got tucked away somewhere! We would love to hear from more of our members and share their precious stories for us all to enjoy.

Here are the 2011 Competition winning entries


Winning Limerick - by Nain (Diana Thompson)


An elderly man from Dalkeith 

Had mislaid his set of false teeth. 

They'd been laid on a chair,

He forgot they were there 

Now his bum has a mark like a wreath.

This beautiful poem - by Odwyn Jones won the poetry prize for 2011

HIRAETH (Longing)

How I yearn to see those hills once more 

And be in the silence of their moors, 

Where sprinting streams flee Silurian slopes 

To tranquil rivers feeding fertile wolds; 

This spine of Wales steeped in poetic tales, 

Some chaired and others crowned; their fables 

Core of a culture cradled in its hills and vales, 

Its rhythmic words weaved and webbed into swords 

Piercing souls in poems, hymns and chords, 

And in melodic sermons giving wing 

To elysian thoughts and utopian scenes, 

To which this ancient Celtic nation clings.


The winning story for 2011 was by Fay Hall


Memories of Ebbw Vale. - by "Poro"

My brother Tony and I had been taken by my father from London to Ebbw Vale for safety after a very bad night during the London blitz. His mother, Grandma Evans, and my Auntie Betty and Uncle Cyrus - better known as Uncle Bob, made us feel very happy and welcome, giving us lots of love. My Uncle Tom and Auntie Maude lived just round the corner. They were very jolly and we loved going to their house. The houses were very comfortable, semi-detached, with large alleyways between, leading to the back garden gates. Often, on cold nights, we could hear the mountain ponies snuffling and snorting and clacking their hooves as they sought shelter there.

Our Great Uncle Rees lived down the hill in Ebbw Vale. A visit to his house was something of a state occasion. Auntie Betty dressed us in our best clothes and accompanied us. We were met at the door by Uncle Rees's housekeeper and ushered in to his study. Auntie Betty and the housekeeper disappeared into the kitchen, leaving us sitting in state with this dignified old gentleman. He had lots of books and took pains to find out what our interests were, and then got down some books for us to enjoy.

We loved exploring the old deserted quarry just up the road. This was a steep gravel pit with a pool of murky water at the bottom. We spent hours sliding down to the bottom, narrowly missing the water, then clambering up the slippery stony sides and sliding down again. I often went home with my pants worn to holes. I never got a smack, just a gentle - "there now, be careful!" from my grandma, but poor Auntie Betty had to do all the mending and washing, which she did without a word of complaint! We were never allowed to have such fun in London!

Sometimes, my Auntie Betty took us for a walk over the hills to Tredegar to see our Auntie Miriam. On the way, we made our way through little mountain rivulets and mossy, wet ground,climbing over the occasional style. We learnt how to plait rushes, which was such fun for young children from London! We were accompanied by the old sheep dog from over the road. From the top of the hill we could look over to the Brecon Beacons. The black-faced mountain sheep ran away as we walked past. I saw a lot of rabbit droppings on the ground. The air was fresh and the breeze brushed our faces. How bitter and cold it must have been up there on winter days but on those summer afternoons everything was so beautiful!

Grandma decided we ought to go to Chapel, and we were duly escorted one Sunday. I was used to going to a rather staid Anglican Church at home, with peaceful Sermons and gentle Hymns. At Chapel, however, I was electrified by the wonderful singing, the like of which I had never heard before. But the highlight was the Sermon. The Minister was a firebrand, who threatened the Congregation with hell and damnation if we did not mend our ways. He paused in the middle of his lengthy address to take a drink of water and then came the climax. He declaimed "You will fry, you will frizzle, you will roast in hell unless you repent of your evil, wicked ways!" The Congregation seemed to take all this in its stride and nodded in agreement, but we were absolutely riveted by this wonderfully dramatic performance!

The National Iron and Steel Works was down in the Valley, and one night a german bomber jettisoned its bombs near there as it was chased up from Newport. Fortunately, the bombs missed but everyone thought the Germans had a hell of a cheek! My parents decided that if the war was going to get up the valley to Ebbw Vale, we might as well go home! I never saw my darling Grandma Evans again, but went back for a visit after the war. Now, as I look at Ebbw Vale via Google Earth, I see that the houses have been built right over the hill where we used to wander so freely. Do the skylarks still sing over the mountains there I wonder? 


Fun Corner


Mavis Williams kindly passes on issues of the Melbourne Welsh Church newsletter to us. Hereis a gem from their April issue entitled "A Bible for Mum":- 

Four brothers left home for university, and they became successful doctors and lawyers. Oneevening, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the Christmas gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who had moved to the Gold Coast. 

The first said - "You know I had a big house built for Mum, don't you." 

The second said - "And I had a large theatre built in the house." 

The third said - "And I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her." 

The fourth said - "You know how Mum loved reading the Bible and you know she can't read anymore because she can't see very well. I met this preacher who told me about a parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took ten preachers almost 8 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $50,000 a year for five years to the Church, but it was worth it. Mum only has to name the chapter and verse and the parrot will recite it in the King James Version or Revised Standard Version." 

The other brothers were impressed. After the holidays, Mum sent out her Thank You notes. 

She wrote - "Steven, the house you built is so huge that I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway." 

"Matt, I am too old to travel. I stay home, I have my groceries delivered, so I never use theMercedes. The thought was good. Thanks." 

"Anthony, you gave me an expensive theatre with Dolby sound and it can hold 50 people, but all of my friends are dead. I've lost my hearing, and I'm nearly blind. I'll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same." 

"Dearest David, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chook was delicious. Thank you so much."    

Love, Mum."


Note from the Editor.


John Roberts has sent in some wonderful items - I am saving these for the next newsletter. Thank you very much John. We would love to have more stories and memories from more of our members so let's be hearing from you!


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Welsh Society of Western Australia