- What do we do?
By combining skills and resources, Members of the Bridgend Rotary Club make a real contribution to the lives of others. As Rotary is present in 200 countries, we are unique in being able to reach people in need all over the world, from running life changing projects in developing countries, making an immediate response to disaster hit regions, and supporting local community projects and charity.
Evening Meeting Monday 3rd April Guest Speaker Debra John
"Aspects of the First World War"
President Bob Broughton welcomed Debra to our Rotary Meeting.
At our evening meeting in the Heronston Hotel on 3rd April we were entertained by Debra John, giving a dramatised account of "Aspects of the First World War".
Through the eyes and experiences of five historical figures, she traced significant events, happenings and horrors from 1914 to 1919.
Hedd Wyn (Ellis Evans) Poet, George Butterworth Composer, John Campbell Miner, Hertha Marks - Ayrton Scientist and Nurse Betty Clement had their lives markedly and often tragically affected Debra's composition and fluid dramatic delivery had members and guests gripped with attention and made for a very memorable evening.
Vote of Thanks was given by President Elect Wayne Morgan
President Bob Broughton,Debra John and Rtn Allan Jones Speaker Sec.
Hopkins Ramble Wedneday 29th March 2017
Although the weather forecast was heavy rain, when Rotarians Wayne Morgan, David Hubbard, Alan Reeks, Edgar Burt and Hopkin Joseph, plus two dogs, all met at the Heritage Coast Centre, just off Southerndown Beach, at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday 29th March it was dry but overcast.
We first spent 10/15 minutes inside the centre, which displayed some interesting wall panels setting out the history of the immediate area (from iron age forts at Witches Point to the Roman Times, through the Norman invasion and how from the 16th century the Wyndham family - later enobled as Earls of Dunraven - developed the area, including building in the 18th Century what became known as Dunraven Castle, albeit a castellated manor house - with gardens and deer park). We set off then along the footpath to St.Brides, passed the bottom gardens of Slade House, and through a gap in the wall entered the deer park: an area of about 100 acres enclosed on three sides, west, north and east, by a six foot wall and to the south bounded by the sea cliffs overlooking the Bristol Channel. We walked inside the western wall in a northerly direction, then inside the northern wall heading east. It was great, in early springtime, to see in the fields we walked through ewes with two week old lambs and single suckler cows with two months old calves, but it did mean the dogs had to be on leads and sticks were quite helpful to keep the cows at bay. Mid way along the northern wall we came to the gate house, which would have formed an impressive carriage way entrance to the park leading on to the castle itself: a little run down now but easy to visualise horse-drawn carriages passing through. Walking further east we reached the highest point of the park - having started near sea level we were now some 150 ft. up and with panoramic views in all directions save north (none of us tall enough to see over the wall). It was a clear morning and Southerndown village with on to Porthcawl clearly seen, with two fields across the Bristol Channel (that visibility is seldom a good weather omen). We travelled to the north eastern corner of the park (where ruins of an old gamekeepers house are to be found) and then down the inside of the eastern wall to the cliffs. A really pleasant walk followed along the cliff top park (with much evidence of continued erosion) back to the site of Dunraven Castle (the buildings having been blown up 50/60 years ago due to fears about the cost of maintenance. The wall plaques within the former castle grounds gave indications of its former extent with fine views over Dunraven Bay. We arrived back at our cars at 1.0 p.m. just as the first spots of rain started to fall.
A short drive to Monknash where at 1.15 p.m., with heavy rain outside, we found a table inside the Plough and Harrow near the log fire and enjoyed a pint, some food and some good conversation.
ROTARY JUNIOR YOUTH SPEAKS 2017
On Thursday 16th March eight local primary schools competed to win the Rotary Junior Youth Speaks Shield. The event was held in Pencoed Primary School. The competition proved to be a successful evening again this year, with speakers impressing and entertaining the audience. The winner on the evening was Madeleine Pondevie from Croesty Primary School. However all of the competitors should be commended for the high standard of public speaking that they offered.
Pupils, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, teachers and Rotarians gathered in the anticipation of an exciting evening and they were most certainly rewarded with lively and entertaining presentations from the entrants. The audience was held spellbound listing to a list of speakers including Molly Willsher, Elis Paine, Madeleine Pondevie, Ava Spence, Sophie Bratcher, Lauren McAndrew, George Barry and Katlyn Spurgeon.
An extra delight to the evening was the return of Roan Goulden, who was last year's winner of this competition. He spoke about his pride in winning the competition last year and his public speaking skills and humour set the tone for the evening.
The eight competitors spoke on a range of diverse subjects, including "The gift of Dyslexia", "Why can't we all get along?", "Has technology changed the way we live?". The winner, Madeleine Pondevie, offered her intriguing views on "Nationality".
The Rotary Club of Bridgend would like to thank Pencoed Primary School for hosting the event. Thanks also go to all of those who took part and the many people who supported them, making the evening such a wonderful event.
We look forward to next year!!
K.P.C. YOUTH IN PYLE MEET BRIDGEND ROTARY
The Rotary Club of Bridgend welcomed Paula Lunnon to a breakfast meeting. Paula is the Chair of K.P.C.Youth in Pyle and thanked the Rotary Club for their continued support.
Paula explained that K.P.C. was established as a charity in 1998 by Helena Parobij following the tragic drug related death of her son, Brett. Helena did not want this to happen to any other young people so she set up the charity to give young people a safe and fun place to attend away from the dangers of anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse.
As well as the open access facilities for over 250 young people, K.P.C. provides support and training in I.T. for older people, an after school club for 5 - 7 years old and daytime sessions for the wider community covering over a dozen different training courses. They also offer training and support for local unemployed people.
Despite a very active fund-raising programmed and successful grant applications, K.P.C. have a shortfall in their budget for the coming year and the help provided by Rotary and many other organisation is very welcome and very necessary.
Rotary President Bob Broughton thanked Paula for her excellent talk and for the valuable work which K.P.C. do in the community.
ROTARY CLUB INTERNATIONAL DINNER MEETING 6th March 2017
Students from Pencoed Comprehensive School Vocal Group
under the direction of Rhian Jenkins.
Rotary President Bob Broughton Kay Smith,Charlotte Jones,Rhian Jenkins
Interact President Chloe Jones Kay Smith Head of Drama and Performing Arts
Jasmine Green,Charlotte Costello,ADG Liz Davies,Pres Bob Broughton,Pres Chloe Jones and Josh East.
At this enjoyable evening the Bridgend Rotary Club was pleased to welcome, amongst other guests including A.D.G. Liz Davies, the President and members of the Interact Club of Pencoed Comprehensive School.
Through their fundraising efforts they were able to present a cheque for £250 to Club President Bob Broughton for the purchase of a Community Aquabox. This is a portable water purifying system for use in poor communities worldwide.
The entertainment for the evening was provided by Pencoed Comprehensive School Vocal Group, Department of Music and Dramatic Arts. This choir comprising mainly Year 9 pupils was under the direction of Rhian Jenkins.
They all gave an absolutely wonderful performance, including a mesmerising rendition of the musical "Les Miserables" with many animated solos. The whole performance was very much appreciated by all who attended and was roundly applauded.
The Rotary Club of Bridgend are organising a Charity Concert in May with the Bridgend Male Voice Choir and are delighted to say that the choir from Pencoed Comprehensive School has agreed to be part of the programme. This is surely a concert not to be missed.
ROTARY SUPPORTS BRIDGEND COLLEGE - SEASONS RESTAURANT
The Rotary Club of Bridgend members, partners and guests again celebrated Valentine's Day Dinner at the Seasons Restaurant.
This was the 27th consecutive year of attending and quite by accident 27 diners attended.
Many thanks should go to the members of staff, Kim Jenkins, Neil Hughes, Tracey Bond and all the Level 2 VCCT Students, who managed, prepared and served an excellent three course meal.
Guest Speaker Mr John Pearman "Welsh Speakers in Patagonia"
John Pearman was the guest speaker at our evening meeting on 6th February.
He gave a beautifully illustrated account of the 162 Welsh speakers who departed from Liverpool on the "Mimosa" in May 1865 in search of 'Y Wladfa' in Patagonia.
John traced their pathways through sparsely populated Native Indian land from Puerto Andes making progress with the Welsh language trade and frienships with the local peoples when possible.
The pioneering Welsh have influenced local traditions and the language is still evident particularly in the many chapels built in this predominantly Spanish influenced country.
John's talk was extrmely well delivered and received.
Vote of Thanks given by Caron Jones
AREA YOUTH SPEAKS COMPETITION - FEBRUARY 2017
Bridgend Rotary Club sponsored Bryntirion Comprehensive School, the winners of the local round of the competiton. Their topic was "The Greatest Show on Earth", which offered a "Big Top" view of the recent Presidential election in America. The Chairperson was Caitlyn Jones, the Speaker was Olivia Davies and the Vote of Thanks was given by Mali Conway-Jones. Bridgend Rotary Club would like to thank the students for all their efforts and commitment in preparing for the competition. Many thanks also to their teacher, Mrs. Eloise Lowry, for guiding them through the task.
The Area Competition took place on Thursday 2nd February at Cowbridge Comprehensive School and was hosted by the Rotary Club of Cowbridge.
Three teams entered the competition including Maesydderwen Comprehensive School from the Swansea Valley, Cowbridge Air Training Cadets and Bryntirion Comprehensive School from Bridgend.
All three teams were of an excellent standard so the adjudicators, chaired by Mrs. Marjorie Page, had a difficult task. The eventual winners were Maesydderwen, whose topic was "The F - word: Is Feminism still relevant in the 21st Century?"
Nevertheless the Chairperson from Bryntirion Comprehensive, Caitlyn Jones, won the prize for "Best Chairperson" on the evening and so receiving a certificate and a prize. The prizes and certificates were presented by Liz Davies, the Assistant Governor.
Congratulations to all the competitors for such an entertaining evening.
Hopkin's Ramble Wednesday 25th January 2017
On a crisp sunny January day,perfect for walking, Rtn Edgar Burt,David Hubbard and his dog,Mike Lewis,Hopkin Joseph and William Williams,tgether with guest Catherine Williams,all set out from the Prince of Wales at 11am to walk to Kenfig Castle. Walking northwards across Kenfig Burrows was easy walking initially but then the path became in part overgrown (probably we were walking "off piste") - in any event we finally stumbled on the ruins of the castle and must have walked over parts of the buried city!
What a difference now to what the area would have been like in the 15th Century before the sand storms caused the settlement to be abandoned. We headed north westward immediately west of the now largely disused rail steel good years, crossing over the river Kenfig at it flowed under the railway, then into the goods yard to its western corner where we walked into Margam Burrows and headed to the north of the Kenfig river to the sea. Walking over sand we eventually reached the Haul Road (used in the 60's to carry stone from Cornelly Quarry to Port Talbot to build a new breakwater harbour) and turned to walk towards Sker crossing again over the River Kenfig on a footbridge. The route followed the Haul Road (but we did make one diversion on to the foreshore overlooking Kenfig Sands beach) until we reached the footpath which would take us almost directly eastwards through the dunes of Kenfig Burrows back to the Prince.
Just one mishap on the last section, Catherine stumbled and fell heavily. We arrived back at 1.15pm for a welcome drink at the Prince. It was nice for us all to sit down for a light lunch after the five mile stroll before Catherine and William left for A & E (she was well treated in Port Talbot Hospital - she has broken a bone in her wrist).
PRESENTATION TO THE URDD OF MONIES RAISED BY THE ROTARY CLUB OF BRIDGEND
Clwb Rotary Penybont - Cinio Hydref Sul 25 Medi 2016
Elin Mannion (Chair of the Bridgend Town Urdd 2017 Eisteddfod Fundraising Committee) and Sian Stephen (Development Manager with the Urdd) attended the Rotary Club of Bridgend lunchtime meeting on Monday 16th January 2017. Elin was able to say that nearly 75% of her Committee's target had been reached and that the whole fundraising for the Eisteddfod to be held at Pencoed in May was well on the way to raising the amount needed to assist in the funding to run the 2017 Eisteddfod. Sian gave a little background as to the range of competitions, the expected attendance at the Maes, the likely economical benefits and the likely cultural benefits that would flow from this year's Eisteddfod. The Eisteddfod moves to a difference location in Wales each year and was last in the Bridgend area some thirty years ago.
Vice President Wayne presented a cheque to Elin and Sian, being the balance of the Â£5,887.44 raised by the Rotary Club of Bridgend at an autumn luncheon on Sunday 25th September 2016.
First 2017 New Member Induction Robin Bratton
At the first meeting of the2017 New Year President, Dr.Bob Broughton inducted the latest recruit Mr Robin Bratton. Proposed by Rtn David Hubbard and seconded by Rtn Ken Freeland, Robin is already well known to the Club as he participates as an active Rotary Rambler and through his involvement in many local events.
Trained as an electrical engineer,Robin for many years managed a plant hire business in Bridgend.His classification is Electrical Engineer - Retired.
Robin's membership resolves the long standing riddle about "How many Rotarians does it take to change a light bulb ? The answer now is only one as Robin is by a good twelve inches the tallest member of the club.
We wish Robin well and trust he will have a long,useful and happy Rotary career.
RECORD CHRISTMAS STORE COLLECTIONS 2016
The generosity of the public in Bridgend was evidenced again this year by the response to the Rotary Christmas collections at Tesco Brewery Lane, at Sainsbury's Junction 36 and at Tesco Cowbridge Rd.Over three weekends before Christmas teams of Rotarians (rostered by Rotarian Neil Solman) sometimes wearing festive clothing but always with a sleigh and reindeer (provided,fed and watered by Rotarian Gwyn Thomas,including christmas music and occasions with a Father Christmas) stood at the doors of the supermarkets with collecting buckets. A very large proportion of the Club membership were able to participate,and others helped in different ways (eg Rtn Gerald Bassett counted and banked the coin-no small task ). A super total of Â£5000 was collected, all to be donated to Bridgend based charities.
Foundation Chairman Dr William Williams PHF visit to California. Dec 2016
Whilst on holiday in California William and his wife Catherine had the opportunity to visitThe Rotary Club of Lomita-Torrance Airport.
During the visit an exchange of club banners took place between William and Secretary Elaine Thompson as seen in the photograph.
ROTARY CLUB OF BRIDGEND CHRISTMAS COLLECTIONS AND SINGING SANTAS 2016.
The Rotary Club of Bridgend wishes the people of Bridgend a very Happy New Year and thanks all who have given most generously to the Club's Christmas Charity collections.
Once again the Rotary Club of Bridgend has used the celebration of Christmas to raise funds to assist those who are less fortunate, or in need, in the Bridgend area, and all the monies the Club collects at Christmas time are used to support local causes and charities.
The Rotary Club would like to thank Sainsbury's and Tesco Stores for their assistance in providing stabling for the Rotary Sleigh and Reindeer during the collections at their stores.
The Rotary Club of Bridgend Singing Santas and their friends in the Bridgend Male Choir (assisted by a number of elves who were given the night off) performed their own blend of Christmas songs and carols in numerous establishments across the borough. The Santas gift of their time and the support they receive from the people of Bridgend actively reflects the true meaning of the festive season.
Rotary is a fellowship organisation dedicated to helping those less fortunate than themselves. Its motto is "Service Above Self". If you are interested in joining or would like to find out more about Rotary contact www.rotarybridgend.org.uk or the Secretary of the Rotary Club of Bridgend on 01656 652181.
BRIDGEND ROTARY YOUTH SPEAKS
The exciting competition was held at Brynteg Comprehensive School on Wednesday 16th November. Local teams from Bryntirion and Brynteg Comprehensive Schools were represented by extremely competent students to battle it out for the Rotary Youth Speaks Shield for 2016. The speakers had chosen interesting topics of discussion including "The Arts Subjects should have a more prominent place in the school curriculum", "The Greatest Show on Earth" and "As a result of media pressure young girls up to the age of 16 are growing up too fast". The attention of the audience was held throughout the evening, as the standard of competition was so high. The whole evening was thoroughly enjoyed by parents, students, teachers and Rotarians. The adjudicators was faced with a difficult task of choosing the winning teams.
All competitors were praised for their performances but the winner of the senior Rotary Youth Speaks Competition was Bryntirion Comprehensive School. The Chairperson was Caitlyn Jones, the Speaker was Olivia Davies and the vote of thanks was given by Mali Conway-Jones. The winner of the Intermediate Youth Speaks Competition was Brynteg Comprehensive School. Their Chairperson was Lewis Hall, the Speaker was Megan Cawley and the vote of thanks was offered by Archie Faulkner-Leway. The students were presented with certificates and the Shield by the President of Bridgend Rotary Club, Bob Broughton.
Bridgend Rotary Club would like to thank Brynteg Comprehensive School for hosting the competition again this year. Thanks also go to all the students who took part for their efforts in preparing their chosen topics and their skill in delivering them in front of an audience on the evening. Praise must also be given to the teachers who admirably guided their students to reach their potential in public speaking. Thanks also to the parents who were present to support their children on the evening. It was a delightful event for everyone concerned. We wish the teams every success in the next phase of the competition, which will be held at Cowbridge Comprehensive School on 2nd February 2017.
FOUNDATION NIGHT 2016
Bridgend Rotary Club held its Foundation Dinner Evening on 7th November. The President welcomed the District Rotary Scholar, Assistant Governor Alison Sutherland, members of Swansea Bay Club, Honorary Member and Guests.
Foundation Chairman provided a short summary of the work of the Rotary Foundation (TRF),which is currently in its centenary year and a reminder given too, that this was the centenary of Rotary in Wales. A list of significant Foundation events over the last hundred years was provided on each table.
History of the Rotary Foundation
1917 - Arch Klumph's proposal for an endowment to "Do Good in the World" - first donation of $26.50 made.
1929 - $500 donated to International Society of Crippled Children
1947 - Fellowships for Advanced Study, later known as Ambassadorial Scholarships launched.
1953 - Paul Harris Fellow recognition begins
1965 - Matching Grant programmed launched and Group Study Exchange begins
1979 - Rotary begins Polio Immunisation
1985 - Polio Plus Programme launched
1999 - Rotary Peace Centres founded
2007 - Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation issue $100M challenge
2015 - Polio cases down 99.9% since 1988
2016 - Foundation Centennial Year began on 1st July
Since 1917 Foundation has received contributions of more than $1 Billion
An invitation was given to the District Rotary Scholar, Roberta Pellegrino from Italy to talk to those present. She gave a short account of her planned project for her year's study in Wales, which will combine Geology and Biology, with emphasis on the clean water issue. This is something which could be applied to various Rotary projects within the Third World where clean water is still a major problem. In answer to a question on likes and dislikes in Wales Roberta responded that she had found the people very friendly and helpful but that the weather could be a bit warmer.
Moving on to the topic of Peace a reminder was given that the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, now in its seventieth year, had recently been awarded the Rotary International Peace Award. An invitation was given to A.G. Alison to talk on more locally orientated Peace projects.
A.G.Alison provided some background to her life as a missionary and her work on the integration of migrants into the Cariff community and also on one of the projects that is ongoing on our own doorstep. She provided details of the courses she had put together to deal with conflict and rehabilitation of prisoners.
P.P. Gerald Bassett proposed the vote of thanks to the two speakers.
A number of people had kindly donated the seven raffle prizes and Â£124 was raised for Foundation.
The Foundation Chair added one last factoid on Foundation, that after a large detailed review of global charities, the Rotary Foundation has been voted in "the Top Ten" in the World. Something we can all be proud of.
A final thanks was given to Rtn. Caron Jones for his first class work in producing all the printed paper items which provided such a professional touch to the event.
Guest Speaker Mr Mel James at the Breakfast Meeting on 24th October 2016
The Rotary Club of Bridgend welcomed to its recent breakfast meeting Mr. Mel James, who is the organiser of the Bridgend Primary Schools Cross Country League.
Mel spoke to the Club about his interest in running, which started with his first London marathon at the age of 38. Since then he has run several London marathons with a best time of two hours thirty-nine minutes. He also competed for the Welsh Veteran Team at shorter track events winning several medals along the way. Last year he competed in the World Masters Athletic Championships in Lyon and reached the semi-finals of the four hundred metres competition. He was then selected for the Great Britain 4 x 400 metres team, which achieved a silver medal in the final, breaking the British record for an over seventies team.
He has also become involved with the administration side of athletics and has held various offices including Welsh Team Manager and is currently Chair of Welsh Masters Athletics and an Executive Member of the British Masters Athletic Federation.
Now at the age of 73, as well as still competing, he has taken on the responsibility of the Primary Schools Cross Country. This involves nearly all Bridgend Primary Schools with monthly meetings during the winter with about 350 youngsters, taking part in age group races. A final summer event is held at which trophies are presented to winning schools and inscribed replica running shoes presented to individual winners.
The photograph shows Past President Alan Reeks with Mel James at the prize winning ceremony.
Mel thanked the Rotary Club of Bridgend for meeting the cost of trophies and presenting them to the children.
Rotarian Dr. Graham Hapgood gave the vote of thanks, advising that his daughter helped Mel by recording the results after the end of each race. He paid tribute to the dedication of Mel to his sport and particularly to his work in organising the Cross Country League, encouraging so many local youngsters to take part in athletics.
Rtn David Hubbard
SOUTH WALES SPECIAL SCHOOLS FOOTBALL CHALLENGE SHIELD OCTOBER 2016
This annual event organised by the Rotary Club of Bridgend and Heronsbridge School was again sponsored by Past Rotarian Derek Gaynor.
The Mayor of Bridgend County Borough Council Reg Jenkins presented the winners shield to Ysgol Bryn Castell from Bridgend. The runners up were Greenfields Merthyr Tydfil.
The most improved side was Pen Y Bryn from Swansea. The player of the tournament award was Cane Dickinson Ysgol Bryn Castell from Bridgend.
All the players were presented with medals by Mayor Reg Jenkins and Rotary Club of Bridgend President Bob Broughton.
Event Organiser Rotarian Edgar Burt.
Excerpts from Rtn Graham Hapgood's lunchtime presentation 17th Oct 2016
Voltaire's opinion on doctors
"Men who are occupied in the restoration of health to other men, by the joint exertion of skill and humanity, are above all the great of the earth. They partake of divinity, since to preserve and renew is almost as noble as to create."
I decided at a young age that I wanted to become a doctor. Whilst in grammar school the woodwork master advised me that in view of the poor quality of my woodwork skills, especially with a saw, I should never consider becoming a surgeon.
I became a medical student at the Welsh National School of Medicine, Cardiff, and after graduating I worked in the United Cardiff Hospitals for almost five years, reaching registrar grade in obstetrics and gynaecology.
I sat and passed a more advanced examination in obstetrics. The day before the written paper in Bristol, Professor Turnbull, for whom I was working, wished me luck and reminded me that no-one who had worked for him had ever failed it - so no pressure.
In 1966 I thought I was becoming involved in another smallpox outbreak similar to that in 1962. On Saturday 30th July 1966 I was senior casuality officer on duty in CRI when an Asian woman visiting the U.K. being unwell, with a temperature and rash mainly on her face and forearms attended the department. Being mindful of 1962 and not wishing to be held responsible for causing panic or responsible for missing the start of a dangerous smallpox epidemic, I contacted the dermatology consultant, who order complete isolation of the patient and closure of the casuality department until he attended. The importance of the date will now become apparent when I tell you I was quite happy to do this as I was then able to watch most of the England v West Germany World Cup Match while we waited. The eventual diagnosis was an abnormal distribution of chickenpox - panic over.
On another occasion Phil Hawthorn, the Australian Outside Half, was brought into Casualty Department by the team doctor, requesting an x-ray on his ankle because of an injury sustained whilst playing against Cardiff RFC that afternoon. I was a minor sprain of little significance and required no special treatment. However, as Wales were playing Australia the following weekend I advised ten days rest. My well meant advice was ignored amidst some unrepeatalbe Australian replies.
My hospital career came to an end when I was summoned to Professor Turnbull's house in Cyncoed early one evening and introduced to Professor Walker from Scotland. I was told that I was being appointed his registrar for the next four years, following which I would re-join Professor Turnbull at his new Professorial Unit in Oxford University, when he had just been appointed Emeritus Professor. Following discussion with Geraldine I had to decline the offer as I was unable to leave Wales at the time due to serious family commitment and responsibilities so I became a G.P. in the Garw.
Hopkin's Ramble to Llantwit Major Saturday 15th October
The ramble on 15th October was a ramble with a difference. Rotarians Gerry Bassett, Alan Reeks, Tony Berrow, Sue Cassidy and Hopkin Joseph, together with guests Teresa Griffiths, Denis Cassidy, Margaret Thomas, Meryl Bassett and Briony Berrow, all met at Bridgend Railway Station to catch the 09.42 train to Llantwit Major. Arriving at Llantwit Major we walked to the old town and to the old town hall.
The old town hall was a Norman manorial court house for the manor of Boverton and Llantwit Major (the manor created in 1088 but the court house was built sometime afterwards). It was re-built under the Lordship of Jasper Tudor (1485-95) and became a guild hall in the time of Henry VIII (around 1540). We were joined at the old town hall by Rotarian Gwyn Thomas and by guests Robin Bratton and Richard Reeks, with us all then meeting the Mayor of Llantwit Major (Mrs. Sally Hanks) who had kindly opened the building up. The Mayor showed us around the ground floor room of the History Society (with its historical artefacts displayed) and then let us up the external stone steps to the first floor hall.
The Mayor then led us past the Old White Hart (now a pub but built as a house), the first know domestic building to be built after the destruction of the manor at the time of the revolt of Owain Glyndowr (around 1405), then taking us up to the old school.
The old school dates from around 1450, and was first built as a house for a member of the Ragan/Herbert family. It was for a while afterwards a vicarage, then between 1874 and 1975 an elementary school. It is now used for several community uses, but also houses the council chamber. The Mayor opened the Council Chamber for us, donned her chain of office and explained a little of what she had done so far during her mayoral year. As we left we thanked her for meeting and greeting us and giving us of her time.
We then set out to walk some of the blue plaque buildings in the old town. We passed Ivy House (built as a court house in the 16th Century), Ty Mawr (a late 15th Century house built for a member of the Nicholl family), Old Place (the ruin of a mansion built in 1596 for the Williams/Vann family) and Plymouth House (reputed to be on the site of part of the Celtic monastery given by the Earl of Gloucester after the Norman invasion of Glamorgan in 1088 to Tewkesbury Abbey - at one time the house now standing on the site was owned by the Earl of Plymouth). There are some links with Bridgend area as the Nicholl family built Merthyr Mawr House, and the Williams family at one time lived in Candleston.
At 11.30 we arrived at St.Illtud's Church for coffee (kindly provided by the church) and then were led on a conducted tour of the church by Bill Henderson (a friend of Llantwit Church). Rotarian President Bob Broughton and his wife Jean joined the party. The church dates from the 5th Century(the Welsh Celtic "Age of Saints") for sure, but a lot of Welsh mythology places it as a Cor (or centre where Christian rites of Religion were honored) from the period AD 35/60. It was a Centre of Learning of the Celic Church up until the Norman invasion of Glamorgan. Bill told us that there was documentary proof that St Illtud attracted pupils from all over what is now the UK and Ireland in the 5th Century, he was a tutor to St Tudor and St Patrick and many others.We spent over an hour at the church with Bill, he explained the medieval wall paintings,the church artefacts,the periods of construction of parts of the church and we finished in the quite splendidly refurbished Galilee Chapel which houses several of the Celtic Christian Stones dating from the 5th century onwards. None of us could understand why in Wales we do not make more of this historical sacred place.
It was a very short walk to lunch at 1245 at the Swan Inn for a convivial lunch. We parted company at 3-30pm, some to return to Bridgend by train,some by car and a few by bus trip around the coast, a scenic route which was great fun, a free ride better than some of the fairground attractions at Porthcawl.
It had been a fine day until rain came in at 3-30pm,we were very lucky with the weather to be able to thoroughly enjoy the day.
PRESIDENCY OF JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESENTED BY ROTARIAN GEOFF HENDERSON
After dinner on Monday 3rd October, Rtn Geoff Henderson, a member of the Rotary Club of Port Talbot gave an illustrated presentation and talk on John Fitzgerald Kennedy's presidency of the U.S.A.
Most of us remember J.F.K.'s presidency for two things - he was shot (where was I when J.F.K. died) and who shot him (the conspiracy theories), but Geoff reminded us that there was more, much more.
Born second son of a wealthy New England based family, J.F.K. grew up in an environment encouraged to succeed. After his elder brother was killed in World War II, J.F.K. primarly carried the burden of his father's desire for one of his sons to strive for high office. In fact all three surviving sons, J.F.K., Robert and Edward were at one time senators, collectively establishing a political dynasty for compare with the Rockerfellers earlier and the Bush family later.
J.F.K. was elected president in 1960, a young man, a former war hero and a catholic. His inaugural address in January 1961 was inspirational, "Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country". He established an administration, drawing in distinguished, youthful and positive individuals from outside politics, with his brother, Robert as a key member as Attorney and also with his beautiful wife Jackie at his side. The White House soon became known as the new Camelot.
There were huge challenges abroad, three involving the Russian president Khrushchev, the Berlin blockade (Ich bin ein Berliner), the Cuban Bay of Pigs episode, the Cuban missile crisis and the build up of the war in Vietnam.
At home in the U.S.A. the Civil Rights Movement (in the main supported by the Kennedy's especially Robert) was politically charged, and the Mafia was a constant thorn (within and outside the Unions) in the background.
It was though an exciiting period, a period of hope and confidence. Martin Luther King in April 1963 "I have seen the promised land" and in August 1963 "I have a drean" really encapsulated the spirit of the Kennedy era. It was a dream shattered later that year in Dallas but nevertheless for nearly three years a reality.
Rtn Geoff constrasted too the Kennedy/Nixon election battle with the current Trump/Clinton race for the Oval Office, with Geoff's sobering view on what might happen if Trump succeeds.
A really interesting evening, reminding many of us about things we had forgotten and what an interesting political period 1960-63 we had lived through.
ROTARY FUND-RAISING LUNCHEON FOR THE URDD EISTEDDFOD
The Community Service Committee (Rotarians Hopkin Joseph, Sue Cassidy, Neil Solman, Jenny Myerscough and Tony Berrow) planned the event.
With some very effective marketing material produced by Rtn Caron Jones (who also produced the programme of events for the day), tickets were completely sold out within seven days and at the 31st August there was a waiting list.
Marquees had been erected in a field alongside Fairfield Court on Wednesday 22nd September and all the tables, etc. laid and made ready (by Rtns William Williams, Neil Solman, Sonia Cain, Sue Cassidy, Alan Reeks and Hopkin Joseph) for the 175 atendees expected on Saturday 24th. Early Sunday morning, 25th September, after a few wet days and the 25 mm of rain the night before, it was panic stations in Laleston as the field was very wet indeed. Some additional loads of chippings for the gateway and some carpets from a previous function to go in sections of the marquee saved the day and made ground conditions "not too bad".
Many Rotarians had helped in previous days and weeks to get the lunch marketed and everything ready. On the day Rtns David Hubbard, Alan Brooks and Alan Reeks ensured the cars and people entered the field safely and cars properly parked. President Bob Broughton, with Elin Mannion, Chair of the Bridgend Fund-Raising Committee for the 2017 Urdd Eisteddfod, greeted guests whilst Teilo Dyfed Evans (an 18 year old student from Porthcawl) played the harp with great skill. Rtns Sue and Sonia directed people to the tables.
At 1 pm President Bob spoke to the 175 guests, welcoming them on behalf of the Rotary club of Bridgend, and Elin explained a little about the Urdd and next year's Eisteddfod in Pencoed. After a game of "Heads and Tails" to win a bottle of Bubbly donated by Andy Phillips, Rtn Mike Lewis said grace and the guests sat down to a meal, each table taking turns under the direction of Sue and Sonia to collect their food from the buffet whilst Dyfed played throughout the first course.
Drinks were collected without charge by guests as and when needed from the bar area with voluntary donations to the Urdd (popped into a pint glass on each table) - actually well exceeded what would have been made if the drinks had been sold. After puddings and coffee Y Tri Tenors (a trio of tenors from the Llandeilo/Tregaron areas) entertained the guests with a selection of Welsh/English melodies. The raffle was drawn, one Â£50 and two Â£25 prizes. Some donations (a basket of Welsh farm produced donated by Ty Tanglwst Dairy), a clock donated by Felicity Jewellers and an hour's horseriding lesson on Lusitanos (donated by Rtn Jenny Myerscough) were auctioned and Ty Tri Tenors came onto the stage again - this time to sing popular operatic areas.
President Bob and Elin formally wound up the event with closing remarks at 3.45 pm, some guests left soon after, some lingered a while and the last left at 8.45 pm.
The event, including raffle, donations, auction, sale of flowers, "heads and tails" etc. will produce a net surplus of just over Â£5,000, which Rotary will have generated towards the cost of next year's Urdd Eisteddfod at Pencoed.
BRIDGEND ROTARY SUPPORT TALKING BOOKS FOR THE BLIND
Carol McKinlay, the Fund Raising Manager for RNIB Cymru gave a presentation to the Rotary Club of Bridgend, accompanied by Anne Wilkins, a local user of the Talking Books for the Blind.
Carol thanked the Rotary Club for their generous support and said that the service is now offered free of charge, which has resulted in a large increase in the number of members. There are now currently 92 users of the Talking Books in the Bridgend area.
Ann Wilkins was blind from birth and gave an inspirational account of her experiences and determination to live as full a life as possible. She amazed members with her grasp of the latest technology and its uses in overcoming sightlessness . She is an accomplished singer and teacher and has won several Eisteddfod awards. She thanked the RNIB Cymru for their continuous support.
Pictured are Bob Broughton, President of the Rotary Club of Bridgend, Anne Wilkins, Carol McKinlay and David Hubbard.
FISHING FOR THE DISABLED ANNUAL COMPETITION
ROTARY CLUB OF BRIDGEND PAST PRESIDENT KENDRICK GRIFFITHS QPM MEMORIAL SHIELD
Ex-Chief Constable of Merthyr Tydfil Griffiths QPM was remembered on 21st September 2016 when special schools within the area took part in a fishing competition held at Seven Oaks Fishery, Ystradowen.
Representatives from Ysgol Bryn Castell, Heronsbridge School and Pencoed Comprehensive School Special Unit took part and the winning team was Heronbridge School with a catch of 11lb 4oz with the catch of the day being won by Jack Guard from Heronsbridge at 2lb 9oz.
The Shield was presented to Heronbridge School by Rotary President Bob Broughton OBE KSt.J.
Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled Association are seeking volunteers from experienced fishermen to assist and ensure the continuation of fishing for young disabled people. If you can assist in any way please contact Edgar Burt on 01656 667855.
BRIDGEND TOWN CHARTER
On Saturday 17th September 1516 King Henry VIII granted a Market Charter to the town of Bridgend. In a re-enactment of the ceremony the King visited Bridgend again on 17th September 2016 with his last wife Catherine and spoke to the Mayor and townsfolk assembled.
Three members of the Rotary Club of Bridgend (Alan Reeks, Gillian Hale and Hopkin Joseph) were there (with other Bridgend based organisations) to provide stewarding and security. The three Rotary members were granted an audience and witnessed the King's address, in which he apologised for Bridgend being the last of the Welsh towns to which he had awarded Charters - but he stressed his love of Wales (he reminded everyone of his father, Henry VII, having been born in Pembroke castle and his forebears, the Tudor family, being from North Wales). The King made clear he was delighted to mix with ordinary people, explained what had happened and why to all of his former wives, and both answered questions and accepted petitions from the people assembled.
The King re-enacted his Charter presentation, which the Mayor of Bridgend graciously accepted and made a loyal address on behalf of the town and people of Bridgend. The King and Queen, escorted by the Mayor and consort, followed the Town Cryer around the streets of Bridgend. The Royal party inspected the shops and offices in the town and walked past the street traders (including arrow makers, wool spinners, dyers, barber/surgeons, bow makers, potters, wattle and daub makers, dough makers, wood carvers etc.) who had travelled to Bridgend from all parts of England and Wales for the Royal visit to Bridgend. Musicians played Tudor era instruments and Tudor music (an interesting one was "The Beer Song"). Jugglers performed, story tellers enchanted children, and walking tours took visitors both around the town and to the St.John's Hospice in Newcastle Hill.
The Rotarians helping were refreshed by mead and oat cakes and were permitted to sit for a short while on the Royal dias.
Having arrived at 10 a.m. the Royal Party departed the town at 5 p.m., hoping to return before the year 2516.
One of the Rotary objectives - service to the community - was met by members of Bridgend Rotary Club being in attendance and we were thanked for doing so by both the Mayor and Town Clerk. We actually had a really good time.
Rtn Hopkin Joseph
KIDS OUT COLLECTION AT SAINSBURY'S 10TH SEPTEMBER 20
The Rotary Clubs of Bridgend, Maesteg and Porthcawl held their annual fund raising day at Sainsbury's in Bridgend on Saturday 10th September. Thanks to the generosity of the public (some from as far as Cardiff, Swansea and the Valleys) the collections realised the magnificent sum of Â£635.43.
This will help fund the day out next June for 120 children (3 coach loads) from schools in Bridgend, Porthcawl and Maesteg for a trip to the Gower Heritage Centre at Parkmill, Swansea.
Our grateful thanks to the public for their support and to Sainsbury's for their assistance.
Rtn Neil Solman on behalf of the Kids Out Committee
Y BONT MEETS ROTARY
Clare Jenkins, the Fund Raising Manager of the Bridgend charity - Y Bont, attended a meeting of the Rotary Club of Bridgend to thank club members for their continuing financial support.
Clare explained how the charity started 19 years ago with help from Rotarians Byron Morgan and Ann McAllister, both sadly now deceased.
Each year approximately 140 disabled children and their families benefit from a wide range of support services, including pre-school day care and parent support groups provided by the Y Bont team of dedicated and highly trained staff who work closely in partnership with a network of health, education and social services professionals. All of this takes place at their purpose-built and well equipped premises at Ewenny Road.
Clare said they need to raise over Â£300,000 every year to maintain these invaluable services and Y Bont are grateful to Rotary and all the other individuals and organisations who help to maintain this essential service in Bridgend.
Pictured with Clare Jenkins are Bob Broughton President of Bridgend Rotary and David Hubbard Charity Officer.
ROTARY RAMBLE WEDNESDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2016
Tuesday evening 13th September was wet and windy in Porthcawl with very heavy thunder, rain and flashes of lightening. What a difference a day made;
Wednesday evening 14th September was bright, sunny and calm.
At 6 p.m. Rotarians Edgard Burt, Alan Reeks (plus dog), David Hubbard (plus dog too), Brian Roberts, Gillian Hale, John Ward with his wife Diane, and Hopkin Joseph met at the Lifeguard station near the Porthcawl Pier, all then setting off westwards walking along the Porthcawl Upper Promenade. It had been, and was, not so much a ramble as a slow pace amble; with the setting sun in the distance a very enjoyable walk to the end of West Drive. A short detour over the Common with then retracing steps back to the Pier via the Lower Promenade (the only stop being a few moments at Porthcawl's most recent tourist attraction - the wrong facing benches on the seafront). Thereafter it was down along the Marina to the Eastern Promenade, followed by a visit to Beales at 7.15 pm for fish and chips (which were taken back to the Eastern Promenade and eaten by all, with everyone sitting on the seawall overlooking Coney Beach).
A red glowing sunset, with the light fading, and delicious food - a good ending to an enjoyable stroll. Almost the end, Alan and Hopkin got delayed at the Jolly Sailor, Newton, for something to wash the food down.
Bridgend County Day Centres Go Fishing
On 17th August Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled and the Rotary Club of Bridgend took members of the Bridgend Resource Centre and Valley Gateway Day Centre (Sarn) fishing at the Seven Oaks Fishery.
Although the sun was shining and the water crystal clear the fish were biting and all twenty three participants caught two fish each.
Each team winner was presented with a medal. Cathy Spanswick of Valley Gateway and Richard Williams of Pyle and Porthcawl each had "catch of the day" with bags of 2lb.1oz.each.
There were forty six trout caught and all participants went home with a smile on their face.
The Rotary Club of Bridgend would like to thank the various organisations in Bridgend and Pencoed for their support in making the event possible.
Rtn. Edgar Burt
ROTARY CLUB OF BRIDGEND ANNUAL GARDEN PARTY
It's not all fund raising!!!
The Rotary Club of Bridgend held its annual garden party in the grounds of Well House Farm, Pencoed, the home of Rtn.Gwyn Thomas on one of the sunniest days of the year and was, as ever, a great success. Thank you once again Gwyn for the use of your home and all its facilities.
Newly installed President Dr.Bob Broughton OBE KStJ welcomed some seventy five members and guests to an afternoon of relaxed fellowship punctuated by rousing brass band and other marching music.
Anticipating the forthcoming Olympic dressage events the Club was entertained with an illuminated and informative demonstration of the requisite equestrian skills by Rtn.Jenny Myerscough, who with a colleague was riding two of her Lusitano horses.
The competitive spirit was not entirely missing as members and guests were challenged on the skittle alley and in garden quoits and darts.
Rotary Walk with RC Cheltenham August 2016
After some challenging navigational issues, Edgar Burt, Hopkin Joseph, Catherine and myself arrived at the Gloucester Docks car park on the afternoon of 2nd August. We then linked up with President Michael and 16 members of the Cheltenham Club at the National Waterways Museum. After introductions we followed our leader Keith on to Alney Island, which is only a short distance from the city centre and is a Nature Reserve in the River Severn.
We headed north by the river and after seeing the swans and crossing a very busy A417, we doubled back south on a parallel course on the side of fields of barley via Richard's Woods to Gloucester docks 2.5 hours later, after about 4.5 miles of mostly flat land on paths and fields.
The weather was warm and very humid on the first half of the walk but thankfully we headed back into a breeze with the rain just trying to catch us out on the last few hundred yards.
We all enjoyed good fellowship and it was nice to be given such a warm welcome by those attending. The Cheltenham members made a request that the link between the Clubs be continued.
ROGER MARSH RETURNS FROM NEPAL
Vice President Major Wayne Morgan MBE (in the Chair) on behalf of the Rotary Club of Bridgend welcomed Mr. Roger Marsh to their August dinner meeting.
The Rotary Club of Bridgend had assisted Mr.Marsh with sponsorship for an assignment to assist victims of the recent earthquakes.
Mr.Marsh, a fully qualified Scro-cranial chiropractor and acupuncture specialist with added massage skills, addressed the Club about his experiences in Nepal following the two major earthquakes. He had spent nine weeks in Nepal during which time he personally had treated some 60 patients, mainly with back and joint problems, many on several occasions. Giving some 330 treatments with very satisfactory results, Roger had worked tirelessly from 7-11 am and 4-7 pm daily in a temporary clinic consisting of a small basic room with no air-conditioning, which was hot and humid with myriad flies and mosquitoes. He described how upon his arrival in the capital Katmandu he was horrified by the extent of the devastation, which was even more extensive in the remote village of Etay - his destination. The two major earthquakes (both over 7 on the Richter scale) had resulted in over 9,000 dead, 21,000 injured and 2.94 million people displaced. Twenty six hospitals had been damaged and over half a million homes destroyed.
Past President Allan Brooks thanked Roger for his illuminating talk and presentation and was pleased that the support of the Rotary Club had helped to bring some comfort to the victims of the disaster.
Rotary District 1150 Bowls Competition, Tuesday July 12th 2016
The Rotary Club of Bridgend was represented at Landrindod Wells by Stan Harding (Skip ), Allan Brooks,John Ward and Alan Reeks (First Reserve,Chaffeur and official photographer).
After a close contest between 18 excellent club teams from District 1150,Bridgend did not actually win.
The Competition winners were Brecon and the runners-up were Aberystwyth.It is possible that Bridgend came in at third place,but it is just as possible that they came a little further down the list.The Team is united in their contention that they came close to the winners,since they shared a table with the winning team Brecon at the closing ceremony.
Whatever the result, it was a wonderful day for fellowchip.
Rtn John Ward PHF 13th July
ROTARY CLUB OF BRIDGEND HANDOVER CEREMONY
The Rotary Club of Bridgend held its President's handover dinner at the Heronston Hotel on Monday 4th July, when the outgoing President Rtn.Alan Reeks inducted Rtn.Dr.Bob Broughton OBE KStJ as his successor for the new Rotary Year 2016-2017.
In a simple ceremony the incoming President promised to promote the Objects of Rotary by encouraging and fostering the ideal of service in the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service, by fostering high ethical standards in business and professions and dignifying each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society and to advance international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of persons united in the ideal of service.
In handing over the Presidency Rtn Alan said that it had been a privilege and a joy to represent the Club over the past year. He believed that the many enterprises undertaken by the Club during the year had been interesting and varied and above all enjoyed by all. Much good work has been achieved and many thousands of pounds raised and distributed to local charities. He expressed his sincere thanks to the chairs and members of his committees for all their hard work and also to their families for their support given during the year.
New President Rtn. Bob thanked his predecessors and expressed his wish to emulate the excellent work achieved during the past year and looked forward to working with his new team, Rtn. Major Wayne Morgan MBE, his President Elect Rtn. Hopkin Joseph, his President Nominee and the chairs and members of the various committees.
He said we have all been given a year to make changes to advice Rotary within our sphere of influence and to attract new members by making the changes that will meet the needs of the young business and professional people we hope to recruit to further the development of the ideal of service.
In his final act as President Rtn Alan presented the Harvey Palmer Trophy to Elaine Davies and Tracey Morgan of the Splice Child and Family Project based in Pyle/Kenfig Hill. The award and trophy was gifted by a past Rotarian and is to acknowledge and reward exceptional service in the Community by non Rotarians.
The presentation of the trophy was made by Mrs. Catherine Brooks, granddaughter of Harvey Palmer.
The presentation of the "Rotarian of the Year" award was made to Rtn.Brian Roberts the Club Treasurer. Rtn.Alan said it is always difficult to single out an individual for recognition as there are so many dedicated Rotarians who are fully committed to the organisation but on this occasion he was recognising the work, largely unseen, undertaken by the treasurer during the year.
BRIDGEND ROTARY SUPPORT SPLICE CHILD AND FAMILY PROJECT
Bridgend Rotary welcomed Elaine Davies and Tracey Morgan to a breakfast meeting and were rewarded with an excellent talk about the work of the Splice Child and Family Project based in their Community Centre in Pyle/Kenfig Hill.
Elaine and Tracey explained how the Charity was established twelve years ago when they saw the need for support for vulnerable young families. Since then they have developed their services which aim to support Parents and Carers to play and learn with their children, developing confidence and self esteem.
The Rotary members were impressed with the skill and dedication of the Charity, particularly the way they had grown their service and developed their premises through voluntary donations and Grants. President Alan Reeks presented a cheque to Elaine and Tracey to help them continue with their valuable work.
Rtn David Hubbard
ROTARIAN BYRON MORGAN J.P. REMEMBERED
Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled and the Rotary Club of Bridgend remembered a Past President of the Rotary Club on 15th June 2016 in the form of a fishing competition for the disabled, which was held at the Seven Oaks Fishery, Ystradowen.
Rotarian Byron Morgan J.P. was a founder member of the Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled Fishing Club, which is now in its 20th year.
Organised by Rotarian Edgar Burt, a long time companion of Byron, teams from Valley Gateway, Pyle and Porthcawl Day Centre and the Bridgend Resource Centre were invited to compete for the Memorial Trophy.
With a winning catch of 15lbs.15oz the Byron Morgan Memorial Cup was presented to Valley Gateway by the current President of the Rotary Club of Bridgend, Rotarian Alan Reeks, who also presented a medal to Colin Jenkins for the day's largest single catch of 2lbs 8oz.
Rotarian Byron Morgan had a larger than life personality. He was know as "Morgan the Blind" because of his association (Headmaster) with the Bridgend School for the Blind, or Ponty, and his ashes are spread under the posts at the Club House end of Pontypridd Rugby Ground.
Rotarian Edgar Burt
The founder and first President of the Rotary Club of Bridgend was Robert Horrocks previously a member of the Rotary Club of Cardiff. Our Rotary Club was formed on the 15th December 1925 but the charter was presented at a dinner on 15th March 1926 at the Wyndham Hotel Dunraven Place Bridgend.
Presidential and 90th Anniversary Dinner
The Rotary Club of Bridgend held its President's Dinner coupled with its 90th Anniversary at the Heronston Hotel on Friday 10th June 2016. The dinner was organised, attended and hosted by President Alan Reeks and President Elect Dr. Bob Broughton OBE KStJ.
Guests for the evening were Mr.Win Griffiths OBE past Secretary of State for Wales and his wife Ceri and President of the Rotary Club of Maesteg Mr. Robert Davies with his wife Menna, both were honoured and thanked for attending by President Alan. Entertainment for the evening was provided by another guest, Mr. Bob Cater, who introduced the Club to the intricacies of the guitar with a musical feast from three different instruments and a musical competition. The event delighted the Club Members, who recognised the auspicious and historical occasion, an event worthy of a celebratory evening. President Alan thanked the guests, Bob Cater and the hotel staff for helping make this unique event all the more memorable.
Rtn Wayne Morgan
ROTARY KIDS OUT EVENT June 2016
The Rotary Clubs of Bridgend, Porthcawl and Maesteg took their customary three coachloads of deserving 9-11 year old children to the Gower Heritage Centre on Wednesday 8th June 2016. Everyone wore their tee-shirts and caps, receiving a Kids Out pen on their return. There were in excess of 120 children this year from Maes-yr- Haul,Cefn Crybwr,Llangewyd,Caerau,Garth and Nantyfyllan and they enjoyed pottery making, a cinema show, tours of the woollen and grain mils, a coracle display, petting young animals and feeding the trout.
The conclusion was the eagerly anticipate Duck Race with medals and prizes for the four winners. Each school also received a medal as a momento of the occasion. The organisation by the Gower Heritage Centre and the travel arrangements by Express Travel were first class and contributed to a most enjoyable and successful day out. Our thanks to Tesco and Sainsbury's for their support and funding from the Kids Out Charity and our South Wales District 1150.
Rotarian Neil Solman
DRAGON RIDE 'L'ETAPE WALES JUNE 2016
The Rotary Club of Bridgend helped and supported the 2016 Dragon Ride "L'Etape" Wales, helping to raise thousands of pounds for local charities 2016/17.
The UK's most prestigious Sportive returned for its 13th year in 2016. The South Wales event once again started from the picturesque Margam Park, Port Talbot, having moved there successfully in 2012. 2014 saw the introduction of a mammoth Dragon Devil distance, which once again was part of the offering for 2016.
The Gran Fondo had taken in approximately 2,905m of climbing, passing through the beautiful Brecon Beacons with the Medio Fondo approximately 2,060m.
The Dragon Devil was certainly not for the faint hearted. There were limited numbers of places available for this option, so those who were keen would need to have grit, stamina and a "sense of fun". Those lucky enough to get a place would be well rewarded with an incredibly stunning cycling route which took in the Rhigos, Black Mountain and the Devil's Elbow - the Dragon ride's signature climbs - with the addition of the Devil's Staircase, a climb with a 15% gradient and elevation of 480m.
Brand new for 2016 was the Macmillan 100 100km distance.
Two of the four feed stations were manned and run by the Rotary Club of Bridgend, Ystradefellte and Sennybridge, both of which proved challenging with over 3,500 and 2,900 riders respectively passing through each station. At Ystradefellte President Elect Dr.Bob Broughton OBE KStJ said that he was proud of his team's efforts, especially Tomi and Pauly Cain, who managed to help serve all of the riders throughout the very long, hot and tiring day. The event was spectacular raising many thousands of pounds for the Rotary Club of Bridgend's local charities during 2016/17.
Rotarian Wayne Morgan
Bridgend Rotary's Junior School Quiz
The Rotary Club of Bridgend held its Junior Schools Quiz at Litchard Primary School (winners of last year's quiz) on Thursday 19th May. Pupils from eight primary schools in Bridgend participated, these included Brackla Primary, Litchard Primary, Maes yr Haul Primary, Oldcastle Primary, Pencoed Primary, Tondu Primary, Trelales Primary and Tremains Primary School. Each school had four team members representing them, consisting of a pupil from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively.
The youngsters answered a broad range of questions from the Quiz Master, Rotarian Gillian Hale, which tested their knowledge of geography, history, maths, spelling, literature and many other subjects. This highly entertaining and very enjoyable evening was well supported by teachers and families of the team members. Every team did extremely well and the overall winner was Tondu Primary School, represented by Emily Williamson Year 3, Lillie-eve Cronin Year 4, Seren Dare Year 5 and Benji Lock Year 6.
All of the pupils participating in the quiz received a Certificate from the President of Bridgend Rotary Alan Reeks and the winning team members each received a Gift Token, which had been kindly sponsored by Apollo Teaching Services Ltd.
Rtn Sue Cassidy
Rotarian John Wards Visit to the Palace for Afternoon Tea 10th May 2016
At about 3.15pm on 10th May we joined a long queue outside the Buckingham Palace Grand Entrance Gate. Fifteen minues later we entered the quadrangle through the Grand Entrance and continued through two sumptuous ground floor rooms into the garden, an area larger than Wales!!! We immediately followed the advice we had been given by those Rotarians who had been here before us, by finding seats as close to the Royal Tea Tent as possible. Diane sat and I joined one of the many lines at the main Tea Tent. When I emerged with a plate of cucumber sandwiches in one hand and a cup of tea in the other, it had started to rain and the lawn between me and Diane was very crowded. By squeezing a way through this huge rugby scrum I had almost reached Diane when the band struck up "God Save The Queen". I had to stand to attention with the rain by now pouring down over the sandwiches and into the tea. By the time I got back to my seat the sandwiches were a soggy mess, the tea was cold, and the rain was falling steadily.
Then the Queen appeared, the rain stopped and the sun came out. She looked fresh and chic in a pink suit as she passed through the throng. Prince Philip followed, trim and tall in his morning suit and topper. They stayed for about thirty minutes. We were then able to take a leisurely stroll around the Palace grounds, taking in the lake with its islands, the many commemorative trees, the hundred and seventy metre long herbaceous border, the rose garden and so much more. At 6.00 pm the National Anthem signalled the end of the Garden Party and we left we way we had entered.
It was a wonderful, never-to-be-forgotten day. I have no idea who advised the Lord Lieutenant to put my name forward, but Diane and I would love to be able to thank them for giving us this Dream-come-True Experience.
Hopkin's Ramble Saturday 14th May 2016
We set off at 10.15 and walked from the Cattle Market car park alongside the South Town Wall to South Arch Gate, turning then south and headed for Llanblethian. Crossing the bridge over the Thaw, walking a little way to Constitution Hill within Llanblethian we turned off the road to a footpath through fields and skirted the western then southern sides of St.Quentin's Castle ruins and back into the village. We followed some roads within the village, taking us to the south western edge of the village and then took a footpath into some fields, following the footpath along and over the river Thaw (a stretch of tranquil countryside) until we reached the Cowbridge to Llandough Road. The footpaths towards St.Hilary ran along a wide valley towards New Beaupre Farm, another stretch of very attractive countryside. Just before the farm the footpaths changed direction and we walked gently upwards through a forest path (with carpets of wild garlic under the trees) to join the highway just north of New Beaupre Farm; a road which ran upwards through forestry to the village of St.Hilary. We arrived at St.Hilary at 11.30; good timing as the Bush public house opens on a Saturday at 11.30.
The weather was warm and dry, the walk up to St.Hilary had deserved some liquid refreshment. At a 15 minute break we set off through the village to join the footpath running north to Stalling Down, walking until we reached the Clump, the highest point on the Down with views to the north and west but no sign of any medieval gallows!! The Roman Road (Via Julia Maritima) seemed the route to follow and it was downhill all the way from the Clump to Cowbridge/Bont Faen (or as we were on the Roman Road, Bovium).
Within the Town Centre we spent a few minutes near the Physic Garden, looking at the dates on the Iolo Morganwg memorial stone - it records (or so Edgar Burt thought) a date of death some 20 years prior to Iolo Morganwg being recorded as dying in Bridgend. Is this a local "Glastonbury case"???
WOULD I NOT LIE TO YOU - FRIDAY 6TH MAY 2016
The Rotary Club of Bridgend held a charity "Would I Not Lie To You" competition at the Bridgend Lawn Tennis Club on Friday 6th May in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care. Two teams of three competed with Hopkin Joseph adjudicating and President Alan Reeks as Master of Ceremonies.
The Rev. Mike Lewis captained the winning "A" team who beat the "B" team 5-3 captained by Major Wayne Morgan. There were some incredible "Lies" and some unbelievably amazing "Truths". The evening was a great success and raised Â£503 with the aid of the raffle. Our grateful thanks to B.L.T.C. for the hall facility, Tesco stores for sponsorship assistance with the raffle and Catherine Brooks for the delicious refreshments. This follows the Â£530 raised last year. Can't wait for the 2017 event.
MAYOR OF PENCOED'S CIVIC SERVICE OF THANKSGIVING 8th MAY 2016
Cyngor Tref Pencoed Town Council, The Mayor's Civic Service of Thanksgiving, Councillor John McCarthy at the Salem Chapel, Pencoed, took place on Sunday 8th May 2016.
The service was conducted by Reverend Ian Hodges with organist Mrs.Eluned Williams. The Act of Commitment for the coming year was made by the Mayor and members of Pencoed Town Council followed by an Act of Praise and Worship for the Community and of Thanksgiving for those who give their time and talents in the service of the Community.
The service was attended by civic dignitaries including the Borough Mayor Cllr. Richard Young and consort, representatives of local organisations including members of the Rotary Club of Bridgend. President Alan Reeks and President Nominee Wayne Morgan MBE both wished John and his wife Judy, both Rotarians of the Bridgend Club, warm wishes for a successful and rewarding year.
The service was full of fun, praise and song with a Welsh scripture reading from Mr.Norman Davies and Mayor Cllr.John McCarthy, musical interludes by Pencoed Primary School and Mid Glamorgan Mixed Choir and a prayer in Welsh by the Town Clerk, Mr.Geraint Thomas.
Wayne Morgan MBE
Pencoed Comprehensive School Interact Club
The Interact Club of Pencoed Comprehensive School, who are the junior section of the Rotary Club of Bridgend, presented a cheque for Â£250 to Action for Children-Bridgend Young Carers on Tuesday 19th April 2016. They also sent a cheque for Â£250 to Cancer Research Wales, Velindre.
Interact is a group of 14-18 years old, who raise funds for charity and will be making further awards in the near future.
Rtn Edgar Burt
Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled
Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled, who organise once a month fishing from March to October, entertained Cwm Calon Maesteg, Pyle and Porthcawl Life Centre, Valley Gateway Sarn, Bridgend Resource Centre and Headstart on Wednesday 20th April. Fish ranging from 1lb to 3lb were caught with the 3lb fish being caught by Rhodri Jenkins of Cwm Calon Maesteg.
While fishing anglers were being closely watched by a swan, making sure they did not get too close to its nest and were sent packing if they did!!
We wish to thank the Rotary Club of Bridgend, Bridgend Lions, Ogmore Angling Association, Bridgend Fly Tying Association and Sunshine Lodge R.A.O.B. of Pencoed for their continuing support.
Rtn Edgar Burt
Roger Marsh's visit to Nepal to heal and comfort those in need.
The Rotary Club of Bridgend have raised Â£520 to assist Roger Marsh a well known and experienced acupuncturist and head and spine specialist to spend six weeks in Nepal to treat, heal and comfort those in need.
President Alan Reeks and Rtn Neil Solman
The money was raised by several members of the club being sponsored to lose and attain their target weight over a six week period. Many other ( less overweight members ) were contributing sponsors. Roger will be visiting our club on his return from Nepal to present a talk and slideshow of his experiences and memories.
Rtn Neil Solman
Bridgend Rotary's Junior Speaks Youth Competition a Resounding Success
The Rotary Club of Bridgend held its annual Junior Youth Speaks competition at Tremains Primary School on Thursday March 17th.
Youngsters who are in either year five or six participated from ten local schools in the Bridgend area, in what was a very enjoyable event.
Once again the audience were captivated and entertained by the pupils' speeches, which ranged in topics from "Women's Equality", "To Stay or Not to Stay, that is the Question" and "Mathematics" through to "The Importance of Following Your Dreams", "My Grandmother", Preventing Cruelty to Animals" and "Should Children be Allowed Phones in Schools".
The judges, Gillian Hale, Dianne Hubbard and Felicity Ladbrooke, had the unenviable task of deciding on the competition winners. Chairman of the judges, Gillian Hale, thanked all the children for competing and also their families, friends and teachers for supporting them. "It was a very difficult decision to reach" said Gillian, "as the standard of each of the young people was so high. I am always amazed at the youngsters choice of topics and their confidence and ability to stand in front of an audience to present to them."
The runner up of the competition was Aymon Al Rikabi from Tremains Primary School, whose thought provoking topic was "Should we be so Self Conscious". The overall winner was Roan Goulden from Pencoed Primary School, who gave a very convincing and entertaining presentation on "School Homework".
The next Bridgend Rotary Junior Schools competition will be Junior Schools Quiz, which will take place at Litchard Primary School in May. (Exact date to be determined.)
Rotary International Evening Monday March 7th
It is tradition within our club to hold our International Dinner on the dinner meeting closest to the date of our patron saint, Saint David on March 1st. The evening was well attended by 40 Rotarians and Guests, including 4 from Interact Pencoed and 4 from Atlantic College.
The Internation represtatives with the Pesident Alan Reeks were Jsephine / Switzerland and Czeck Republic; Amirah Wan Usamah / Malaysia; Sundas Khan / Pistan and Francisco / Argentina. The raffle gathered Â£85 towards International projects. Acclaim goes to Judy McCarthy and her team.
Rtn Wayne Morgan
Rotary Ramble 17th February 2016
Early morning on 17th February the idea walking (with rain at the time) seemed a bit silly; 11.00 am at the sheep sale field at Blackmill (with very heavy rain) it seemed more than just a bit silly!!! Wet weather gear absolutely essential as well as umbrellas!!
The first surprise of the day was to find the car park full of horseboxes and trucks, the next surprise was to see groups of huntsmen, some in pinks, and riders appeariong from breakfast in the Junction pub and then to see hounds and horses unloaded. The Llangeinor Hunt had arranged to meet at the same venue. President Alan Reeks, Edgar Burt, Hopkin Joseph and Matt Evans watched the riders and hounds set off, called to action by a hunting horn. It was a very colourful scene as they set off up the western side of the valley towards Blaen Cledwyn.
The next surprise of the day was that minutes after setting off up the former railway track, now a cycle path, towards Ogmore Vale the rain stopped and it was dry and warm for the rest of the morning.
The route followed the cycle track through interesting areas of countryside. Alan pointed out many industrial remains, partly overgrown, of collieries and associated workings and Matt identified many species of birds and animals seen along the way. Edgar explained much of the history of the area, including the last time passenger trains ran to Ogmore Vale. A level easy walk turning around just south of Ogmore Vale to return to Blackmill at 1.00pm for some welcome refreshment in the Horse and Hounds pub, appropriately named!!
Valentine's Dinner Thursday 11th February 2016
This annual event held at Season's Restaurant at the Bridgend College celebrated its twenty-seventh consecutive year of support by the Rotary Club of Bridgend.
Recently retired General Manager Tony Trumper has for the last twenty five years set standards and improved performance which has now achieved very competitive facilities within the Bridgend area.
This evening was again well attended with a variety of menu choices and cheerfully presented by the waiting staff. President Alan Reeks thanked Kim Jenkins and all the staff for another very pleasant evening.
The January walk on Wednesday 20th was along Aberavon Beach.
Organiser Hopkin Joseph reported a very enjoyable two hours in splendid dry sunny weather with just a light breeze.
The 11am starters in the attached photograph - Mike Lewis, Edgar Burt, Gwyn Thomas, John Ward and Hopkin Joseph - set off from Remos Restaurant on the Aberavon seafront, walking westwards, initially along the promenade, then dropping down across a rock sea wall to the beach - one of the longest beaches in Glamorgan. The objective was to walk to the River Neath about one and a half miles away and this was reached at 12 noon. On the way most of the East Swansea/Mumbles was on the sky line ahead. The tide was low so the River Neath navigation poles were almost wholly out of the water. On the return journey Edward Jones, Phil Davies and David Hubbard plus David's dog, who had all set out at the correct time of 11.15 am, joined up and everyone then returned together, with a different vista of the Port Talbot breakwater and the dock cranes ahead, Remos Cafe was reached at around 1 p.m. when we enjoyed a good value snack and a welcome drink.
What might have been chaotic worked out very well.
Rotarian Hopkin Joseph
Rotary Christmas visit to The Princess of Wales Hospital 2015As a result of the kindness of Tesco and Sainsbury Stores in Bridgend in presenting vouchers to the Rotary Club of Bridgend for use in the Christmas period, the Club was able to allocate a significant part of its traditional Christmas Charity collection to supplement the vouchers and buy a number of mobile DVD players for use by the children in the Children's Ward at the Princess of Wales Hospital.
Members of Rotary visited the Children's Ward in Bridgend in the week before Christmas to pass over the players and a selection of toys to the children there.
Pictured with the presents are Ward Sister Kaye Aherne and her staff. Rotarians attending Gwyn Thomas, Edward Jones and David Hubbard.
Rtn David Hubbard PHF
Rotary Christmas Charity Collections 2015
The Rotary Club of Bridgend wishes the people of Bridgend a very Happy New Year and thanks all who have given very generously to the Club's Christmas Charity Collections.
Since it was chartered in 1925, the Rotary Club of Bridgend has used the celebration of Christmas to raise funds to assist those who are less fortunate, or in need, in the Bridgend area and all monies the Club collects at Christmas time are used to support local causes and charities.
The Rotary Club of Bridgend Singing Santas and its friends in the Bridgend Male Choir perform their own blend of Christmas songs and carols in numerous establishments across the Borough. The Santas' gift of their time and the support they receive from the people of Bridgend actively reflects the true meaning of the festive season.
Rotary is a fellowship organisation dedicated to helping those less fortunate than themselves. To find out more about Rotary contact www.rotarybridgend.org.uk or the Club Secretary on 01656 652181.
President Rotary Club of Bridgend
Christmas Dinner 14th December 2015
At the Rotary Club of Bridgend Christmas Dinner, President Alan Reeks presented a Paul Harris Fellowship award to Rotarian and Past President John Ward.
The prestigious award is presented to Rotarians and others in recognition of oustanding service to the Community and the Club, Paul Harris Fellow awards were originally inspired by Rotary International's founder Paul Percival Harris (1868-1947) to recognise, as stated in the citation,"people who have done exceptional work on behalf of Rotary in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among people of the world".
Rotarian John Ward has been a member of the organisation for some forty years and in addition to holding the office of Club President ,has been the Club's Secretary,and plays an active role in all of the Club's current activities and is currently developing a significant international project which will benefit from Rotary internation Grants.
The Club was surprised by the unexpected visit of Father Christmas (Rotarian Tony Berrow) who distributed the bran tub gifts with the assistance of the President.
President Alan Reeks.
A CHRISTMAS ODE TO A YELLOW TABARD
Composed by our latest Paul Harris Fellow and Poet Laureate Rtn John Ward
'Twas the night before Christmas, snow had been foretold
In the foyer of Tesco it was bitterly cold
The Bridgend Rotarians had been specially chosen
To parade with their buckets and be cruelly frozen
Despite their discomfort, they all felt quite mellow -
For they were beautifully dressed in Tabards of Bright Yellow
The collectors looked so pretty - especially the men
That the shoppers were giving again and again.
But the time passes slowly when the icy wind blows
And when you're holding that bucket you can't wipe your nose.
At least one Rotarian must have said to his wife
"That's the longest two hours I've spent in my life!"
The collecting is now over! At least for this year
We can all enjoy Christmas with consciences clear.
And when I open my presents I pray that I won't see
A Bright Yellow Tabard from Bridgend Rotary.
Recited by John at the Christmas Party held at the Heronston on 14th December 2015.
President Alan Reeks Inducted Dr Nigel Coombes as a new member, who was introduced by Rtn Wayne Morgan MBE.
Foundation Evening November
The Foundation Evening dinner was attended by 41 people including support from a past District Governor, two District Assistant Governors,and Members from RCs of Cardiff Bay and Cardiff West, Newport Uskmouth and Satellite, Swansea Bay, plus Narberth and Whitland.
The speaker for the evening was Dr David Price from RC of Cheltenham. A Rotarian for over 30 years who has held most posts in the Club, and was President 12 years ago. He has always been involved with the organisation of the club's Fund Raising Schemes and has very deservedly been awarded Multiple Paul Harris Fellow (MPHF) for his efforts.
After retiring as a GP, he has ventured on some more adventurous ways to raise money for Rotary Charities and he gave examples of that on the evening.
His talk was entitled 'Getting high for Rotary' and he provided a very well illustrated account of his climbs to the top of Kilmanjaro for Polio Plus / End Polio Now, and then to Everest Base Camp for Rotarians Eminating Mlaria in Tanzania (REMIT) - a RC Cheltenham Global Grant Project. Over Â£10K was raised from sponsorship of these climbs.
A raffle was held with prizes kindly donated by local companies. All proceeds will go towards the Rotary Foundation (TRF).
Rotarian Dr. R W William.
Rotary Ramble October
The October Rotary Ramble took place on Saturday 17th October and was intended to be a short walk over level ground through part of the Parc slip Nature reserve at Aberkenfig. Six Rotarians (Gwyn Thomas, Edgar Burt, John McCarthy, Gillian Hale, Sue Cassidy and Hopkin Joseph) met at the reserve cafe and set off at 10:30,
walking initially alongside a former canal to reach a hide overlooking the northern wetland area. From inside the hide it was easy to pick out (without disturbing them) several species of birds / fowl on and around the water feature. Leaving the hide after a brief stop (to sit on a most unusual shape bench) the next stage was to walk past wildflower meadows and woodland areas to reach a hide on the opposite side of the Northern Wetland area.
The Return route to the Cafe and car park (picked up a message from President Alan Reeks sent from a very cold Newcastle) followed footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways to get back to the cafe at 11:45. During a period of just over an hour it was only possible to walk through less than one tenth of the reserve area, but with wouderful October weather and picturesque Autumn foliage it was a very enjoyable stroll, with John, Hopkin, Gillian and Sue enjoyed a well derserved post walk cup of tea in the cafe.
Rtn Hopkin Joseph
August Ramble - a short walk along level ground starting at Bryngarw Country Park.
Gwyn Thomas and Edward Jones (Edward on crutches after a hip operation) decided to remain close to Abergarw House.
Hopkin Joseph, President Alan Reeks (plus dog), Paul, Gillian Hale, Mike Lewis, Edgar Burt,Tomi, Sonja Cain and John McCarthy. The walk set off, walking initially down to the western bank of the Garw River (running with crystal clear water albeit after summer rain and then northwards through the well maintained Japanese garden of Abergarw house the route crossed pasture fields, through some overgrown footpaths and muddy (very muddy in part) trails to reach the South Bettws to Llangeinor Road. The major route obstacle was encountered here; a 5 bar gate (locked) to "leap over" closely followed by two frisky horses (who encouraged a quick exit) - all safely over one member landing rump first backwards with an Olympic display of gymnastics!!! Crossing a road bridge over the Garw River then next down a stepped path into the railway land of the Brynmenin to Pontycymmer rail track with cycle track adjoining (a gentle, dry, hardsurfaced pathway) for the return journey to the Country Park, reaching the car park.
Jane Lewis joined the group for a convivial light snack in the Country Park Cafe. A really good menu, very well presented food and good value; a good end to an enjoyable stroll.
Rtn Hopkin Joseph
Annual Garden Party
The Rotary Club of Bridgend annual garden party was held recently at Gwyn Thomas's house in Pencoed which was a great success, held on one of the best days this summer.
President Alan Reeks, Chair of the International Committee Judy McCarthy, St John's nurse Joy Evans
Rotarians said: Our new president Alan Reeks,
hosted guests including the past district governor, Sandra Townsend, the Ogmore Vale Silver Band and 1062 Air
Training Corps. "An afternoon of Festive Fayre was enjoyed by 60 people with a magnificent display of equestrian riding by one of our newest Rotarian members Jennifer Myerscough. "The Ogmore Vale Silver Band stirred emotions with some wonderful entertaining music. With Cathrine Lewis serving excellent food with many activites such as out door bowls being played.
President hand over Dinner
The Bridgend Rotary Club Presidents hand over dinnerevening was held at the Heronston Hotel on Monday 6 July. Handing over the Presidents chain of office took place between the outgoing President Rtn Sue Cassidy and the incoming President Rotarian Allan Reeks. Sue stated, that she was delightted to have had the honour of being elected to represent the club and its members over the past year,which had at times had its moments, but that so much good work had been achieved and many thousands of pounds had been raised and distributed to local charities that She could only expressed here sincere thanks to the chairs and members of her committees for their hard work. Sue will now act as the clubs past President for the ensuing year, offering support and guidance to the incoming President Rotarian Allan Reeks.
Rtn Allan expressed his wish to emulate the excellent work that Rtn Sue had achieved during her year of office and looked forward to working with her, the chairmen and members of the various committees many of whom will come together as a whole on major projects like the Wggle Dragon Cycle Ride, the BikerFun Ride, Disabled Fishing and football competitions, the Cistmas collections and many more fund raising activities.
He wished Rtn Sue, now his past President, Dr Bob Broughton OBE the clubs President Elect and Rtn Wayne Morgan MBE President Nominee his very best wishes for a coming year which will be filled with help, support and goodwill from all of the club members.
Rtn Wayne Morgan MBE.
Dragon Ride 15
At the turn of the century,a time when "sportives" did not exist on British shores, a small collection of 270 cyclist braved the fearsome, yet stunning terrain of the South Wales mountains to complete an epic 226m ride; unbeknownst to this journey would become a world renowned cycling challenge, the wiggle Dragon Ride.
The group were faced with some of the country's most testing climbs including the 'Rhigos' , 'Black Mountain' and 'Devil's Elbow' and working together they conquered everything in their path, returning home in glory. Each cyclist was hailed a hero and become part of cycling legend.
For over a decade thousands of cyclists from over thirty countries around the world have journeyed to South Wales in the tracks of these brave pioneers; their goal, to claim that they too have "slayed the Dragon". It is now said that for one to become a "true sportive rider" one must have completed this famous ride; with its long and relentless alpine-like climbs it's one of the UK's toughest and most rewarding cycling challenges and a "bucket-list"event for cyclists across the globe.
The Bridgend Rotary Club has been the leading the leading organisation to support this event by manning the essential feed stations spread out at various intervals around the route. The Bridgend Rotary Club is proud to be associated with the event and each year over the past 4 years we have raised a significant amount of money through our involvement for our local charities. We are looking forward to next year's event which is promising to be bigger and better than in pervious years.
Event details distances Corto 43km, Medio Fondo 153km, Gran Fondo 226km, Dn Devil 302km, Women Only 43km.
Rtn Wayne Morgan
Junior Rotary Quiz 13th May 2015
The Bridgend Rotary junior quiz was held at Trelales Primary School on Wednesday 13th May and it proved to be great success. Six Schools each entered a team of four pupils representing years 3,4,5 and 6. Tondu,Ffaldau,Maes yr Haul, Litchard, Oldcastle and Trelales Primary School prepared teams whose general knowledge was to be admired.
Every pupil demonstrated his / her enthusiasm and depth of knowledge as each competed for the first prize and the winner's cup. There was a lot of support on the evening from teachers, pupils,family,friends and Rotarians.
After a very closely fought competition Litchard Primary School emerged victorious to claim the cup. The team comprised Evan Richards (Year 3), Thomas Lewis (year 4), Finley Armstrong (Year 5) and Jack Biggs (Year 6).
The Rotary Club of Bridgend would like to thank Trelales Primary and the Head teacher, Mr.Morrison, for hosting the event. They would also like to thank all the pupils who participated and all those who turned up to support and make it such a wonderful evening.
Rtn Gill Hale.
' Would I Lie to You ' Charity evening
An evening of entertainment was held by the Bridgend Rotary Club billed as ' would I Lie To You. The Bridgend Rotarians presented their own version of the popular show 'WINLTY' at the Blandy hall in Laleston on Friday evening 1st May. There were two teams which were captained by Rev Mike Lewis and Dr Bob Broughton with the urbane and much loved 'Adjudicator' Gerry Bassett (he of the attendance register and bonus ball fame) in the chair. Two hours of fun and ribaldry ensued with the 40 plus audience enjoying the 'put-downs', lies and damn lies.
The event a buffet and fun evening in aid of McMillan Cancer support and raised Â£502.60 through a raffle and donations. The participants all wore WINLTY tee-shirts and of course, these will be worn again next year at a repeat challenge.
Fellowship day RC Bridgend and Cheltenham - 25th April 2015
Twenty six members and friends, including ten from Bridgend rotary met at the coach and horses in Llangynidr, near Crickhowell between 10:30 and 11:00 on Saturday morning. This grave an opportunity to provide the pub with lunch orders and / or have a cup of coffee, and also to meet everyone from both localities prior to setting out on the walk at 11:00. The four and a half mile, two hour walk was ably led by a Cheltenham member, and covered road, fields and a very pleasant canal path for the return to the pub.
A very good lunch was enjoyed in the pub, with good opportunity for fellowship. The presidents of both clubs expressed their appreciation for this combined fellowship.
A Bridgend member provided instructions and guidance on how to proceed to the Sugarloaf Vineyard where everyone met around 15:00. This provided time for refreshments, a DIY tour of the vines and also, an opportunity to sample four of the wines. There was ample space for everyone to sit down around the tables for further inter-club fellowship. The successful and enjoyable day ended, for a few, with dinner at the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny.
Junior Youth Speaks
Bridgend Rotary Club held its annual competition at Croesty Primary School on Thursday 19th March. It was a very exciting event with 11 primary schools competing for the Rotary Shield awarded to the winner. Each competitor chose his/her topic and presented it to the audience. Diverse subjects such as Drones, Super heroes, the impact of Poverty on Education and Winston Churchill were presented in an interesting and lively manner.The standard of the speakers was exceptional, making it a very difficult task for the adjudicators. The event was well attended by parents, teachers, friends and Rotarians to make for a friendly evening and an audience who offered great support to the pupils on stage.
The final result was that Jasmine David of Tremains Primary School was declared the winner on the evening. Jasmine presented a lively and persuasive argument to convince her audience that "More boys should be encouraged to become involved in Dance". Jasmine was presented with the Shield and a gift voucher by President Sue Cassidy. David Sheldon from Pencoed Primary School was also awarded a prize as the runner up on the night. He offered an extremely interesting and engaging point of view on "School Attendance".
The whole evening was a great success and was enjoyed by all those present. Bridgend Rotary Club wish to thank all those students who took part to make it such a wonderful competition.
Rtn Gill Hale
On 2nd March the International committee put on an International evening with speaks from Ty Cariad Africa With guests from Interact at Pencoed Comprehensive School.
Speaks from Ty Cariad Paul Booth and Harvey Jones, Guests President of Interact, Ellie Taylor,Treasure Rhian Bateman and Secretary Carwen with President Sue Cassidy and Chair of International Committee Rtn Judy McCarthy.
Ty Cariad Africa
Ty Cariad children's home in Namugongo was established in 2003 following a visit by Paul Thomas (Chaplain to South Wales Fire and rescue Service) to the Uganda fire and rescue headquarters in Kampala. His visit coincided with a local fire fighting team's return from an incident where they rescued two babies, who had been dropped into latrine. Sadly these babies died and Paul shared in the fire crew's distress.
Ty Cariad Africa is a UK based charity that raises money to help orphans and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa. There aim is to relieve poverty, sickness and distress and to provide access to education amongst orphans and vulnerable children. They have a partner with organisations that promote tracing, re-linking and resettlement of children in their families and extended communities wherever possible. They believe that all children have a right to be loved and to be safe from harm. They should have nutritious food, clean water and good healthcare a right to education and a right to play - to be children.
Rotary Web Team
Rotary Club of Bridgend Valentine's Dinner
This special annual event which is organised and run by Rtn Roy Hogkinson has been well supported for over 25 years by Bridgend Rotary Club which was held at Bridgend College Seasons Restaurant on Thursday 12 February 2015.
Many thanks should go to Restaurant Manager Anthony C Trumpery, head Chef Neil Hughes and all the students who prepared the food and the waiting staff who courteously provided an excellent services.
Rotarian President Sue Cassidy thanked the College staff for this special evening and Rotary members for the continued support of this Student career development event.
Rotary Web Team.
Bridgend & Porthcawl Rotary District Final Quiz Competition
The competition was held in the Atlantic Hotel, Porthcawl on Monday 9 February. The competition was hosted by Porthcawl with the Assistant Governor, Mansel Thomas adjudicating. Both teams started slowly with an inspired guess from Bridgend winning the first round. As the rounds continued Bridgend started to edge away with the final score of Bridgend 42 points Porthcawl 30 points with both teams been congratulated on a hard fought contest.
The President of the Porthcawl Rotary Club, Rotarian Wayne Warlow, was magnanimous when he congratulated the Bridgend Rotary club team an a deserving win and wished them well in the next round of the competition, the inter-district final. President Sue Cassidy of the Bridgend Rotary club said; that it was a most enjoyable evening with good company , food and fellowship with the win coming as a bonus. She thanked the Porthcawl Rotary club and President Wayne for hosting the evening and suggested that a rematch could be arranged at some point in the future. The teams were delighted with their efforts and were congratulated by the assembled Rotarians on a well run and competed contest.
Rtn Wayne Morgan.
International Youth speaks area final
The Bridgend Rotary Club was delighted to host the Rotary International District 1150 area Youth speaks final at Brynteg Comprehensive school on Monday 19th January 2015. The competition aims to offer young people; An experience of speaking on a public platform as members of a team. An in contrive to formulate ideas on topical subjects. The discipline in dealing with a topic in a limited time. The opportunity of learning and practising high standards of expression,presentation and appearance. the impartial criticism and assessment of performance by experienced adjudicators. Each team is comprised of three members; the chair person, the speaker and the proposer of a vote of thanks.
There were in effect two competitions at the area final; Intermediate competitors from Brynteg Comprehensive School their topic"Welsh should remain mandatory in schools and the current system should not be altered" speaker Halle Bletsoe, verses, 293 (Cowbridge) Air Training Corps their topic "Will space tourism change humanity for the better" speaker Thomas Wood. The senior competitors comprised; Ysgol Gyfun Maesydderwen, Swansea, topic "Better off a life on benefit" speaker Isabelle Truscott. Brynteg Comprehensive school topic "Should the global community be making a greater contribution to prevent the spread of Ebola" speaker Conner Lomax and Cowbridge Comprehensive School topic "The UK should do more to help developing countries combat disease" speaker Elliot Macneil.
The adjudicators Mr Andrew Wood, Reverend Hywel Richards and Mr James Ledyard stated that the competition was very tight with the winners taking honourers by the narrowest margin. Questions to each team were put by Rotarian Caron Jones and the time keepers were Rotarian Roy Hodgkinson and Rotarian Edward Jones. Rotarian Mansel Thomas, District assistant governor presided over the competition along with Bridgend President Sue Cassidy. Both stated that this was a very high calibre completion and congratulated the contestants encouraging them to continue the good work and wished them well in their future careers.
Winners Intermediate Competition: 293 (Cowbridge) Air Training Corps. Runners up, Brynteg Comprehensive school.
Winner Senior Competition: Cowbridge Comprehensive School. Runners up Brynteg Comprehensive School with third place going to Ysgol Gyfun Maesydderwen.
The winners of both categories will now go forward to compete in the district final on Friday 6th March 2015 at Cowbridge Comprehensive School.
Rtn Wayne Morgan
At a resent Tinnitus concert, sufficient funds were raised to purchase a shelter box. This box can be traced via the shelter box web site, www.shelterbox.org/trackbox box number UK0073210. Thank you to all who helped to make this possible.
Tree Planting at Pen - y - Fai Primary School
On Friday 14th November, First Minister Carwyn Jones planted the first tree, part of a landscaping project, at Pen-y-fai Church in Wales School, ably assisted by the County Borough Mayor, Cllr Gary Thomas and his Consort Mrs Kay Jenkins, Head teacher Mrs Christina Bach,pupils, teachers and parent from the school, President Sue Cassidy and other assorted Rotarians.
First Minister with Children planting the first tree. First Minister with President Sue Cassidy with Rotarians planting trees.
120 trees were provided by the Woodland trust, along with bamboo stakes and protective sleeves. species planted were hawthorn,hazel,holly,rowan,crab apple and downy birch.
The project has involved pupils at the school in planning the planting site, and they will be involved in future maintenance of the trees as the grow. Planting will provide hedging and shelter, and will encourage the return of wildlife disturbed during the building of the new school, in due course, the bats which were re-homed during the building work will be able to return also.
In addition, in keeping with commemoration of WW1 projects across the country, part of birch wood will be dedicated as a WW1 Memorial wood.
The new planting, as well as providing pleasant landscaping, will also be a valuable teaching resource for the school.
Thank you to all who turned up to assist on the day.
Rtn Mike Lewis
Foundation evening with the First Minister
On November 3rd the Rotary Club of Bridgend held its annual Foundation evening with the First Minister Carwyn Jones as guest speaker,with Presidents and guests from Cowbridge and Porthcawl Rotary Clubs.
Rtn Caron Jones, First Minister Carwyn Jones, President Sue Cassidy and Rtn Hugh Thomas.
After an excellent meal, Carwyn spoke at first on his experiences in New Zealand as a bachelorette student sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cowbridge. He then went on to speak on the NATO conference telling humorous stories of the event, closing with a question and answer session on Wales and local government.
SOUTH WALES SPECIAL SCHOOLS FOOTBALL CHALLENGE SHIELD OCTOBER 2014
This annual event organised by the Rotary Club of Bridgend and Heronsbridge School was again sponsored by Past Rotarian Derek Gaynor.
The Mayor of Bridgend County Borough Council, Gary Thomas, presented the winners shield to Maes Gwyn School from Aberdare. The runners up were Ysgol Bryn Castell from Bridgend.
The most improved side was Woodlands High School, Cardiff, with the fairplay award going to Penybryn School, Swansea. The player of the tournament award was Dan Thomas from Maes Gwyn School, Aberdare.
All one hundred plus players were presented with medals by Mayor Gary Thomas and Rotarian Gillian Hale, Chair of the Bridgend Youth Services Committee.
Mayor Gary Thomas,Rtn Gillian Hale and Consort Ms Kay Jenkins Maes Gwyn School Aberdare
Autumn Walk Saturday 11 October 2014
9 members of the Rotary Club of Bridgend (President Sue Cassidy, Rotarians Hopkin Joseph, Edward Jones, William William, Mike Lewis, Gillian Hale, Sonja Cain, David Hubbard and John McCarthy) plus 7 guests and a dog left the Custom House at Penarth Marina at 09:30 to walk around the eastern perimeter of Cardiff Bay to Mermaid quay.
After crossing the barrage locks, passing by the fish pass, walking along the open elevated section of the barrage provided a good vista out to the Bristol channel (where it was high-tide with a seawater level higher than the freshwater level within the barrage) and inland looking towards the Penarth Marina, the Ely River Marina, the Sports village, the Taff River Marina, the Wetlands Reserve and Mermaid Quay. After a brief stop at the Scott Memorial display (recording that it was from Cardiff over a 100 years ago that the expedition set off to the South Pole) walking further along the barrage provided better views of the entrance, on the seaward side of the barrage, to Cardiff Docks (still a very busy freight port), with to the North views to the Senydd, the Millennium Centre and the Pier head building. In the distance Cardiff City Centre buildings (e.g... the Millennium Stadium) were clearly visible. There after the walk proceeded, passing the Colliery exhibition, undeveloped docks, the " Dr Who Exhibition Centre" , and the Norwegian Church to reach Mermaid Quay.
At Mermaid Quay,as the Norwegian Church cafe had not opened, a very welcome coffee was taken at Cawalladers. Some of the party then visited the shops at Mermaids Quay, others walked on westwards,past St David's Hotel, to the Wetlands Reserve;a habitat for lots of water fowl and birds.
The Whole party then re-assembled at the Pier head Building to watch a 10 minute film of the changes in the docks at Cardiff; growing as a coal exporting port in the 80 years to 1914 (exporting at it's peak to over 10 million tones of coal) declining for that use in the 60 years afterwards to nothing in 1970 but still a very busy freight port.
Three of the party walked back to Custom House, the remainder taking a water taxi (which toured the western side of Cardiff Bay passing the sports Village-the national swimming pool, the white water rafting centre etc). All metup at the Custom House at Penarth Marina, now a very good restaurant, for a welcome two course lunch to finish the trip.
The weather forecast had been for rain so all had wet weather gear. In the event it was a warm dry morning ideal for walking but whilst at Lunch there were torrential downpours. Some-one was looking after the Rotary Club of Bridgend that morning !!!!
Rtn Hopkin Joseph
Rotary Club of Bridgend Bake off
The rotary club of Bridgend recently held a fun bakeoff in the Blandy Hall, Laleston, to raise funds for the supply of LifeStaw, a portable water filter. These will be distributed to vulnerable ethnic groups in developing countries. The LifeStraw Filter effectively removes all bacteria and parasites,responsible for causing common diarrhoeal diseases, from polluted water sources.
In the photos Judge Carol Moon, overall winner Gemma Brooks, President Sue Cassidy,Rtn Judy McCarthy,Past President Michael Lewis and Morgan.
Diane Ward receiving her gold award. Gaynor Davies receiving her Bronze award.
A gold rosette and one prize of a ï¿½25 cookware voucher, sponsored by Procook and Tesco, were awarded to each of the winners in 3 categories: Large cakes; Gemma Brooks. Small Cakes (plate of 6); Diane Ward. Cakes an with International Theme; Doreen Watts. The overall winner, Best in show; was Gemma Brooks, who received a trophy Vase. Each winner also received a specially commissioned Rotary Bakeoff apron.
A special Award was presented to young Morgan, the grandson of Rotary Past President Michael Lewis, for his expertise in producing a mouth-watering plate of small cakes. The show was competently judged by Carol Moon. Silver rosettes were awarded to Juliet McIver and Julie Williams, with one unclaimed. Bronze rosettes were awarded to Kyra Lewis, Gaynor Davies,Stacey Thomas and Reverend Mike Lewis. Rotarians Haydn and nick, from the Rotary club of Brynmawr, gave an impressive impromptu demonstration of the LifeStraw that really brought home to all present the purpose of the evening. The Rotary Club of Bridgend would like to thank all those who entered cakes in the Bakeoff, plus our sponsors and Judge Carol Moon.
Rtn John Ward
FISHING FOR THE DISABLED ANNUAL COMPETITION
ROTARY CLUB OF BRIDGEND
PAST PRESIDENT KENDRICK GRIFFITHS QPM MEMORIAL SHIELD
Ex-chief Constable of Merthyr Tydfil Kendrick Griffiths QPM was remembered on 17th September 2014 when Special Schools and Adult Training Centres within the area took part in a fishing competition at Seven Oaks, Ystradowen, for his commemorative shield.
Representatives from Bryn Castell, Heronsbridge, Valley Gateway Training Centre, Bridgend Resource Centre and Pencoed Comprehensive School (Special Unit) took part. The winning team was Pencoed Comprehensive School and they were presented with the trophy by Rotary President Sue Cassidy.
The Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled Association are desperately seeking volunteers from experienced fishermen to assist and ensure the continuation of their very worthwhile, and very much appreciated, monthly fishing competitions for young people.
If you can assist in any way please contact Ralph Merchant Tel.No.01656-667855 for further information.
District Governor visit and Wheel Chair presentation
The Bridgend Rotary Club dinner held on 1st September was delighted to Host Cellan Hall and his immediate family,his Mother Mrs Anita Davies and her partner Mr Gareth Clode. They were there to see Cellan Receive his sports wheelchair, which he hopes will help him get selected to play top flight table tennis at the Rio Para Olympic games in 2016. The Rotary Club has raised a significant amount of funding through various means to fund the wheelchair and are delighted that they were able to support Cellan in this way.President Sue Cassidy told the assembled audience that Cellan was an inspiration to all young people not only is he dedicated to his table tennis and plays at every opportunity in all major competitions, but is also focussed on his studies. Cellan recently achieved 10A's and 3B's in his GCSE exams.
President Sue with past president Mike Lewis, District governor Sandra, Cellan and his family.
We meet on Mondays at various meal times
(1st Monday DINNER 7pm for 7.30pm.
2nd, 4th & 5th Monday BREAKFAST 8am.
3rd Monday LUNCH 1pm.
The BEST WESTERN
CF35 5AW tel: 01656 668811