Recent meetings

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Gymanfa Ganu 2019

Sunday 3 March 2019

Some two dozen members and friends responded to the invitation to come and sing hymns at our Mini Gymanfa Ganu, and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. We sang ten hymns, and were even allowed two encores for good behaviour!

Huw and Janet Thomas performed a ‘double act’, with Huw accompanying our singing on the piano and Janet introducing the items, each of which started with a “guess that tune”. Calon Lân took just three notes to identify – others were trickier!

In the course of the afternoon’s introductions we learnt to distinguish between the different John Hughes, sang “a composition from a railway platform”, found that Rachie had originally been discarded by the composer, and discovered that Joanna had been Richard Burton’s favourite hymn.

Most of the hymns came from the Society’s yellow booklet, but we sang Graham Kendrick’s “Meekness and Majesty” in Welsh (thanks to the Gobaith website), and later we tackled the four-fold Amen of Tydi a roddaist. Finally, it being explained that the words in the booklet to Cwm Rhondda were not the original, we sang “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah” in English (as would have been used in the 1904–5 revival), and with great gusto.

An enlightening and enjoyable occasion was suitable rounded off with bara brith, tea and conversation. Thank you to everyone who came, and to all the organisers, but especially to Huw and Janet.

St David’s Day dinner

Friday 1 March 2019

Thankfully there was no Beast from the East this year, so the St David’s Day dinner took place as arranged at Mortonhall Golf Club, where 40 members of the Society enjoyed some excellent food and company, and welcomed back Ann Evans as our Gwraig Wadd.

Ann is a former President, and she and her husband Daniel were active members of the Society until they moved on retirement to a (much-renovated!) house in Morfa Nefyn that had been owned by Daniel’s family for over 200 years.

Much of Ann’s speech talked about the ways in which they had sought to integrate into the community, for example through volunteering at the Llŷn Historical and Maritime Museum and at Nant Gwrtheyrn, home to the National Welsh Language and Heritage Centre. Less expectedly, Ann had also become involved with Merched y Wawr (described as a Welsh equivalent of the Women’s Institute) and Age Well, at the Nefyn Community Centre. She then took us in our imagination to a local chapel – a far remove from Fairmilehead, with 150/200 worshippers – but on the Wales Coast Path and with the sound of the sea when you opened the door, and to the Ty Coch Inn, Porth Dinllaen, one of the top ten beach bars in the world!

Finally, Ann read the poem “Aberdaron” by Sir Albert (Cynan) Evans-Jones, before reminding us of why we were gathered together, saying something about St David, and then proposing a toast in his memory.

Our President, David Hughes, then wished Ann a “safe journey back to Paradise”, thanked everyone for their contribution to the evening, and presented flowers to Jennifer Welsher, our Secretary.

In his vote of thanks, Huw Thomas echoed the suggestion that Ann should receive an award from the Llŷn Tourist Board. Finally, as always, Jim Hughes and his “little helpers” led us in singing some favourite hymns and songs before “Mae hen wlad fy nhadau” concluded the evening.

[Webmaster’s note: In case you’re wondering about the less-than-perfect quality of the photographs … to avoid disturbing the proceedings all were taken by available light and, with two exceptions, with the subjects ‘in action’ rather than posed]

Christmas celebrations

Sunday 9 December 2018

We began with a service of carols and lessons, ably conducted by Margaret Brandie supported by Huw Thomas on the piano, Chris Brandie and a team of readers.  This was followed by our family party, a vestry tea for all, with rainbow jelly served by 5-year-old Mollie, who pointed out the eight layers of jelly flavours to each person. This was followed by games and a visit from Santa for the children. A big thank you to all the helpers, especially Olivia and Eiddon.

St Andrew’s Day supper party

Friday 30 November 2018

There was ample time to chat over a tasty supper of traditional fare. This was followed by the first International “Call my bluff” competition. Scotland beat Wales 5:1 in a Scots v Wenglish version of the game. Thanks to everyone who contributed to a very pleasant evening.

Remembrance 2018

Sunday 11 November 2018

It was Stephanie Ledger’s idea that we should mark the centenary of Armistice Day, and David Hughes curated an hour-long programme that was much appreciated. The proceedings were punctuated by chances for everyone to sing WWI standards with tenuous connections to Wales. However, all three attempts showed that, while we knew the choruses, we didn’t know the tunes to the words David had thoughtfully provided for the verses, despite Margaret Brandie’s best efforts to encourage us from the piano!

After we’d “kept the home fires burning”, Jean Philips continued on a positive note by reading John Buchan’s Scots poem “The Kirk Bell”, and Eirwen Stillie spun tales of her war. We were so glad that her family hadn’t all perished together in their Birmingham bomb shelter the day before a family wedding!

Huw John’s troupe of players then took to the stage, with dramatized versions of the story of Hedd Wyn and “The Eisteddfod of the Black Chair” (starring Hywel Williams) and Wilfred Owen’s poem “Strange Meeting” (with Chris Brandie and Wyn Davies) before the final song and National Anthem.

Members and friends then had an opportunity to refresh themselves while they looked at the display of memorabilia that had been assembled, including stories of the three servicemen listed in the Society Bible as having perished in the Second World War.

Grateful thanks to everyone who prepared and participated in this event.

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