Recent meetings

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St David’s Day dinner

Friday 1 March 2024

This year they had to open out the room!

Our annual St David’s Day dinner at Mortonhall Golf Club was another great success, and the welcoming and attentive staff provided a really excellent three-course meal. This was followed by a most entertaining speech by our guest speaker the Rev John Owain Jones, who shared some highly amusing and interesting reminiscences of his time as a Presbyterian minister, from his very first sermon onwards.

There were many coincidences and connections in the tales Owain told! Born in St Asaph and brought up in Rhyl, his family moved to Caernarfon when he was 13, and Owain and our President, David Hughes, were at the same school. Can you recognise Owain from the class photograph that was circulated?! (David’s older sister is also in it)

Owain’s parish appointments included a spell of rural ministry in Shropshire, before moving to Scotland, finally retiring in February 2023 after 12 years as Minister on the Isle of Bute. But his connection with Scotland has been there from the start. After Owain’s parents got engaged his father wanted money to buy a house, so went to work in Rhodesia. On the passage out, his father met the best friend from the Isle of Bute who became his groomsman when Owain’s parents married in a church in Salisbury (now Harare) where the minister originally came from St Andrews.

No surprise then that the family went to the Isle of Bute on holiday every summer, that Owain chose St Andrews University, and soon moved to the Church of Scotland. And no coincidence either that, when Minister at Kilbarchan East, Owain later went back to Rhodesia (by then Zimbabwe) for a time to minister as part of the covenant agreement with the Presbytery of Zimbabwe.

Owain’s was a circular and very amusing tale, very well told. Huw John gave a vote of thanks, and we rounded off the evening with a few favourite Welsh songs, led by Huw Thomas, before our thanks to our never-flagging secretary were acknowledged in flowers.

For those of you who like to see their smiling selves, we are ending this page with the set of photographs taken by Kim McCormick, Jennifer’s daughter. The captions were provided by Jennifer herself, so must be right!

Edinburgh is the only tune!

Sunday 3 March 2024


For our hymn-singing session, Huw and Janet Thomas had devised a novel competition – before we sang each of the eight hymns we had to “Identify that tune” from the clues given about the tune and its composer. Scoring was as for “Only Connect”, the available points reducing as more and more help was given, with three points for a successful answer to an abstruse clue, reducing to zero points if Huw had to play the tune.

And we certainly needed all the help we could get, even though we had been told at the outset that all the tunes had featured in recent gymanfas, and that all the clues had been answered in the introductions Janet and Huw had given then. The questions certainly showed the gaps in our collective memory, and it was only thanks to the Tarrs’ knowledge of tune names, Jennifer’s bonus point and none-too-subtle help from Janet that we even made the 12 points that indicated a draw between audience and presenters!

We sang:

  1. Calon lânNid wy’n gofyn bywyd moethus
  2. Diadem – Cyduned y nefolaidd gôr
  3. Aberystwyth – Beth sydd imi yn y byd?
  4. Ellers – Fy Nhad a’m Duw, gad i mi weld dy wedd
  5. Rachie – I bob un sydd ffyddlon
  6. In Memoriam –Arglwydd Iesu, arwain f’enaid
  7. Edinburgh – O! Llefara, addfwyn Iesu
  8. Cwm Rhondda – Wele’n sefyll rhywn y myrtwydd

The letters in bold made up a pretty easy anagram for those of our members who live in Edinburgh (Caeredin)!

The audience were then asked for their suggestions, and we sang:

  1. Llef – O! Jesu mawr (Jennifer)
  2. Saron – Dy law sydd armon, O! (Jennifer, in memory of Selwyn Davies, a former EWS President, whose favourite it was)
  3. Tydi a roddiast – Tydi, a roddiast liw i’r wawr (Helen)

Despite the intellectual challenges the afternoon presented, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and sang heartily, so the tea and delicious bara brith thoughtfully provided by Lilian John after our exertions was much appreciated.

Carol service

Sunday 10 December 2023

We were only 15, but a lovely service of lessons and carols, and a clever sketch by Chris and Margaret Brandie. Huw Thomas played the piano.

Huw, Lilian and Pam Williams sorted the generous tea, and a very pleasant afternoon was had by all, as you can see from the happy smiling faces.

[Apologies from your webmaster, who had a musical engagement elsewhere, and from a number of other regular attendees laid low by seasonal ailments]

Harvest Thanksgiving Service

Sunday 8 October 2023

21 members braved the aftermath of the wettest Saturday in some time, and met together in the Reid Memorial church hall for a service of thanksgiving.

The service, conducted in Welsh and English, was beautifully led by Margaret Brandie, with Huw Thomas at the piano. The prayer was given by Chris Brandie, the readings by David Hughes, Janet Thomas, Helen Campbell and Myra Tarr.

Tea and always welcome bara brith provided by Lilian and Huw John rounded off our get-together, with plenty of chat around the tea trolley.

We left a full table of assorted groceries for the local food bank.

Croeso 2023

Friday 15 September 2023

A goodly number of members and their guests attended our usual Croeso evening at the Mortonhall Golf Club. We welcomed a number of new members and gave a very special welcome to Bryan and Pat Watts, President and First Lady of the Wellington Welsh Society, New Zealand, seen below with our own Presidential couple and Secretary:

At the Croeso, our generous buffet supper was followed by a competition to match those present with photos of themselves as youngsters. Some were easier than others! A chance was given to each subject to say a few words about the date and location of the snap as each picture was retrieved from the display.

We were then entertained by a short quiz featuring Wales, Scotland and New Zealand, devised by David Hughes, and we finished in proper EWS fashion with a few songs and our national anthem.

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