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!