speaker reports

MEETING REPORTS

Further to our discussion this morning.  Please see attached a copy of your invoice, as requested, showing transit insurance included.

You can either pay by debit card via our secure online payment app: http://payments.jcsapps.com/index.php or by bank transfer to the attached GBP Sterling account.

Please can you ensure you reference the job number, BE223263 and that the bank charges are prepaid, not sent forward.

Can you confirm once payment has been made so that our accounts department can trace it.

Once the bike is back with us, we will have it crated up and booked with the airline to New York

To give you an insight into the process the other end,

You will first need to go to customs to clear the bike.

To do this you will need to take along with you the following

Your original V5 ( please keep this with you do not ship with the bike

Your passport

Your EPA approval letter

Visit of the District Governor 2 August 2016

This week the Rotary Club was pleased to welcome the District Governor, Steve Jenkins, and his wife, Felicity, to our weekly meeting.

Steve is a native of Cardigan and was most pleased to revisit the county of his birth. He spoke of the broad aims of Rotary whose membership internationally is now at its second highest ever, thanks to buoyant recruitment in India and the Far East. The theme this year is ‘Rotary Serving Humanity’.

The first club in Wales was founded in Cardiff and would be celebrating its centenary in 2017, a very special occasion for all clubs in the District. A series of events would be organised to mark the occasion.

Steve had set three priorities for his year in office:

  1. Eradicating Polio, where numbers have fallen dramatically as a result of a world-wide efforts involving Rotary to only 16 so far this year, compared with 1,000 per day before the campaign. The District has raised the equivalent of $880,000 towards the campaign (including $80,000 from Aberystwyth) and Steve is hoping to reach $1,000,000 before the end of his term of office.
  2. Sponsoring Scholarships and Studentships, where over the years almost 300 awards had been made from the District. The Aberystwyth Club has sponsored some 25% of these awards over the years.
  3. Increasing membership in the District by encouraging the establishment of clubs in communities currently without one and developing e-Clubs, open to people with time commitments elsewhere as well as to all Rotary Ambassadors and Scholars with links to the area.

He commended the Club for its excellent webpage and Facebook site and encouraged the use of Rotary Club Central website as a means of communicating and co-ordinating activities more widely.

Club President Derrick Whiting thanked the District Governor warmly for his talk and wished him every success for his year in office.

19 July 2016 Howard Jones: New Member’s Talk

 

All new members of Rotary are given the opportunity to give a talk about themselves and their career. This week it was Howard Jones who addressed the Club.

A native of the Upper Amman Valley in Carmarthenshire, Howard has worked extensively across the world with deaf and blind people, helping them gain valuable communication skills and to play a full part in society. He was inspired originally when working on VSO as a teacher in Upper Egypt in the mid-1970s. His landlord’s son was profoundly deaf and because of his disability was excluded from the Egyptian education system. Howard saw the boy’s potential being denied him and, on his return, determined to study Audiology, which he was able to put good use on further stints abroad in Tanzania and Vietnam, working for a Swedish Overseas Aid Organisation..

He has worked with deaf children in all three areas of the old Dyfed at different times and as Deputy Headmaster in the Royal School for the Deaf in Manchester. He moved on to complete a Master’s degree in Blind Education before becoming Head of Sensory Education in Ceredigion before his retirement in 2014. Until very recently he has been an Honorary member with Sight Cymru, as an advocate for those with sight impairment.

Howard has spent his life helping disadvantaged people and firmly believes that the best gift you can offer is that of your time, to enable them to reach their potential and participate in society as full and equal members.

5 July  2016    Meet the President

At the start of the Rotary Year our incoming President is interviewed for a ‘Meet the President’ session. This week’s meeting was chaired by Past President Richard Griffiths.

President Derrick Whiting was born in 1932 in Balham and vividly remembers the outbreak of World War 2 and his evacuation to boarding schools outside London.

He left school at 14 to work as an office junior in several law firms  before being called up for National Service in 1950, when he became a member of the Royal Signals Corps, serving in both the UK and Libya.

After demob he was fortunate to rejoin the law profession where he had a long and very happy career, working initially on personal injuries claims and later as an insurance lawyer. He continued in the Territorial Army until 1964.

Since retirement he has become active in both Rotary, where he has been a member for over 40 years, and, inspired by his father’s gift of a Welsh Cob pony to his brother and him in 1945, on the carriage driving circuit across the UK, where he and his wife, Cynthia, are team sponsors and organise, steward and score events.

In a life with many fond memories one highlight he shared with members was the long carriage ride from Bavaria to St Gallen in Switzerland, over the Simplon Pass in the Alps, down to Milan and ending amidst a huge cheering crowd in the arena in Verona. This was a significant achievement given the size of the coach and a single team of seven horses for the whole trip.

Richard thanked Derrick for his evident warmth and enthusiasm and wished him well for his year as President.

 

      21 June 2016               ROMAN VILLA- ABERMAGWR

 

Dr Toby Driver of the Royal Commission for Ancient Monuments Wales (RCAHMV) spoke to members this week of the discovery of the site of a Roman Villa at Abermagwr.and its subsequent excavation in July 2010.

Royal Commission aerial photography during a severe drought in 2006, had revealed a double- ditched enclosure of 1.1 hectares with a buried stone building in one corner.

This was confirmed as a winged building, 22m by 8m, with three inner rooms and a south facing verandah after a geophysical survey in July 2009. This plan is characteristic of Roman villas found in south Wales and southern England but is the only one found in Ceredigion, is the most north-western villa in Wales and the most isolated..

The building was roofed with local slates each having five sides and a fine point common with villas in S-W England . The walls were built of local stone on cobble foundations.

Coin and ceramic evidence indicates occupation of the building circa AD 230-350. The coins were minted in Trier , Germany , London and Lyons , France

The walling had been robbed possibly when the nearby Trawsgoed mansion was being built in the nineteenth century.

Another treasure was a very rare cut- glass vessel in fragments, confirmed as originating in Cologne .

On the basis of coin and other evidence there was a catastrophic fire after AD325.

Last year more excavations have uncovered a bare farmyard of gravel and clay but as yet no more buildings.

Dr Driver in answering the many questions said than Roman villas were high-status homes of wealthy landowners which sat at the heart of a farming estate and were common throughout southern England . 

Past-president Emlyn Watkin thanked Dr Driver for his presentation which had intrigued his audience as evidenced by the many questions with which he had dealt with.

President John Harries informed members that a social evening at the home of  Rtn Colin and Delyth Fletcher had raised £540 for the Wheelchair Foundation and the Toilet Twinning charity

 

 

14 June 2016  TESNI CLARE – CONSERVATION WORK IN COSTA  RICA

 

Each year Aber Rotary makes an award to a young person who intends to undertake some form of humanitarian work over seas.

The recipient this year, of the Lionel White scholarship, was Tesni Clare from Borth, a former student of Penglais School .

At this week’s meeting Tesni spoke of her conservation work in Costa Rica , Central  America . The country has one of the most progressive environmental  policies in the  world  where 25% of the country’s area is  in protected National Parks one of which is Corcovado renowned for its biodiversity

Tesni’s main task was to survey the wild life in some of the parks which meant an early start particularly to study the bird population –the scarlet macaw and the keel-billed toucan are particularly exotic.

Like other wild life they are threatened by climate change where temperature rise affects the flora and insects as well as by poaching and deforestation  Another early morning task was to record the species types and activities of primates. There are four species of monkey including the endangered spider monkey. These primates also face threats for example from the black market pet trade.

Tesni also took part in patrols of the olive and green turtle, the latter is becoming endangered. The threats here are removal of eggs from their nests, poaching and ingestion of  plastic litter. Turtles travel up to 2,000km from their nest to their feeding sites but always return to the same place to lay eggs which can number a hundred a night. To curb population decline, turtle hatcheries have been established.

Her illustrated talk featured pictures of the wide range of wild life which enhanced an excellent presentation. Her last slide was a thank-you to Rotary for the financial help given for the visit which had added to her life long passion for the environment

In thanking Tesni, President Dr John Harries was sure that she had benefited greatly from her experiences and wished her the very best in her future studies at Cambridge university.

 

17 MAY     HELEN PALMER   COUNTY ARCHIVIST

The Ceredigion County Archivist was this week’s speaker. Helen Palmer who was appointed to that post in 1996 explained that the Archives collects, preserves and makes available to the public , all sorts of records relating to the history of the County.

An estimated 246 cubic metres of material going back to the 1500s as well as 20,000 semi-current records of the Council are in storage at Glanyrafon.

The original Record Office was housed in Swyddfa’r Sir-the old Queen’s Hotel before moving four years ago to the Old Town Hall  now known as Canolfan Alun R Edwards. A Search room is available for public use and the Accessions Room is where items are sorted, cleaned and held until they are catalogued. The Strong Rooms are fitted with  mobile shelves for ease of use.

Ms Palmer showed a photograph from the motor vehicle licence records of EJ 219, a Morgan car, records of EJ 1 are extant  Among the Births, Deaths and Marriages is an example of a clandestine marriage certificate where the couple married in secret in 1837 and are not included in the parish register of marriages. The union was perfectly legal.

Police records detail  the trial in 1867 of a female accused of stealing a petticoat.

PC 1713 gave the evidence in the court in the Falcon Hotel, Llanilar- public houses were for the use of the public and many activities were pub related.

The Llantood Letters available as a blog were written by two brothers to their farming parents in the period 1811 to 1820. Daniel fought in the Battle of Waterloo and Morris worked near London . The letters show how family members could keep in touch though widely separated.

The archives also have a blog of the effect of the Great War in Ceredigion.

Past president Hywel Davies thanked Helen for her presentation delivered with humour and enthusiasm.

At the close of the meeting President  John Harries presented the final cheques from the Christmas collection to the CAB, Llwyn yr Eos after-school club and Arthritis Care

 

MAY 10   MUSIC OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR

‘Music of the First World War’ was the title of this week’s talk given by Lt Col (Ret’d) Geoffrey Kingston. He began a very illustrious army musical career in 1964 as a French horn player in the Staffordshire Regiment.

In forty-one years of military service he was judged, in 1978, the best student bandmaster in the British Army after a spell in the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall.

He served as band master  to many regimental bands and in 2000 was appointed Principal Director of Music at Kneller Hall.

Music is everywhere-in supermarkets, on the telephone even in lifts The popular music halls of old, were accessible to all , inexpensive with wonderful lyrics. The speaker had conducted the community singing at the last Cup Final in the old Wembley Stadium- standing in the centre of the pitch the noise was unbelievable.

Col Kingston’s presentation included sound clips of many soldiers’ songs.

‘Pack up your Troubles’ written by Felix Powell as a marching song regained popularity in the second world war and still provides large sums in Royalties. Equally famous was ‘ It’s a long way to Tipperary’ written by Jack Judge though Tipperary was originally Connemara.  Perhaps ‘ Colonel Bogey’ by Ken Alford is the most famous marching tune.

‘Mademoiselle from Armentieres’ gave ample opportunity for the Tommies to insert their own words to make a bawdy version.

In the early 1900s, Britain had a small standing army. With the prospect of war, there was imminent need for soldiers. In the recruitment drive, the Saturday evening music hall played a big  part. ‘Your King and Country  needs you’ sung by a famous artiste Vesta Tilley incited young men to join up. Recruiting sergeants were on hand to take your name.

Singing in the trenches helped morale, though as the war moved on, the music became a lot more darker and home sickness prompted songs like ‘ When this b….y war is over’.

Some songs told of the gap between the officer class and the Tommy and attempts were made to ban them. The lyrics of ‘Hanging on the old barbed wire’ spoke of Officers and NCOs drinking the company rum with the private soldier ‘hanging on the old barbed wire’.

War poets like Rupert Brooke’s ‘The Soldier’ emphasised the futility of it all.

The entry of the USA into the conflict in April 1917 brought their own music-

‘Over There’ and ‘The Marines’ Hymn’soon took their place.

The rendering of ‘Take me back to dear old Blighty’ brought a fascinating talk to an end.

In giving the vote of thanks past-president Hywel Davies said that it had been a real joy to have a multilayered sound and visual presentation so professionally given.

MAY 3     SIGHT CYMRU- JANE GUEST

The volunteer coordinator for Sight Cymru, Jane Guest was this week’s speaker.

The charity Sight Cymru, formerly Sight Support has been supporting people with sight loss since1865 but only recently has come to Ceredigion.

People of 40+ years can expect to suffer some sight loss. Exercise, no smoking and reasonable alcohol consumption will reduce the chances.

The speaker outlined the main causes of sight impairment- Age Related Macular Degeneration or AMD, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma and Dry Eye.

Jane passed round glasses which replicated the effects of the above for members to appreciate those conditions. She emphasised that the conditions can be picked up early so regular eye checkups are critical.

Ceredigion has an aging population and sight loss can result in being stranded in the home, inability to drive resulting in social exclusion. This can lead to depression, lack of confidence perhaps lack of employment and the increasing risk of accidents in the home.

Sight Cymru  can provide access to a whole range of support services including help with entitled benefits, emotional support, use of a resource centre and assistance with computing  and access to the talking book service.

Jane appealed for volunteers to expand the home befriending service including via the telephone particularly for rural clients.

During question time, Dr Alan Axford suggested that the Hospice at Home Volunteers could play a part in the service and Jane agreed that some liaison would be advantageous.  Rtn Iori Jones thanked the speaker for her talk adding that many were unaware of the charity which was vital to those with sight impairment.

 

24 APRIL     BLOOD BIKES WALES

Registered charity Blood Bikes Wales is made up of a group of people, most of whom are motor bike riders, who aim to use their skills, time and enthusiasm to help the Health Service in Wales

The Aberystwyth group was formed in March 2015 , and its Area representative, Medwyn Parry spoke on the  work of the charity at this week’s meeting of Rotary.

The NHS uses its own transport to move blood supplies, plasma, documents and other items Monday to Friday. Between 7pm and 7am  on weekdays, on weekends and bank holidays, the regular system was curtailed and the NHS used the police, the ambulance service, taxis and couriers to carry vital supplies. In 2011-12, the Hywel Dda Health Board spent £250,000 on taxis alone.

Blood Bikes Wales provides the NHS with out-of-hours transport saving substantial sums which can be used for frontline patient care. Their service is free of charge and operates between 7pm on Friday evening until midnight on Monday morning including bank holidays and Christmas Day. BBW is not a blue-light service and has to obey road traffic regulations. South, Mid and West Wales are covered and there is hope for a Bangor group soon.

The charity is funded entirely by public and business donations, has over 200 members with 90 riders with advanced riding qualifications. Their liveried bikes can get through traffic easier than taxis.

Medwyn acknowledged the generosity of many donors. The local Lions Club gave £9,000 which allowed purchase of a Triumph Trophy bike adapted with racks for blood porter boxes. Cambrian Tyres generously supplied tyres which retail at £200 per pair. Running costs are considerable and donations are welcome. £490 for example will pay for one motor cycle annual insurance premium.

In giving the vote of thanks, Michael Deaville said it was gratifying to have such a  feedback from a group which had received a donation from the Club.

APRIL 19     PETER HENLEY

The topic of this week’s speaker , Peter Henley was the history of the post card.

The first post card issued in the UK in 1870 had a plain back and front with a pre-paid

stamp, produced by the Post Office who held a monopoly. This led, in 1884 to the first picture postcard.  In 1899 cards were standardised to 5.5ins by 3.5 ins. Cards had a picture on one side with little room for a message which was considered unseemly –these were the ‘undivided backs’. Later in 1902 came the ‘divided backs’- message on one half, address on other half and a picture on the front.

The speaker was able to show slides of cards produced by local photographers for the increasing number of tourists as Aber became a major resort. ER Gyde of Pier St produced a carte de visite  and Henry Hicks Davies produced cards of the opening of the Pier in 1895.

The Golden Age of the post card was 1907 to 1915. Peter was able to show a hand woven card sent by a relative, Fred Henley from the WW1 trenches. Post cards had a great propaganda value with such captions as ‘Marching through Berlin’ in September 1917 as well as Kitchener’s ‘Your Country Needs You’.

The saucy seaside post card with its double entendres came into its own after the war mainly published by Donald McGill  although there was a Government crackdown in the early 50’s using the Obscene Publications Act of 1857, but by the 60’s in a more  liberal era they were considered to be an art form.

Another local photographer was Arthur Davies, his famous photograph of an elephant  ‘bathing’ in the sea marked the move to mixed bathing where previously there was segregation in the use of bathing huts.

Deltology- or card collecting ranks third in popularity behind philately and coin collecting. Except for rare issues, generally cards have no high value though Titanic and Antarctic expedition related can  fetch thousands of pounds.

Peter concluded his talk by showing examples from his large collection as well as his own publication of local views and events in his book Aber Prom.

 

AGM  2016   12 APRIL

At this week’s AGM members confirmed the main officers for the 2016-17 Rotary year.

They are Club president -Derrick Whiting, senior vice-president  -Martin Davies

junior vice-president-Michael Deaville, secretary Hywel Davies, and treasurer Robin Varley.

The current committee chairs gave their final reports of the year. Due to the generosity of local people, the Christmas collection raised £4.125 a figure which includes the Gift Aid supplement.

Hospice at Home was the main beneficiary receiving £1,200 plus a further £1000 from a District Grant.  The Club continues to provide transport for the Visually Impaired Club.

In conjunction with the other two Rotary Clubs in Ceredigion, a concert in Aberaeron raised £1,830 for the Nepal earthquake appeal.

There was just one application for the Lionel White scholarship which was awarded to Hannah Glasser of Penglais. The sum of £750 will help her in her task as an International Volunteer with IVHQ in Madagascar.

From the proceeds of last summer’s pig roast a Shelter Box was purchased. This June a fund raising event will support the Wheelchair Foundation.

As always the Youth Service group have been busy arranging competitions in photography, singing and instrument playing, Penweddig again supported the Youth Speaks and will supply a young person for the RYLA scheme     . Mock Interview sessions with the secondary schools and Coleg Ceredigion were much appreciated.

Club President, Dr John Harries thanked members for their contribution during the year and a special mention of the sterling work over a five year period of Richard Morgan and Michael Deaville,  treasurer and secretary respectively.

MARCH  15       DEWI JONES       INNOVIS

At this week’s meeting, Club President John Harries introduced one of his former students at the Welsh Agricultural College as the speaker.

Dewi Jones , following his studies at the College, pursued post-graduate work in New Zealand before returning to the Institute of Rural Studies in 1991.

For the next ten years he led a range of  ground breaking sheep research projects funded by the EU and the then Welsh Office. He went on to establish a spin-off company from the University, CBS Technology which was one of the most successful spinout enterprises to emerge from AU. The company merged with two others in 2004 to create Innovis which, due to Dewi’s foresight, innovation and hard work as CEO, Innovis, here in Aberystwyth, has developed an excellent record world-wide for livestock breeding research and development.

The speaker said that in the UK sheep industry, there were 13 million breeding ewes owned by 70,000 farmers. They were heavily dependent on EU subsidies to maintain a modest profitability. Business planning and cost analysis were rarely practiced and there was a complete disconnection between pedigree breeding and the commercial meat sector –some 10-15% was wasted on supermarket shelves.

There was a need to produce more food with genetic improvement a key catalyst to enable greater production. Sheep are relatively small animals with a lower meat yield per carcass compared with pigs and chickens and also a lower reproductive rate. But sheep were very effective utilisers of grassland and metabolising protein from land areas where no other species can.

The mission of Innovis under its new title- Animal Breeding Europe, was to become the global leader in sheep breeding and in the next five years to grow by 25% per annum in sheep genetic sales.

In  giving the vote of thanks, Rtn Colin Eagles said Dewi had given a deep insight into the  sheep industry and how to run a business. Set out a viable business model and you will deliver more succulent lamb at a cheaper price.

CHARTER NIGHT      5;3;201

The 68th Charter Night Celebrations of Aber Rotary

The chief guest was Professor Wynne Jones OBE, formerly principal of Harper Adams Agricultural College. He spoke amusingly of his student days in the town sharing ‘digs’ with President John as well as being fellow staff members in the former Welsh Agricultural College.

On a more serious note he spoke of the problems in the farming industry where if the UK withdrew from the EU 86% of farms would not be  viable.

In responding to Wynne’s toast- ‘Rotary-locally and globally’ , Assisant Governor Carol Ramaya of the Lampeter club spoke of the need for increased membership and the forthcoming centenary of the Rotary charity-Rotary Foundation which had done so much to eradicate polio from the world’

President John Harries in toasting the guests oulined the Club’s activities in the past year. As well as a strong youth and other programmes , charities, both local and international had benefitted to the tune of £12,000.

The former assistant director of Social Sevices,David Harries responded on behalf of the guests. He gave a very appropriate ‘englyn’ composed for the occasion  by Gwyn Jenkins of Talybont which deserves further exposure.

The MC for the evening, Rtn Derek Whiting was warmly thanked for his efforts. As a result of the evening’s raffle £350 would go the DASH Ceredigion.

Tuesday February 23rd 2016
At the beginning of last week’s meeting, President John Harries read out a letter from Water Aid, the global charity that sets out to provide and improve water supplies in the Third World, to acknowledge the Club’s donation of £1270, the result of money collected in the Wishing Well on the Promenade during the past 12 months .This sum was being matched by the Treasury thus producing a very worthwhile total of £2540.

The speaker at the meeting was Mr Gareth Lloyd Roberts who had been appointed to the post of Director of the Aberystwyth Arts Centre in November 2013. Prior to his appointment, Mr Roberts had held various roles in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay and had also worked as a director, script writer and researcher for Welsh language T.V.programmes.

Mr Roberts emphasised the importance of the Arts Centre, which in his opinion, is the largest and most dynamic of its type in the country, to the Aberystwyth area. A recent economic intelligence survey had estimated a positive impact of £10.5 million on the local economy it having attracted upwards of 750,000 visitors The aim was to increase this even further by making Mid Wales a major player in the production of artistic output and promoting Aberystwyth as a centre of cultural tourism. It was hoped to stage an Arts and Music festival in the town in 2017/2018 as well as various other productions.

Major refurbishment of the Arts Centre was programmed assuming sufficient funding was forthcoming. In this context, Mr Roberts emphasised the need for more commercial activity to alleviate the effects of government and local authority grant cutbacks and generating outside funding was to become more and more vital in ensuring the continued success of the Arts Centre in the future.

Tuesday February 16th – Speaker – PCSO Mary Weller
Aberystwyth Rotary Club welcomed PCSO Mary Weller as the speaker at their meeting on 16 February. Mary works in Aberystwyth where her community policing role is supporting and engaging with the community, and being visible in the community.
The talk covered a range of low level crimes including rogue traders and doorstep cold callers and ways to avoid becoming a victim. Only a small number of these crimes are reported so those approached are encouraged to ring 101 so that the police are aware of the scams operating in the area. Fraud and internet crime can also be reported to Action Fraud. Telephone and email scams, befriending on Facebook, vehicle crime, farm crime and hate crime were also described. Leaflets are available about these low level crimes and personal safety advice. The Telephone Preference Service was mentioned as a means of reducing unwanted telephone calls.
There was an extreme case of a lady who was hounded by criminals after entering a competition she thought would lead to a large cash prize. The scammers put her name on a “suckers” list and sold her details to other criminals all over the world. She received 30,000 criminal letters over a 5-year period and sent thousands of pounds to the criminals in the belief that a big prize was imminent.
Rotarian Emlyn Watkin thanked the speaker for a very informative talk about low level crimes of which anyone can become a potential victim.

Tuesday January 26th – Speaker – David Russell Hulme

David Russell Hulme

Rotary Club members were privileged to be addressed by Aberystwyth University’s Director of Music at their weekly meeting. A native of Machynlleth, David Russell Hulme is a former student of UCW, Aberystwyth and later studied conducting under Sir Adrian Boult. After postgraduate degrees based on research into the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, he eventually returned to Aberystwyth in 1992 as Director of Music.  He is totally immersed in the music scene, locally, nationally and globally.

David’s talk focussed on his work re-constructing musical pieces that had been discarded for one reason or another by their composers.  In 1987 he was largely responsible for making possible the Sadlers Wells Centenary production of Ruddigore in its original form.

David Russell Hulme’s great interest in the works of Gilbert & Sullivan drove him to reconstruct a tenor solo from the operetta, Patience.  Sullivan composed this solo shortly before the scheduled opening night but culled it from the operetta at the eleventh hour.  All that remained was the accompaniment but not the tune.  From clues available, David Russell Hulme produced the solo, earning the soubriquet, “Inspector Morse of Gilbert & Sullivan!”  Members were able to listen to a D’Oyly Carte recording of this “lost” solo.

One of his more challenging projects was the reconstruction of a contralto solo from Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Sorcerer,” to be performed on BBC’s Friday Night is Music Night.  The solo had been cut and all that remained were the lyrics and a few instrumental parts, though, crucially, the bass parts.  The solo, Ballad in days Gone By was duly performed by Sylvia Clarke, the renowned Australian contralto.

David is also a leading authority on the music of Edward German: he successfully converted the Solemn March from a military band arrangement to an orchestral version to be recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra.  Later, David was approached by the recording company Naxos to edit the score of German’s Tom Jones for the first time; he duly conducted the recording.  This was so successful that it reached No.3 in the UK classical charts!

Rtn. Alan Wynne Jones delivered a vote of thanks that was enthusiastically endorsed by the large number of members present.

RV

FORENSIC SCIENCE      DR DEBRA CROFT    12  JANUARY ’16

Dr Debra Croft is the Director of Equality at the University but her talk to the Club members this week described aspects of the application of science to criminal and civil laws –Forensic Science

Dr Croft’s academic qualifications are mainly in the field of geology and her wide-ranging presentation included the role of geology in forensic work.

A basic aspect of the science is that of “Trace Evidence.” Locard’s Exchange Principle  states that when two objects come into contact with one another, materials are exchanged between them. This means that every contact by a criminal leaves a trace.

Footprints can be revealing to experts who can deduct the history of the shoe and gain more knowledge from the  soil adhering to them.

“Physical Fit” can provide vital evidence. Dr Croft gave as an example a pair of boxer shorts cut up and found in a laundry basket linked with the gag of a kidnap victim.

Rocks in a body bag, used to weigh it down, were found in a lake. These rocks were linked to similar rock fragments found in a car boot.

Use of dental records can solve, for example sexual crimes. A burglar leaving a bitten apple at the crime scene can be convicted on the bite pattern.

Dental records  are commonly used to identify unknown bodies. Similarly examination of stomach contents can give an indication of country of origin as does the chemistry of the bones.

Electron microscopy is increasingly used for example, in ballistics to compare rifling grooves on bullets . Minute pollen grains and spores  extracted from mud on shoes can provide evidence of soil nature and  vegetation  then traceable on  maps.

Surface changes in vegetation can often lead to burial sites

Past President Hywel Davies thanked the speaker for her very comprehensive presentation of a science which uses many disciplines.

THE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE given by Revd Andy Herrick

                                       15 December ‘15  

Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols

The Revd Andy Herrick delivered the Christmas Message at this week’s meeting which was preceded by the singing of Welsh carols by Rtns Alan Wynne Jones, Geraint Thomas and Alun John.

Revd Andy’s theme was poverty in the world. During a sabbatical in 2005 in Zambia, one of the world’s poorest countries where 80% of the population are below the poverty line, he saw for himself their desperate situation. The country cannot survive without Western help, over 20% of the over- 16 year olds have HIV AIDS and many are without adequate sanitation and fresh water. Some families he met went hungry on some days yet spoke of God’s goodness.

Andy came home a changed man determined to help. Some local churches have helped establish schools, deep water wells, brick built houses and a hammer mill for grinding corn. Over 150 orphans are now card for after fending for themselves.

Our own poor have not been forgotten with St Anne’s church , Penparcau, setting up a food bank for those in need.

Past-President Richard Morgan thanked the speaker for an appropriate and inspiring address adding that his theme resonated with many of the ideals of the Rotary movement. Richard also thanked  Revd Andy for the work he had done for the community particularly in Penparcau where he  would be greatly missed following his imminent move to a church in Lampeter.

CONTAINER SHIPS-   8 DEC 2015

Retired sea captain, and club member Linsay Fletcher, at this week’s meeting, spoke of his career and the evolution of container ships which were developed in 1956 from converted tankers.

Linsay spent 44 years at sea, the last 20 years in command of container ships which now rival tankers for size. He experienced attack by pirates, a collision in the Mississippi, arrested in Japan for a harbour oil spill, engine room fires, medical evacuation from the Pitcairn islands and rescuing sailors from  sinking ships. Sea –faring, rather than mining is the most dangerous occupation with burns the most common injury.

An American, Malcom McLean in 1956, bought two World War II tankers which he converted to carry containers on and under deck. In April of that year, one of the ships- the SS Ideal-X was loaded and sailed from Newark, New Jersey to Houston, Texas carrying fifty-eight 35 foot containers along with liquid tank cargo~ containerisation was born !

Since then there have been seven generations of Container Ship, usually with a seven year gap between development. Maersk Line with whom Linsay finished his career, have been a major force in container ship design. The increase in size has been to meet a 10% per annum growth demand driven mainly by the Far East trade-the more containers a ship can carry the lower the slot cost. Container ship capacity is measured in twenty foot equivalent units or TEU. Nominal capacity is the maximum number of container slots on the ship, generally only 80% can be used by loaded containers. The SS Ideal-X was 800 teu, the next generation started in 1970 was up to 2900 teu with the containers fitting into cells below deck and 4 to 5 high above deck secured by wires and rods.

The next generation ships, up to 4000 teu with beam size of 32.3 mtrs were the first to reach the maximum width for transiting the Panama canal.  Larger ships labelled Post Panamax class and New Panamax class are up to 15,000 teu  and 49 mtrs wide are too large to use the Canal and will have to  wait until  the larger locks are completed by 2016.

In January 2015 MSC took delivery of MSC Oscar-capaciity 19,224 teu to become the worlds’s largest with even bigger vessels being planned. Other limiting factors could be the Singapore Strait, a relatively shallow channel that all vessels transit from Europe to the Far East and the number of ports these giants can enter. The only UK ports available are Felixstowe, Southampton and recently constructed Thames Gateway.

Club President John Harries thanked Linsay for a fascinating talk which showed the scale of the industry and the evolution of the        vessels which carry a large proportion of the world’s goods.

SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING 1.12.15

At this week’s special general meeting the following Club officers were confirmed-

Club President: Derrick Whiting, President Elect: Martin Davies,

Junior Vice-President: Michael Deaville,  Secretary: Hywel Davies,

Treasurer: Robin Varley

Retiring Treasurer Richard Morgan presented the end-of-year accounts. He reported that more than £10,000 had been raised for local and international charities during the year.

Arrangements for the Christmas collection at Morrisons and at Owain Glyndwr Square were well advanced, the proceeds as usual going to local charities.

This year the International committee would support the Wheelchair Foundation and Toilet Twinning providing toilet facilities for developing countries.

The Youth activities group had staged a successful young musicians evening, and mock interviews for Penglais and Penweddig students were ongoing.

Applications for grants for humanitarian projects should be received by the end of January.

President John Harries thanked the Committee chairs and members for their work.

YOUNG MUSICIANS COMPETITION    17 NOVEMBER 2015

This week’s evening meeting was devoted to the Young Musician competition where Jane Leggett judged the singers and Dr David Russell Hulme judged the intrumentalists. The singers were Emily Jones,,Niamh O’Donnell both Ysgol Penweddig and Gwion Morgan Jones Coleg Ceredigion. Eriin Hassan of Ysgol Penglais played the French Horn, Mared Emyr,Ysgol Penweddig, the harp and George Nash, Ysgol Penglais, the guitar.

The adjudicators were very complementary about the overall

performances adding that in some cases there was little to choose between them.

Emily ,’with a rich mature voice’ was placed first of the singers with Gwion second. The winning instumentalist was Erin where one piece was judged to be ‘absolutely brilliant’, Mared’s ‘very impressive harp playing’ earned her a very close second place. Emily and Eriin will proceed to the next round of   Young Musician to be held in January

In presenting the certificates and prizes, Club President John Harries congratulated all the musicians, thanked the Club’s Youth Service committee led by Rtn Alun John and the adjudicators. The Club is indebted once again this year to the generosity of CERDD YSTWTH in donating the prizes.

 11 November ’15-  MIKE TAYLOR – ABER  JAZ

The subject of this week’s talk was Aber Jazz given by Mike Taylor , one of two survivors of the original group of players, the other is John Davies (jeweller).

While a mathematics student at the University,  Mike  bought a banjo and learned to play the tunes he’d heard at the jazz sessions in the Angel hotel. Playing in the White Horse and the Coopers  led to an idea, in the Seventies, to recreate music hall entertainment putting on a summer season in the King’s Hall. As the Crystal Vaudeville Company, named after the Crystal Palace, now Scholars where they. gathered to share ideas for a show, they put on a summer show for three years.

From this the Crystal Temperance  Footwarmers was formed as a 9 piece, strict tempo dance band playing waltzes , fox trots and quick steps.

In the developing disco era the group realised that it was the faster upbeat numbers that filled the dance floor so they dissolved into a 6 piece Trad Jazz  band that played under various names for over forty years.  Like all skills, when done well,  looks and sounds easy and many good musicians wanted to join in Brian Sansbury- clarinet, John Davies- trumpet, the late John Evans- trombone and Emyr Evans-trombone all had these skills in abundance, not forgetting the incredible Billy Owens on  drums  with Dick Skerret on bass and Mike providing the rhythm section.

Their fame spread, the band supported the Dakotas-as in Billy J Kramer of the 60s       at Lampeter Uni, weddings of students in Cheltenham, Anglesey and Preston and Gregynog for a fireworks party in mid-summer!  The late Tommy Burton, a well known jazz pianist who holidayed in Borth joined the group in the Coops and invited them to be the support act with him in the 100 Club in London, the Mecca for Trad Jazz in the UK. This led to the band playing in support of Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk.

The latter had a gig in the Students’ Union where Brian Sansbury and Acker Bilk played a duet of Stranger on the Shore, with Brian given the chance to improvise a couple of verses -an unforgettable night.

Billy Owen , the group’s drummer is ninety this year and the hope is to play a  few charity gigs with him to continue Trad Jazz in Aber      which has spanned forty years.

Club President John Harries thanked the speaker for a fascinating insight into the history of Aber Jazz which had  provided fun and pleasure for many over a long period.

 

3rd November ’15  CHRISTOPHER SALMON  PCC

Christopher Salmon, the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner was the speaker at this week’s meeting. He was elected in November 2012 along with forty others in England and Wales            The  role of the PCCs is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account as they are responsible for the totality of policing.

Mr Salmon’s area, Dyfed-Powys, is the largest in England and Wales-4000 square miles predominantly rural.  From a budget of £100 million, 98% goes to the Chief Constable for him to run the force. The money comes from the taxpayer through the council tax precept and from the Government.

The word Crime in the title is perhaps peculiar. The Commissioner is able to commission other things such as drug intervention services where there is liaison with the health board rather than punitive action for drug addicts. Victims of crime such as rape or domestic violence who may be the chief witness in a case have to be protected from the tactics of the defence.

Mr Salmon emphasised that the police force had no military structure, all 41 areas were independent with a local force knowing local needs with prevention at the heart of the matter. The Chief Constable was accountable to the elected PCC who was accountable to the public. The Association of Chief Police Officers, a privileged limited company not accountable to the police authority had been abolished thus shifting power from the chief officers to the public via the PCC.

The lively question and answer session including cyber crime, the bobby on the beat, petty crime and use of modern technology brought the talk to a close with past-president John Ockey giving the vote of thanks for a much appreciated presentation.

27 OCTOBER ’15- DR ALAN AXFORD    MY JOB TALK

Dr Alan Axford, a recently inducted member of Rotary, gave a talk on his career in medicine at this week’s meeting. He was born in Blaenau Gwent into a mining family- the village had two coal pits and mining was the only employment    .

Interest in medicine probably started when his miner father was the area superintendent of the St John’s Ambulance. Accident victims came to the house since treatment was free where as a visit to the GP was not , in those days.

He got to the local grammar school and biology became a favourite  subject so much so that when one of the family chickens became crop bound through eating fresh grass, he was able to anaesthetise the animal with ether, cut open the crop to remove the obstruction and stitch it up.- his first patient success.

When it came to deciding on medical school, his headmaster plumped for Cardiff adding that the London schools favoured public school candidates. However London was the attraction so applications went to St Thomas’s, Middlesex and UCL, the latter was favoured particularly as there was a vacancy for a scrum half in their rugby side The first academic hurdle was 2nd MB –low marks in biochemistry earned an interview with the Dean but a distinction at resits was rewarded with a scholarship of £150.  After qualification came six months each in surgery and medicine. His first house job was in the Birmingham Accident hospital and first patient was a stabbed policeman . Alan had to give evidence in inquests and two murder trials

Four years were spent in the Bromley group of hospitals where he really learnt about medicine. Cardiac resuscitation with electric shock treatment was just being developed though some were not in favour as the shock stops the heart for some seconds.

Five years were spent with the Medical Research Council in Llandough before coming to Aberystwyth to succeed Dr G O Thomas who had specialised in Farmers’ Lung. The first years were difficult, making changes,and putting forward new ideas . Alan developed a medical oncology service which involved drug use as well as surgery. Previously, patients had to travel to Wolverhampton or Cardiff  for  distressing treatment.

Towards the end of 35 years at Bronglais Alan developed an interest in tele- medicine, and was the first in Wales to develop this technique where a team, pooling information, enhanced prospects for the patient. In his last ten years Alan took over the demanding and difficult role of medical director.

Club president John Harris thanked Alan for a marvellous account of a glittering career where ’you were your own man’.   `

20 October ’15- RYLA- LIAM STANDING

Each summer a senior student from Ysgol Penweddig or Penglais School  with leadership potential ,gets chosen to take part in a Rotary youth leadership residential course at the outdoor activities centre at Storey Arms, in the Brecon Beacons.

The aim of RYLA is to get the Awardees to work as a team rather than as individuals when they are placed in challenging situations, to develop leadership and team bonding skills and to increase personal confidence.

It was the turn of Penglais student Liam Standing to be selected for the course this year and at this week’s meeting he gave a slide presentation of his time at the Centre.

For each activity, one student acted as team leader after having received instructions in that activity with the aim to outdo the other teams.

Mountaineering on Penyfan, caving in Danyrogof, canoeing, gorge walking were first time experiences as well as a night time 3km walk. Most days they returned  to the Centre dripping wet after leaping into waterfalls, sliding 20 m along a channel carved in the limestone on their backs or testing their own constructed rafts.

Liam thanked the Club for the opportunity given to take part in a demanding but enjoyable course.

Vice-President Derek Whiting in presenting Liam with his RYLA certificate, said he was sure that he had derived great benefit from attending.

13 OCTOBER ’15   STATUES & STUDENTS- ELGAN DAVIES

The speaker at this week’s meeting, Elgan Davies spent 38 years at the University Library Information Services. A native of Pontrhydfendigaid, he has written more than thirty children’s books in Welsh as well as a book on the Old College.

Elgan’s chose “ Statues and Students “ as his title for the talk with slides of those personalities associated in some  way with the early days of the university college.

The first principal of UCW when it opened in 1872 was Thomas Charles Edwards, a Methodist minister. His statue by Goscombe John stands in the College forecourt and was unveiled in 1922. Edwards resigned in 1891 to become principal of Bala theological college.

The College building started life as the Castle House, a small mansion built by John Nash, later modified as the Castle Hotel built by Thomas Savin, a railway contractor and one-time partner of David Davies of Llandinam. By 1864 Aberystwyth had a rail connection but Savin’s  grandiose plans were never fulfilled thanks to a Stock Market panic in 1866. A year later the building was purchased for the College at a fraction of its cost mainly as a result of the untiring efforts of Hugh Owen, a pioneer of higher education in Wales. The  Sir Hugh Owen Library on the Penglais campus is named in his honour.

David Davies of Llandinam and sisters Gwen and Margaret were very generous benefactors. David built Barry Docks for the coal trade-his statue stands there as well as an identical version in Llandinam village.

A statue of Lord Aberdare towers over the Quad. He was the first President of the College serving from 1874 to 1895. He was Liberal MP for Merthyr Tydfil in 1854 and headed a commission that established the Official Table of Drops, listing how a person of a particular weight should be dropped when hanged for a capital offence. He was involved in the Welsh Intermediate Education Act of 1889 which created grammar schools in Wales and the university colleges in Cardiff and Bangor.

Lord Aberdare was succeeded as President by Lord Stuart Rendel who gave the land on which the Penglais campus would be built. Neuadd Rendel is named after him.

Another Quad effigy is that of Thomas Edward Ellis by Goscombe John 1903. He entered the College as a 16 year old, progressed to New College, Oxford and became MP for  Meirionydd   and a Liberal Chief Whip. He had a major role in the formation of the Old Students’ Association in 1892

In 1896 a bronze statue of the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VII was unveiled in the College forecourt. He is dressed in the robes of Chancellor of the University of Wales . Before the unveiling ceremony it was discovered that he had been whitewashed and many years later the head was removed in a rag week prank.

The Old Students raised £5,000 as a memorial fund to those fallen in the Great War. The fund was used to convert the Old Assembly Rooms to a Students’ Union premises with the names of the fallen on a memorial tablet now located in the Quad Another benefactor was Thomas David Jenkins of Bodhyfryd, Bridge Street later

TD Slingsby – Jenkins. He rose to be Company Secretary of Mathias & Son, a Cardiff shipping company. On business, he frequently visited Italy where he engaged the sculptor Mario Rutelli        to design the war memorial at Tabernacle Chapel. This led to Rutelli designing the Town War Memorial rated as one of the finest in the country.

Slingsby- Jenkins .also financed the marble statue of Sir John Williams the founder of the National Library

Past-president Hywel Wyn Jones thanked the speaker for his presentation which showed the huge wealth of history in the Old College.

 

OCTOBER 6TH  2015- FRANK BOTT

Sir Henry Walford Davies was the subject of this week’s talk given by Frank Bott former head of Computer Science at the University.

Walford Davies was born in 1869 at Oswestry, the seventh of nine children in what was a very musical family. At the age of twelve he became a chorister at St George’s Chapel, Windsor later joining the Royal College of Music. At the age of 29 ,Walford was appointed organist at the Temple Church, Inns of Court.

The start of the Great War saw him entertaining the troops and visiting military hospitals encouraging the patients to sing. He was commissioned into the newly formed Royal Air Force becoming its director of music and composing the RAF March Past still played today.

From 1919 to 1926 he was the Gregynog Professor of Music at Aberystwyth succeeding Sir Joseph Parry and like him very popular with his students. As a composer he was no Elgar of Vaughan Williams but the popular hymn “God be in my Head” was his composition. He did much to promote Welsh music becoming chair of the Welsh National Council of Music       . The Choral Union he established at UCW still exists. Taking singers from many Welsh choirs he formed a united  choir which performed at Gregynog. His annual music festivals attracted such notables as Boult, Elgar and Bartok.  He was invited to join the BBC advisory committee and was responsible for the first Schools’ broadcast and gave more than 400 weekly radio talks. His creation of the Welsh National Youth orchestra was the first of its kind in the world.

Walford Davies was knighted in 1922 and in 1934 following the death of Edward Elgar he was appointed Master of the King’s Musick. He died in 1941`.

 

Vice-President Derek Whiting thanked Mr Bott for his interesting talk on a very accomplished musician.

 

PROF JOHN WARREN-  22 SEPTEMBER 2015        

“How we come to eat the plants we do” was the theme of a talk given by Dr John Watrren , Professor of Botany at IBERS, Aberystwyth University, at this week’s evening meeting He has recently published a book, “The Nature of Crops”

There more than four hundred species of flowering plants yet only two hundred are eaten, less than 1% of what is possible.

Most plants are of Eurasian origin and most are old and rapidly became domesticated. The cabbage for example disappeared and then reappeared as did peas and gourds.

There are very few modern crops- one example is the cultivated strawberry which arose from hybridisation of the ancient Fragaria virginiana and F. chiloensis. Of local interest is the wild perennial rye grass which was changed genetically at Aberystwyth plant breeding station and is now cultivated world wide.

The vast majority of plants are toxic which is a defence mechanism to deter mammalian herbivores but not birds. Root tubers are full of alkaloid poisons , almond fruit has cyanide, acorns have tannins, rhubarb contain oxalates

Prof Warren refuted the idea that if the bee disappears then man has only four years of life remaining. The ten important cereal crops are wind pollinated. He went on to give a fascinating insight into mechanisms of insect pollination. Avocado and Pawpaw have weird sex lives, the latter with 31 different sexes. Orchids, with twenty thousand species, more than any other plant, have ingenious devices to ensure pollination by specific insects. Because of its commercial value, the vanilla orchid is hand pollinated for the production of vanilla pods.

Club President John Harries thanked Prof Warren for a fascinating insight into the life of plants.

JORDAN SHAPIRO     ROTARY GLOBAL GRANT SCHOLAR

    AUGUST 25 2015

In October last year Club members welcomed Jordan Shapiro, a graduate of Rochester, NY living in Bennington, Vermont. As a Rotary Global Grant Scholar she was to spend the academic year at the University’s International Politics department working towards a Masters degree in Welsh politics.

This was not her first visit to Wales having secured a US / UK Fulbright Scholarship in 2011 where she spent time in Cardiff, Bangor and Aber. She had studied the Welsh identity as a small country- its people, language and culture. It had been a transforming experience and she knew that she had to return to Wales..

This week Jordan, about to leave for home, reflected on her year in Aberystwyth.

She began her talk on the women in her family who had shaped her life. A female ancestor had emigrated to New York from Moscow in the eighteenth century.

There followed a succession of strong female family members who had introduced her to politics and feminism.

During election year she had learned about the election process. She had held a seminar with students of Ysgol Penglais who had given her their views.

An important aspect of her research was a study of the Kurdish state in Turkey compared with Wales, where both countries, she thought, had to fight for recognition

Jordan hoped that her research which touched on conflict resolution would be taken further particularly that on the Kurdish state .

Jordan concluded by thanking Rotary for the opportunity provided in what had been a whirlwind year.

Club President John Harries thanked Jordan for the insight into her family and her research and wished her well in the future.

President John had welcomed two Aberaeron Rotarians, Malcolm Sumner and Ian Lampert and also Marianne Sansome, a Rotarian from Sydney who was attending a Welsh learners course at the University.

“This is my Life” talk- 18 August  20 15     

As a fairly recently inducted Rotarian, Ken Young at this week’s meeting, gave his “This is my Life talk”

Born and raised in Llanfarian close to the then Carmarthen railway line he developed a passion for steam trains. Befriended by the station master and locomotive crews he had many footplate rides as wagons were shunted at Llanrhystud Road station even tavelling to Lampeter and back.

At the age of ten he took guitar lessons and having entered Ardwyn Grammar School joined local pop groups, the Fanatics,Xenons and Shakedown Sounds playing at Morfa Bychan holiday camp and the King’s Hall.

After being involved tinkering with cables, speakers and amplifiers, a career in electrical engineering beckoned. Leaving school at 16 Ken started a four year craft apprentice with MANWEB . With no prospects of employment locally he joined Hawker Siddeley in east Yorkshire working on the Trident and later on fighter

aircraft. Then came a move to Bristol to pursue a HND course in electronic engineering in the Polytechnic before joining the British Aircraft Corporation at Filton, Bristol to work on the Rapier and Swingfire weapons systems.

At this time he married Jan, a teacher at Filton high school and felt a pull back to Aber. Ken joined the University Physics department as an electronics technician and then the County Council education visual aids / IT department responsible for maintaining equipment in Ceredigion’s schools.

When his two daughters took up swimming ecame heavily involved with the local swimming club as coach, club secretary and chairman When the town twinned with St Brieuc, he helped organise the annual exchange visits of the swimming clubs.

He has been chair and secretary of the Town Twinning Association.

Ken and Jan are involved with the Rambling Club and have arranged walking visits in Brittany, Ireland and Scotland. In his retirement he found time to drive the minibus for Ceredigion Social Transport .

President John Harries thanked Ken for an excellent talk tinged with nostalgia for those who remembered the steam trains on the Carmarthen line.

President John was pleased to welcome Wendy Lauder nee Swain , an Australian Foundation scholar whom the Club hosted 2009-10. Wendy now works in Canberra with the Ministry of Agriculture,

Another visitor was Hywel Axford from the Rotary Club of Brynmawr. His Club organises the Lifestraw equipment which filters contaminates from foul water. He came to reassure the Club, which donated £1000 to the charity, that after some distribution problems, a Rotary Club in Nairobi, Kenya has delivered the Lifestraws to the Mogra Orphanage for use in its babies’ nursery.

 

VISIT OF DISTRICT GOVERNOR   4 AUGUST 2015

Early in the new Rotary year the District Governor visits each Club in his district. This week Club vice-president Derek Whiting welcomed DG Chris Williams of the Fishguard & Goodwick Club who thanked the Club for its support of the annual conference this autumn which would have a nautical theme..

DG Chris said that Rotary had two immediate priorities. The Rotary polio eradication scheme needed to be completed. Good news from Africa in that there had been no new cases this year. Pakistan and Afghanistan were the only two countries where the disease was still endemic.

The other priority was to stem the declining membership world wide. Perhaps the remedy was to adapt to the changes in society. Young people seem to be too busy to devote time. In Northern Europe including the UK, Rotary Clubs were not doing enough to attract lady members with some clubs not even making an attempt to do so.

Chris also felt that neighbouring clubs could be doing more to work together to tackle large projects

The result of a survey in Blackpool had shown that 40% of those asked had not heard of Rotary so there was an obvious need to raise the public profile.

He concluded by asking members to live up to this year’s theme “ Be a gift to the World.”

TUES  4TH AUGUST 2015

This week’s speaker was Chris Mackenzie-Grieve who runs MG’s and Wiffwaff cafes. Chris is also chair of the town’s Chamber of Trade and took ‘Challenges Facing Small Businesses in Aberystwyth ‘ as the title of his talk.

In respect of the retail sector he contrasted the daytime and night time economy, the latter student driven. But with the student migration to the campus with its retail outlets, the current student spend of £4,000 per annum would not be maintained

The declining student numbers -900 less this year was another relevent factor.

In the town, the car parking situation was critical, as was the need to make the Prom     more attractive to increase visitor numbers. The Tesco and M&S developments would revitalise the town centre and perhaps help promote Aberystwyth as a mid-Wales retail centre with new town events and activities-a Zip wire perhaps.

The talk ended with the phrase-APATHY the biggest challenge.

Chris fielded many questions which included accessibility and the inadequate A44.

Past-president Meurig Lewis gave the vote of thanks adding that unless we adapt and change, the economy will stagnate.

 

MEET THE PRESIDENT- 21 JULY 201

At the start of a new Rotary year, the incoming Club President is interviewed for a ‘Meet the President’ session. Past-President Alun Rees was the interrogator on this occasion

President John Harries was born in Llanddarog, Carmarthenshire, his father had a butchery round supplying miners’ families who ate a lot of meat. He also spent many hours on his uncle’s farm, driving an old Fordson tractor and carrying milk buckets. He considered he had a strict but wonderful upbringing in idyllic surroundings

At age 16 John could have followed his father as he enjoyed helping out on the round, However his mother put him on an academic path, starting in Gwendraeth Grammar School, then the Agricultural Botany department at UCW Aberystwyth. He lived in Pantycelyn hall of residence at the same time as Prince Charles who spent a term at the University. It was a men only hall and the wearing of academic gowns for Sunday lunch obligatory

Three years of research followed graduation and then a teaching training year before being appointed lecturer at the Welsh Agricultural College in 1974. John became Principal of WAC in 1992 and oversaw its merger with the University ion 1995. He retired from the post of Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University in 2011.

John and wife Gill have three children and a recently arrived grand-daughter. With wide sporting interests he rates squash as his favourite though golf and cycling runs it close.

In thanking the President, Alun wished him well in his year of office.

 

 

 

 

Carrie Canham  Curator Ceredigion Museum   1st July ‘15

Carrie Canham, the Curator of the Ceredigion Museum, spoke to members this week on the museum’s New Approaches project which will secure its future .

A lot of research has been done to ascertain what the community wants from its museum. This project will help achieve those things including offering staff and volunteers to develop skills to take the museum forward.

Carrie showed plans of the proposed internal design and  views of the outside which embraces the former Boots building in Terrace Road. The museum service will be combined with the Tourist Information Centre (TIC)  There will be a new street level entrance, a combined TIC and museum reception, a new shop, café , lift, displays and equipment for events and a refresh for the auditorium..

The proposals have the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund which already granted £70,000 for development funding. The result of a full-funding application of £800,000 will be known by late August. The County Council has pledged £200,000 towards the total cost of £1.3 million. If all goes to plan ,the completion date would be 2024.

Senior Vice-president Derek Whiting, thanked the Curator for her excellent presentation. The project would attract and allow more visitors to access the culture and heritage of Ceredigion.

 

CLUB ASSEMBLY=   30 TH JUNE 2015

Assistant Governor Carol Ramaya of the Lampeter Club attended the Club Assembly held this week marking the beginning of the 2015-16 Rotary Year.

Retiring Cub President Hywel Davies briefly mentioned the highlights of his year in office including the pig roast, Christmas collection and duck race which all raised large sums for the selected charities. Other enjoyable events were the cabaret evening, the  memorable visit to Italy for the rugby and Charter Night with chief guest MarkWilliams MP. Hywel thanked the committee chairs, Club Secretary Michael Deaville and Club Treasurer Richard Morgan for their exemplary work.

Hywel’s last task was to induct John Harries as the Club President        who warmly thanked his predecessor for his successful year in office. President John after inducting  Derek Whiting as senior  vice-president invited the new committee chairs to present their programmes.

Chair of Club Service Derek who had experience of high office in the Clapham Club, applauded the theme for the new year “ be yourself and a gift to the world “. He had plans for visits to the Royal Hospital Chelsea and a 20-20 cricket match in Lords.

The plans of the other committees were much as before although a choral concert in Aberaeron on 24 July jointly organised by Aberaeron, Lampeter and Aberystwyth Rotary Clubs was innovative. The Rugby Club would be the venue for the pig roast in July. As usual the Club will try to help the young people of the community with the Youth Service group organising the usual competitions, Mock interviews had already taken place for Ysgol Penweddig students with the same service to be offered to Penglais and Coleg Ceredigion.

It was the task of  Assistant Governor Carol to comment on the  plans. She was impressed with the programmes and confident they would get the usual support from members. Recruitment of new members and their retention was vital with no room for complacency.

In closing the meeting President John thanked everyone for their contribution and looked forward to a successful and enjoyable year.

VISIT TO FFERM PENGLAIS STUDENT VILLAGE  

  16 JUNE ‘15

This week, following lunch, a group of Rotarians met at Fferm Penglais student village to view the  new £45m development with accommodation for 1000 students.

James Wallace, Director of Campus and Commercial Services led the tour of a series of three storey buildings with flats for six or eight students living in self-catering accommodation. Currently 236 have moved in but the site will be fully occupied by September next.

The buildings provide en-suite bedrooms, double kitchens and open plan lounge areas. A central hub provides a range of social and learning facilities with launderettes, bike stores, communal space for clubs and societies and a café.

The campus roads will be traffic free, cars will be confined to peripheral car parks.

In thanking James for the visit, past-president Richard Griffiths said that the design of the buildings fitted in with the rural  surroundings and one could only be impressed by the  quality of the individual rooms and their fittings.

 

SVP JOHN HARRIES- SPONSORED CYCLE RIDE  – JUNE 2

At this week’s meeting the guest speaker was John Harries, the Club’s Senior Vice President. To raise funds for the Aberystwyth and District Hospice at Home Volunteers (see https://www.givey.com/harriesbordeauxbiking), John had very recently cycled 1045 km (627 miles) from Roscoff to Bordeaux. He was accompanied by fellow Rotarian John Bradshaw, who carried their luggage on his motor bike. The cycle route, known as the Velodyssey, passes through Brittany along the Nantes to Brest Canal. Much of the lovely scenery is reminiscent of Cornwall or Pembrokeshire and much wildlife was in evidence, including an otter. Crossing the Loire at Le Pellerin, just west of Nantes, the route then followed the west coast along the Vendee taking in La Rochelle and a number of small coastal resorts before eventually reaching Royan and another ferry to cross the Gironde. The final part of the journey was through the pine forests and sand dunes of Aquitane before heading east to Bordeaux and the final destination, the market town of Libourne. Despite generally cool, windy weather with heavy rain on occasions, good progress was made with over 70 miles cycled on many days. The importance of eating regularly on such a cycle trip was emphasised, John estimated an expenditure of 29,000 calories during the 11 days of cycling, most of which was replaced by croissants, baguettes and some red wine! The Rotary Club was delighted to learn that John had already raised over £1800 for the Hospice at Home charity. John thanked all those who had contributed so generously to a very worthy cause.

 

THE ABER CYCLE FESTIVAL  – 19 MAY ‘15

Shelley Childs,  the organiser of the Sixth Aber Cycle Festival which takes place at the Bank Holiday weekend was this week’s speaker.

Between 2 and 6 pm on Friday there will be road closures when 500 riders will race through Aber’s streets. There will six separate schools’ races, a  Town v Gown fun race followed by the serious amateurs riders and the main feature ITV’s Tour Series Professional Criterium race at 7.30. The latter event will attract Olympic champions possibly including Bradley Wiggins and other top UK  professionals.

On Saturday, the venue for the downhill racers will be Constitutional Hill.

As well as the races there will be many fringe events in the town including a film show at Y Drwm, National Library and social events in MG cafe

On Monday Bank Holiday evening,, ITV 4 will show much of the action shot from motor bike cameras.

On the evidence of previous festivals, the Town will benefit economically to the tune of £200,000.

Club president Hywel Davies thanked the speaker for his talk and for the work involved. As well as the financial benefits, the festival promoted the town        which would increase tourism.

 

WOMEN’S PEACE MOVEMENT OF WALES         

  12 MAY ‘15

Dr  Sue Pester who is a development officer at the University was the speaker at this week’s evening meeting. Sue who had been actively involved in the Womens Peace Movement of Wales spoke about  her experiences with that movement in the 80s.

A group of Welsh women were the first to set up camp at the Greenham Common RAF base in Berkshire in September 1981. They were protesting at the decision of the British  government to allow cruise missiles to be based there. The protests went on for 19 years until the base was disbanded in 2000. In December 1982, 30,000 women  held hands around the 6 mile perimeter of the base. Although the actions were anti-violent, some were hurt very badly when attempting to take down the fences.

Similar protests were made at  Brawdy in Pembrokeshire, a nuclear submarine base. After climbing the fence, some women were caught  by US servicemen though no charges were  brought.

During the construction of a nuclear bunker in Carmarthen in October 1985, the hole being dug was occupied by women protesting at the preparations being made in case of a nuclear war. Locals, in strong support of     protesters, brought them food and drink. The security guards resorted to violence and Sue lost a finger in the fracas.

However the Council paid no heed and the bunker was completed but leaked badly and was never used.

Sue emphasised that she and her fellow protesters were committed to non-violence. She thought what she was doing was right and authentic and had made her a more sensitive person. In answers to questions she did not know if she was in the MI 5 records

She was aware the peace movement had infiltrators and that her phone had been tapped though a judge had ruled it legal.  Sue did not know if she was barred from entering the US.

President Hywel thanked Sue for her interesting talk and admired her commitment  to

her cause and beliefs.

NT ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

 

ABERYSTWYTH EGO- HUW BATES   5 MAY ‘15

Aberystwyth EGO is a new magazine aimed at celebrating the people, businesses and organisations of Aberystwyth. Its founder and editor Huw Bates, for ten years a local solicitor decided to put  his creative side to good use. While he is responsible for the conceptual side of the magazine,  creating and collating content, his co-founder Paddy O’Malley is responsible for turning the vision and ideas behind the project into a tangible publication

At this week’s meeting, Huw explained that the EGO in the title stands for Economic Growth Opportunity with the hope that the publication will encourage the people of Aberystwyth to spend their money locally and support local businesses and organisations. All profit from the magazine  sales goes back into the local community   via its Good Causes  scheme. The town should have more of a ego and shout a lot louder about what it has to offer.

At the conclusion of his talk he surprised his audience by introducing Dyfri and Heddwyn , eight year old twins from  Llandre who gave a delightful exhibition of clog dancing or ‘clocsio’ which is very much a forgotten art in Ceredigion. In an effort to encourage  interest in this traditional art , the April edition of EGO had featured the boys’ story.

Club President thanked Huw for his talk and wished the magazine further success.

 

 

 

INDUCTION OF DR ALAN QXFORD OBE

      & TALK by SUE PETERSON-R.Coll. MIDWIFERY

                                 21 APRIL ’15

At this weeks meeting, senior vice-president John Harries had the pleasure of installing Dr Alan Axford as a member of the Club. Alan was appointed Consultant Physician  in Respiratory Medicine at Bronglais in 1975 where he developed a medical oncology and palliative care department. Since retiring in 2010 he has been involved with rural health groups and developing telemedicine in mid-Wales

The guest  speaker was Sue Peterson of the Royal College of Midwifery who spoke of her recent visit to Kampala, Uganda under the Global Development scheme. The purpose of her visit with agroup of UK midwives was to help with the education and to strengthen the profile of midwives in that country where often they work without salary. Indeed the place of women in Uganda is very precarious with sexual violence   quite common. As well as high rates of maternal fatalities, child birth deaths are 67 per 100K compared with UK figures of 6 per 100k

Sue took with her a piece of kit purchased from the donation by the Club of £400. Despite a problem with Uganda Customs, the teaching aid was soon put to use in training student midwives. Sue also carried a gift of cash from the Aber Salvation Army which was used to buy food for the Kiwoko Mission  hospital where  she spent some time at the special care baby unit. Here she saw things not normally witnessed such as death of babies by obstructed labour. The hospital also acted as a HIV outreach unit- the traditional midwife bag included  HIV testing kits.

In thanking the speaker, past-president Robin Varley said that members were now aware of the value of the Global Development movement in reducing child mortality rate and in terms of the Club’s donation , where  “so much good can come from so little”

 

 

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING   14 APRIL 2015

At this week’s AGM, Officers for the next Rotary year were confirmed. President-John Harries, Senior Vice President-Derek Whiting,

Junior Vice President – Martin Davies, Secretary-Michael Deaville and Treasurer- Richard Morgan

The new Committee chairs are- Club Service-Derek Whiting, Community & Vocational Service –Hywel Wyn Jones, Youth Service- Alun John, International Service-Colin Fletcher and Foundation-Meurig Lewis.

The current Committee Chairs gave updated reports on their work, the recruitment and retention task group would be an ongoing feature and the level of formality at meetings would be kept under review.

It was agreed that £400 be donated via the BHF for defibrillators for use in near-by villages . The Club would again assist in beach clean-ups

Internationally, the proceeds from the annual pig-roast had purchased Lifestraws for a Kenyan village and had help provide mid-wife training in Uganda. The efforts of the local sea-cadets had provided a Shelterbox and £500 had gone to the Ebola appeal. Proceeds from a duckrace on the Rheidol in May would support Rotary work in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis.

On the Youth front, competitions in photography, writing, cooking, music had been very well supported and there had been great pleasure in the success of Ysgol Penweddig in winning the Welsh Youth Speaks final at the Senedd in Cardiff.

The recent Cabaret evening provided by the youth committee had raised £289 which would help fund next year’s activities.

Mock interviews held at three centres had been appreciated by 160 students including six Oxbridge candidates from Penglais School who had subsequently received offers.

It is the turn of Penglais to provide students for the RYLA outdoor activity in July at a new venue near Storey Arms.

President Hywel Davies thanked all for their sterling work throughout the year

67TH  CHARTER NIGHT  – 28 MARCH ‘15

On Saturday 29 th March members and their guests celebrated the 67th Anniversary of the Rotary Club of Aberystwyth at their Charter Night at the Marine Hotel.

Mark Williams MP, the chief guest, proposed the toast  “Rotary-locally and globally”.

His theme was ‘internationalism’ where he spoke of his visit as a parliamentarian to Nigeria as part of a global education  review. In a school of 600 there was no water supply in contrast to a debate in this country on whether to supply bottled water to our students in their classrooms.

He was aware that Rotary ran an ambassadorial scholarship scheme for overseas students. During his  visits to Nigeria and Tanzania he had met former graduates of Aberystwyth university who held high positions in their country.         In Morocco, where  a party of MPs  examining human rights, were obviously not welcome and were trailed by the secret police. Mr Williams thanked the Club for its work locally in the community and abroad in such ventures as ensuring the availability of clean water.

Aberystwyth  born Tomos Llwelfryn Davies responded. Now living in Epsom, he was the Founder President of the local Rotaract Club in 1985. The club catered for young people aged 18-30 and were involved in charity work as well as having great fun. The Rotaractors were grateful for the support of the Rotary club in its establishment particularly from the then Club President the late Iori Lewis

The professional and leadership skills gained during those years had  been invaluable in later life

In toasting the Guests, Club President Hywel Davies reviewed the Club activities to date. He thanked those who had been involved in staging the evening particularly the MC ,vice –president John Harries.

Dr Russell Davies who retired from the University in 2014 and now a full time writer on Welsh history responded on behalf of the guests. His humorous anecdotes drawn from Welsh life generated great laughter bringing a very enjoyable evening to a close.

March 17 2015    SUSTAINABLE  TRANSPORT

Sustainable transport was the subject of this week’s talk. The speaker, Huw Thomas works for the charity SUSTRANS, a charity enabling people to travel by foot, cycle or public transport.

The Welsh Government passed the Active Travel (Wales) Act in 2013, it legislates for the provision of routes designed for cycling and walking. The first integrated network is to be published by September 2017 after consultation with communities on the development of routes.

The speaker posed the question   Why bother?   Global warming and  CO2 emissions. There are thirty million cars in the UK –one car to every two people. 40% of all car  journeys are under two miles. Congestion costs the economy £4.34 million per year. Healthwise, 60% men and 72% women  fail to meet minimum  levels of physical activity which can be a contributory factor in many diseases.

Transport poverty-half the population is struggling with the cost of running a car. One in four cannot apply for a job because they have no car and public transport is inadequate.

The talk generated an interesting discussion which included lack of cycle parks, was Wales too hilly The need to integrate public transport and cycling. In peak times cycles were not allowed in trains. Why had cycle racks on buses disappeared ?     Do children prefer the PC to cycling? Or were there too many cars parked in streets inhibiting  kids on bikes?

Rtn Alun John thanked Huw for a very interesting talk that perhaps had made some guilty   enough to get out their old bikes.

 

 

FEBRUARY 17  2015   Lunch meeting      IOAN GUILE

At this week’s meeting, Ioan Guile of the Wardens theatrical group outlined its history from its formation by Aberystwyth Air Raid Wardens during World War Two to read plays and pass the time during wartime blackouts.

May 1945 saw the first production, a play called “The Private Secretary”  by Charles Hawtrey performed in aid of the Welcome Home Fund for returning service people. Llanbadarn Fawr church hall was the  venue which proved so successful that further performances took place in the Kings Hall, Aberystwyth,  in Borth and Machynlleth

Peacetime saw the Society continuing to perform until the mid 60s when theatre going was in decline. The Wardens became the Aberystwyth Players for a short time but  by the efforts of the late Jeff Davies, the re-formed Wardens staged “The Happy Apple“ in Theatr-y-Werin in April 1980.

In 1983 the Wardens performed their first pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk”, directed  by Richard Cheshire of the UCW Drama department. It won rave reviews in the Cambrian News and the pantomimes have become an annual event ever since. That first venture cost £5K to produce, the 2015 panto cost £50-60 K. The performers are not paid, the Art Centre takes 20% of the box office receipts, with the set costing £12 K. Local people are encouraged to do various jobs, the student population being particularly valuable with some going on to West End  productions. Panto profits are used for a second show, last year it was “Noises Off”and in  2013, a tastefully done “Calendar Girls” was staged.

With a 80-90% capacity up to five thousand people attend the performances. Ioan was confident that next year’s production of  “Beauty and the Beast” would fill the theatre so his advice was book now.

Club president Hywel Davies thanked the speaker for his talk on what was very much a local success story.

 

Lunchtime meeting – John Davies – Pwllpeiran – 22 January 2015
Mr Davies is a former student of Gelli Aur and Welsh Agricultural Colleges and has enjoyed a wide and varied career in the Agricultural sector. He recounted some of his experiences during the BSE crisis of the 1990s and the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001but on the positive side, during his time as Director of Food Centre Wales he was instrumental in setting up the Farmers Market in Aberystwyth which has wide ancillary benefits for the local economy.

Pwllpeiran is run under the umbrella of IBERS  at Gogerddan and therefore Aberystwyth University  and has 900 acres of upland under its control. Approximately 80% of land in Wales is either upland or marginal land and is producing the best quality lamb. However diversity is important and experiments on different types of grasses that will also support cattle are making excellent progress.
Biomass fuels are also being  developed as well as carbon neutral materials to replace straw as bedding material. Daffodils are also being grown as a separate crop and in grassland  as  a chemical they contain-galanthamine-is showing in experiments as being effective in slowing down the progress of Alzheimers.
Mr Davies emphasised the need for the continued development of agriculture as food supplies would become critical as world population exploded but it was also essential  that environmental considerations should be given the same priority.
Past-President Haydn Davies thanked Mr Davies for his talk and his contribution to Welsh agriculture and expressed his pleasure at the re-emergence of Pwllpeiran as a research centre.

Lunchtime meeting – Colin Fletcher – India, the Golden Triangle – 16 December 2014
At this week’s meeting, Past-President Colin Fletcher gave a slide presentation of his trip to India where he travelled the Golden Triangle from Delhi to Agra and Jaipur. His excellent slides highlighted the architectural splendour of so many buildings seen on the tour.

Situated in the heart of New Delhi, the India Gate is the National Monument of India. Designed by Lutyens, it is 42 metres high and was originally known as the All India War memorial. Built in 1931 it commemorates the ninety thousand men of the British Indian Army who fell in WW1
The spectacular Baha’i Lotus Temple was completed in 1986 and was designed to resemble a lotus flower with 27 giant white marble petals springing from nine pools, symbolising the nine spiritual paths of the Baha’i faith.
Colin’s talk linked the many magnificent buildings with the Mughals who once ruled large parts of India and beyond. The Taj Mahal in Agra is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world. It commemorates both the Mughal Emperor Shan Jahan and his wife who died during the birth of their fourteenth child. Completed in 1653 it is the finest example of Mughal architecture.
Jaipur-the Pink City is also blessed with magnificent edifices- the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds a signature building erected in 1799 to house the purdahed ladies of the harem to observe the outside world. During the monsoon when water fills a lake, the Jal Mahal or Water Palace seems to float serenely on the calm waters.
In giving the vote of thanks Rtn Richard Morgan said that the architecture of the Mughal emperors had been clearly shown through historical pictures. India , the largest democracy in the world, was a land of great diversity of culture, race and language.

Evening meeting -Young Musician competition – 18 November 2014
14_music_comp

Lunchtime meeting – Wil Troughton – Aberystwyth’s First World War – 11 November 2014
” Aberystwyth and the Great War ” was the title of a talk given by William Troughton at this week’s meeting. He is preparing a book on the subject to be published next year. In August 1914 some days before the declaration of war, a group of Aberystwyth naval reservists assembled for the journey to Devonport. Fourteen of them joined HMS Jupiter, an old battleship which was deployed as a guard ship before leaving for Archangel to act as an icebreaker allowing supply ships to enter the White Sea. They had to contend with a force 9 gale and -23 degrees C as well as being icebound for some time with food supplies low. After four months at sea, the Aber contingent were given a civic reception in May 1915. The Jupiter crew were allawarded silver medals by Emperor Nicholas 11. As early as 1908, the Territorial Army recruited over 140 men to establish the Cardiganshire Battery , a gunnery unit which saw war service in Egypt and the Suez Canal. RSM Fear initiated a Comforts Fund which purchased cigarettes and other items for the troops. Confirmation of receipt was encouraged so relatives were reassured that all was well. Mr Troughton touched on life in the trenches and the action of Lewis Pugh Evans who was awarded the VC for his exploits. At home there was the unsavoury episode of the German Professor, Hermann Ethe driven out of town by a large angry mob. Local householders were forced to take soldiers who trained on the Prom and Constitution Hill . The Theological College was closed to students and became a Red Cross hospital where local women acted nurses. In 1915 a blackout was declared to avoid the attention of German submarines in the Irish Sea. The town held the record in the UK for donations during War Weapons Week in 1918 The town became a refuge for many Belgian artists and musicians who became attached to the College and whose children attended local schools. Concluding his talk, William appealed for documents and photographs of the time of the Great War. President Hywel thanked him for his presentation which had involved much research.

Lunchtime meeting – Ceridwen Lewis – Global Exchange Volunteer – 4 November 2014
The speaker at this week’s meeting was Ceridwen Lewis a former pupil of Penweddig and Penglais Schools and an honours graduate of Sussex University,

Ceridwen was successful in becoming a Global Xchange volunteer with the Voluntary Overseas Service (VSO) which is run in partnership with the British Council .
She was also successful in gaining a grant from the Rotary Club for her venture.
Ceridwen spent three months working on community projects in Rangpur, Bangladesh with Polli Sree, a Human and women’s rights campaign, A small country, but the world’s eighth most populous with 180 million, it is flooded for 80% of the time.
Ceridwen lived with a host family and got used to curried meals three times daily. Traditional dress was adopted with a sarong on celebration days and some Bengali was learnt. She also did some protesting on behalf of women particularly for the very poor and low caste Hindi.
For the remaining three months in Edinburgh she volunteered with Stepping Stones, a charity that provides support for people with mental health problems. Her art background enabled her to set up art workshops as well as using a new skill – making curries.Ceridwen thanked the Club for their financial support, adding that she is using the experience gained as a Global Xchange volunteer working as a Refugee Support for the British Red Cross as a voluntary asylum case worker based in London.
President Hywel congratulated her on her presentation delivered confidently and with humour

Lunchtime meeting – Jordan Shapiro – Rotary Global scholar – 28 October 2014
After an interval of four years, the local Club is again hosting an overseas Rotary Scholar this academic year. A University of Rochester, New York alumna, Jordan Shapiro will continue her studies of international relations through a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship by pursuing a master’s degree at the department of International Politics at the University. This is not her first visit to Wales. In 2011 through a US-UK Fulbright scholarship Jordan spent six weeks in Wales studying our culture, history, economy and language. She met faculty members in the highly regarded International Politics department which sparked her interest in the Welsh Government and Devolution . Her research will examine how the UK nations’ system of government can be a model for other countries embroiled in separist conflict. This is in line with the Rotary Global Grant’s focus on peace and conflict resolution. The Club’s vice-president John Harries who is acting as Jordan’s counsellor, thanked her, adding that her enthusiasm for her subject was obvious. Members would look forward to learning how her studies had developed.

Lunchtime meeting – Christine Thorpe, Lifestraws – 21 October 2014
The Rotary Club of Brynmawr, south east Wales,  has been promoting a water filter known as LifeStraw since 2005. Manufactured by a Norwegian company, it is a portable water filter that effectively removes all bacteria and parasites responsible for causing common diarrhoeal diseases. It requires no electrical power, no spare parts or chemicals and can be carried around for easy access to safe and clean water away from home simply by sucking as using a straw.
At this week’s meeting, Chris Thorpe, president of the Brynmawr Club spoke to members on the use of the three variants of LifeStraw and how they have been  distributed worldwide by her Club.
The Individual and original model can filter at least 1,000 litres of water  before being discarded and costs £10. It is not meant for sharing and can be cleared by blowing.
The Family model costs £30 , again is an instant microbiological water purifier for routine use in  the home. It filters up to 18,000 litres which is enough to supply a family of five for three years. It does not require running water or a piped-in  supply in any form. It has an easy to clean prefilter and purification cartridge.
The recently introduced Community model is a point-of-use water purifier intended for use in community, educational or institutional settings. It can process 100,000 litres in a three year life and provides convenient access via 4 taps and a 25 litre built in storage tank.
The speaker noted that every 20 seconds somewhere in the world , a child would die as a result of drinking unsafe water. In an hour 180 children – in a day ?-  in a year?
In  2011 in the worst drought in East Africa for sixty years, the Brynmawr Club sent thousands of Personal and Family models to the region to be distributed by local Rotary Clubs. They have also been heavily involved in Pakistan, Haiti and the Philippines.
After being thanked by past-president Meurig Lewis , the Club’s International chair, vice-president John Harries presented a cheque for £1000 to Chris for her Club’s Water Projects. The cheque represented the profit from the summer pig roast.

Lunchtime meeting – Tony Bates – Developments at Aberystwyth Football club – 14 October 2014
Tony Bates, the local solicitor who is chairman of Aberystwyth Football Club was this week’s speaker. The Club was founded in 1884 and has had a proud history. To remember the fourteen players who failed to return from the Great War, the Club will soon unveil a memorial to them in the Clubhouse
In 1900 the Club won the Welsh Cup and almost repeated the feat last year narrowly losing to the New Saints in the final.
The early games were played on the College Vicarage field which Lord Davies bought for the College in 1907. Later the current ground was acquired as the Smithfield Park now Park Avenue. To alleviate the frequent flooding the ground was raised four feet by bringing in debris which has proved to be a problem with the maintenance of the playing area..
In 19e of European Football,Clubs have to have improved infrastructure and need sound finances. In 1998 Mr Bates was instrumental in securing sponsorship from Safeways at a time when finances were desperately low. He has been heavily involved with the Club since that time.
In Febru92 the FAW established the National League of Wales with Aber FC one of 20 clubs which have now been reduced to 12. With the chancary this year plans were announced for great changes to the ground in association with Tai Ceredigion including an artificial pitch, new housing,
a dedicated youth centre and a new spectator stand. However currently those developments are on hold.
Rtn Iori Jones in thanking Tony, said that the Club had a solid future, played good football and hoped that the exciting plans would come to fruition.

Evening meeting – Colin Evans – Wales’s lost international – 23 September 2014
Colin Evans MBE , former head of Thomas Picton High School and later Schools Liason Officer UCW was the speaker at an evening meeting this week.

He explained how he had searched the records to confirm a family held belief that great uncle Dai Evans had played rugby for Wales.
Born in Maenclochog, Pembs in 1872, his father , a railwayman, was killed when an engine went out of control , Dai was two years old.
With too many people looking for few jobs in farming, he saw his future in the coal mines of SouthWales, Cwmparc in the Rhondda.
Physically strong, 6 foot tall and 15 ½ stone he was soon attracted to rugby football. At that time, 1891, the game was being imported from the English public schools and Oxbridge.
St David’s College, Lampeter was a founding member of the Welsh Rugby Union when its vice-principal, an Oxford man introduced the game to his students. The game rapidly caught on particularly in the coalmining valleys where colliers of immense strength caused the English union to complain about their tactics and physicality.
Aided by his size he joined the Glamorgan Constabulary, gained five Welsh caps but was drawn back to his home county in 1908, becoming a tenant farmer
At the age of 38 in 1929, he died from TB.
Colin’s research had shown that sixty thousand families had left west Wales in search of employment in south Wales but had kept their roots in Pembrokeshire.
Hywel Wynn Jones thanked the speaker for a talk on an intriguing subject, a fascinating look into migration and how they had become part of a new society.

Lunchtime meeting – Foundation scholars Conor Berner and Peter John – 2nd September 2014
Conor Berner from Talybont and Peter John from Rhydyfelin, both former Penglais School pupils were this year’s beneficiaries of the Rotary Club’s scholarship awards for work of a humanitarian nature overseas.

At this week’s meeting they gave a slide presentation of their experiences in a ten week visit to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and the Andes.
The first three weeks were spent in Santa Domingo, Ecuador workingon a reforestation project and building ecological toilets. Two new toilets were constructed with a bamboo frame and roofed with leaves. When the 6 metre hole was full after two years it provided compost. In their free time they played football with local tribe members or swam in the river which was the only washing provision. Tribe members showed off their traditional dress which included dying their hair red using crushed seeds.
In the Galapagos they worked for three weeks on a farm which included herding and milking the cows, clearing an area for a plant nursery and with machetes, removing invasive plants which threatened native species. The boys did their own cooking – because it came from mainland Ecuador, food was expensive though the Wednesday Pizzas were a treat.
In a town in the Andes they dug channels for pipe work for six hour stretches conveying water to houses. Time was also spent helping in the local school as well as learning some Spanish .
Before leaving for home they visited Machu Picchu and glaciers in Peru, salt flats in Bolivia, and Rio de Janeiro .
In thanking the speakers for their excellent presentation. Rtn Hugh Davies said it was it was of great benefit to be able to travel worldwide at such a young age and that the experience would be with them for life. He wished them every success in their forthcoming university career.

Lunchtime meeting – Allan Lewis – 19th August 2014
Allan Lewis ,this week’s speaker is head of Economic and Community Development Services with Ceredigion County Council. His responsibilities include Regeneration, Town Centre and Commercial development, Business Support grants and European funding.

Recent changes in the Authority had seen the reduction in the number of Officers resulting in the condensing of work which in the speaker’s opinion had been beneficial in bringing things together. Officers were dealing in many fields and needed to be multiskilled particularly with the Council facing huge budget cuts.
Mr Lewis invited members to take a questionnaire which asked which services should be protected. Leisure centres and tourist offices were vulnerable and were in the hit list of 170 services
Aberystwyth was being promoted as a regional and national centre and is one of three towns being assessed by the Academy of Urbanism as a Great Town.
Regeneration plans were subject to control by Cardiff so plans for an athletic track, Clocktower Square, the Coliseum and paddling pool were being delayed because the new Minister for Regeneration and Housing has given priority to housing.
Speaking of the Mill Street development, the so called Road to Nowhere at Parcyllyn now has Welsh Government and Council premises and the car park will provide free parking for three hours as well as jobs for 300.
Properties in the town were being improved or being sold to the private sector. An interest free loan of £1.25 from Welsh Government would be used for regeneration or recycling at enhanced value to provide revenue for other purposes.
The £35m spent on Bronglais Hospital, the student village, the railway station improvements, the plans of Network Rail,and the Promenade would add to the town’s claim as a regional and national centre.
Mr Lewis fielded questions which included the museum, the old Boots premises, the Express café and sea defence and was thanked by a former colleague Emlyn Watkin
for his presentation adding that Allan was the right person in the right job.

Lunchtime meeting – Geraint Evans – 12th August 2014
Geraint Evans, the Ceredigion Manager for Music Service since 2011, was this week’s speaker. The Service has just developed a website which is updated daily for parents to view the calendar of activities and for past students to contribute as well as to listen to audio clips of concerts performed.

Geraint outlined a year in the life of the Service starting in September with the start of the primary schools’ ensembles leading to a concert in March. Three Friday evenings in Aberaeron are devoted to the intermediate wind and strings with over 80 participants in each. In December from the 5-7, is the three day County orchestra course in Llangranog with a concert on the 15 December. The senior choir will be involved though Geraint admitted that with a shortage of senior boys with exam commitments it was a struggle. The senior orchestra would perform Dvorak’s New World Symphony in the Great Hall 15 December.
A wind and strings course for seniors in January would be followed by a concert and the Spring term would see tutor Alan Phillips start rehearsals for his youth band.
Alan, over 31 years as music tutor, has had phenomenal success , in the National Youth brass band of Wales where 12 of the 52 members were Alan’s pupils.
A concert in the Art Centre on February 25, will feature the primary schools’ choir for 7 to 10 year olds led by Alison Powell. The current Six Counties scheme is difficult to administer so there may be a reversion to the three counties. Sadly there is no music service in Powis.
The Kronberg twinning is strengthened by regular exchange visits by local young musicians. September will see a new venture- music ambassadors, year 12 students will visit schools to talk about their experiences of the music service to encourage youngsters to become involved .
Musical instruments are supplied for the first year after which there is an assisted purchase scheme to buy their own instruments. Geraint emphasised the part played by Friends of Ceredigion Young Musicians. From the annual fee of £10, over £8,000 has been raised and spent on renewing instruments.
In thanking the speaker Rtn Derek Whiting spoke of the part Rotary played in arranging music competitions for youth. He also paid tribute to Geraint in his role of musical director of the bandstand concerts enjoyed by so many.

Lunchtime meeting – DG Sandra Townsend – 29th July 2014
At this week’s meeting, President Hywel Davies welcomed District Governor Sandra Townsend of the Porthcawl club. DG Sandra spoke on the critical matter of declining membership in Britain and Ireland while in the rest of the world the movement was growing. Rotary generally was against change but she had already implemented changes in the annual Assembly and District council meetings. ‘We should lighten and light up Rotary’

The battle against polio was ongoing encouraged by the news that India was now polio-free.
Having read of the Club’s projects for the year she was particular impressed with the plans for youth activities.
In thanking the District Governor for making the long trip to visit the Club, President Hywel commented that she was a breath of fresh air and an inspiring leader.
Present at the meeting was Liliana Melnik from Aber’s twin town Esquel, Patagonia, She addressed the meeting in fluent Welsh and brought a message from the Rotary Club of Esquel. The President of that Club, Norma Pazos wrote that July 2015 would be the 150 th anniversary of the arrival of La Mimosa carrying 153 passengers including five from Aberystwyth, to found the Welsh settlement in Patagonia. She invited the Aber Club to become involved in some of the celebratory projects. Hywel thanked Liliana and looked forward to having more details of the plans.

Lunchtime meeting – Nigel Nicholas – 22nd July 2014
Nigel Nicholas, the Ceredigion Coast Path officer was this week’s speaker.

In the year 2000 Ceredigion secured half a million pounds of Objective One funding to create the path from the Teifi estuary in Cardigan to the Dyfi estuary at Ynyslas. The Path, 60 miles in length , took six years to construct and was officially opened on 4 July 2008 and is part of an All -Wales coastal path 870 miles long. Wales is the first country world-wide to have a such a path along its coastline.
The total cost of construction was £150,000 with much of the work undertaken by volunteers who cut paths, built bridges and replaced stiles with gates to help the disabled.
It is estimated that in its first year, the Path generated £32m and bringing a 100.000 tourists to Wales in an extended holiday season. The Cardi Bach shuttle bus servicing the path has had its hours extended and is no longer just seasonal such has been its success.
Initially 95% of landowners were against the project but by its completion 95% had agreed for easement over their land.
Maintenance of the path is no easy task, £60K is spent annually on brush cutting.
Erosion of the glacial clay cliffs by sea action and land drains necessitates moving the path inland by agreement and good will. Badger sets have been a problem but by the use of one way gates the sett will eventually close for new sets to be built off the path. Care has been taken to ensure no disturbance of wild life – seals and their pupping sites, the iconic choughs have their habitat improved.
Past-president Haydn Davies said it was a pleasure to be asked to give the vote of thanks to his former student .It was pleasing to learn of the contribution of local volunteers to the project, the enhancement of tourism attracting people to our lovely county and the success in winning over landowners .

Lunchtime meeting – Roy Roberts – 8th July 2014
Roy Roberts, a fairly new Club member, spoke at this week’s meeting of his career in journalism and broadcasting. Roy is Aber born and returning home after 40 years away he had seen many changes in the town particularly the threefold increase in the student population since the Sixties.
During his schooldays at Ardwyn he became a radio ‘anorak’, building his own receivers to listen in world wide. At that time he took part in the ITV quiz ‘Taro Deg’ answering all ten questions correctly and winning £95.
After Swansea University where he read journalism and involved in student politics he became an indentured journalist with the Western Mail. He described his work there as brutal and where a thick skin was needed to survive. In those days the paper sold a hundred thousand copies where today it’s thirty thousand. He criticised the London papers for lack of Welsh news.
Roy was industrial correspondent when the coal and steel industries were in decline with the slimming down at Shotton, Port Talbot and Llanwern. However the arrival of Sony, Ford and Panasonic reduced the trauma of job losses.
A move to television followed where technology was quite primitive with foot-operated auto cue which often went wrong. Then producer of Wales Today, and local radio stations from Bristol and Plymouth where some current TV news readers honed their skills in his charge and to Pebble Mill in the Midlands.
He had seen huge changes in broadcasting- the nine or so BBC TV channels as well as 12 radio channels plus the commercials which gave a huge choice. He touched on the licence fee and its future when currently down – loading needed no fee.
President Hywel Davies thanked the speaker for an interesting talk giving an insight into the world of broadcasting

Lunchtime meeting – Dana Edwards – 1st July 2014
.This week’s speaker Dana Edwards, as an introduction to her talk on Aberystwyth, presented members with a 10 question quiz which included the year the first lifeboat arrived, what disaster befell the people of the town in 1349 and who originally owned the first car to be registered in Ceredigion EJ1
The theme of her talk was books which could provide the perfect memory revealing much . Books had provided the speaker with much information on Aberystwyth which was the substance of her talk.
Much had been said about the town’s name .Should it have been Aber-rheidol. Whatever its name it was easily pronounceable unlike many other Welsh town names.
From the early hill-side settlement at Tan y Castell to becoming known as the Biarritz of Wales the population grew from 200 in 1800 to five thousand in 1850.
With the coming of the railway, it became tourist destination with hotels to match the demand. The Waterloo, later to become the site of the King’s Hall, had 120 beds Queens had 80 . The climate, the air, sunsets and sea bathing were all promoted, the salt is was claimed stimulated the skin and had healing properties.
Bathing huts appeared in 1835 as it was prohibited to undress on the beach. If sea swimming was not for you the Bath St baths had heated sea water in 1880 .
Most visitors stayed for a fortnight to enjoy the entertainment, the gardens, theatre, the bandstand, golf and tennis, boat trips and donkey rides- “the place where holiday fun begins”.
Following the 39-45 war, during which the town hosted army units and the RAF, the Town became less popular and with the coming of cars and caravans the old form of tourism had changed.
Dana referred to the Court Leet which showed the power of the Pryse family of Gogerddan. As the chief land owner, for hundreds of years the control of the town lay in their hands. Through burgesses they could also decide who should go to the Westminster parliament- usually a Pryce.
The affairs of the town were governed by the Court Leet which met twice yearly up to 1835. Use of the stocks and public flogging were common and idle vagabonds were marched through the town.
The list of famous visitors included Alfred Llord Tennyson, John Ruskin, WilliamWilberforce and John Keeble. Those granted the Freedom of the Town include Sir John Williams , founder of the National Library, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill.
Officiating as Club President for the first time, Dr Hywel Davies thanked Dana for an entertaining and fascinating presentation which had involved much research
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Lunchtime meeting – Kim Peartree – 3 June 2014
WaterAid is an international charity that transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and  sanitation. Rotary International,in supported the charity for  twenty-five years, has raised more than £20m

At this week’s meeting, Kim Peartree of WaterAid spoke of the work of the charity using the mission statement “ Water and Sanitation for all”. Their vision is to provide clean, safe water for everyone by 2030 –currently 2.5 billion people do not have access to a toilet so it is not surprising that diarrhoea kills two thousand children every day.
In the UK, 200 litres of water are used per person per day, in the US it is twice that but in the developing countries the figure is 10 litres per day 
One in ten people in the world have to walk several miles for water resulting in millions of school days lost, as well as  billions of working hours.
WaterAid works in 26 countries in Asia and Africa but lately has had to pull out of Angola. The charity has massive support from UK water companies.
The speaker explained that WaterAid worked in partner ship with the communities helping them to help themselves –  villagers dug wells and mixed concrete . On a recent  visit to a  project in Nepal, Kim saw that one  benefit on completion of a project was the  generation of a grerat community spirit as well as the provision of fundamental needs.
Kim ended her talk by thanking the Club and Rotary in general for their fundraising.
In thanking Kim, President Colin noted that supply of water was taken for granted and was pleased  that the Rotary Prom wishing well was now devoted to fund raising for WaterAid . Thanks to the generosity of townspeople and visitors the latest donation to WaterAid was £820

Evening meeting – John Wilden – 13 May 2014
At this week’s evening meeting , President Colin, members and partners welcomed John Wilden as guest speaker, John has been a practicing osteopath for 39 years based in Llanidloes .
However his illustrated talk was on his trek to Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, in September 2013 when in a party of 48 brave souls including celebrities rugby legend  Martin Williams, naturalist Iolo Williams and comedian Rhod Gilbert tackled the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet.
Kilimanjaro is made up of three volcanic cones, two of which are extinct and the third Kibo is dormant. The ascent took four days, the descent two.
Sponsorship raised more than £300,000 for the Felindre Cancer  hospital near Cardiff
Although the ascent was not blessed with clear weather, John’s slides showed the  changes in vegetation from rain forest to alpine deserts and the volcanic terrain.
As the climb progressed, altitude problems  appeared which the medics in the group       had to treat. Some of the party were unable to continue from the Kibo base camp  for the final push to the summit which started at 11pm at -30 degrees, to  allow a daytime traverse of the perimeter of the volcanic caldera of Kibo and a  four hours descent to the Horombo camp. The last day was blessed  with sunny weather for the final trek through the rain forest and the final signing out from the   national park. John was fortunate to be a early lever from the park which allowed him to join a safari and enjoys sightings of the African wildlife.
Vice-President Hywel Davies thanked the speaker for a superb talk which had  engaged and fascinated everyone present
                                                          

Lunchtime meeting – Keith Morris – 6 May 2014
Local freelance photographer and photojournalist Keith Morris gave a lively, enthusiastic and amusing presentation of his photographic skills to Club members this week.

Keith has been chronicling local events since 1977 using the Barn Centre, with other artists since 1982.
Perhaps it came as a surprise to some that his images have graced the pages of most of our National papers indeed a photo of an Aber storm on New Year’s Eve 2012 found the front page of the Guardian which earned him £150.
He showed some spectacular shots of this winter’s storms and the damage caused. In the course of his work, Keith was struck by a wave which ruined his £6.000 camera. He showed an exclusive image of the boy stranded on the wooden jetty by the huge seas. This was taken from the safety of the RNLI station and within five minutes the image was in the offices of the Sunday Times and Express!
His image of three figures jumping into the sea from a beach groyne was purchased through his agency by Elton John-if he’d known the prospective purchaser he would have added a few noughts.
One striking image was of a Jewish family standing atop Constitutional Hill with the bay in the background, fire raging for half a mile across Borth bog after the months of rain, and the spectacular murmuration of the Pier starlings were other images shown. His photograph of the uncovered Bronze Age forest at Borth made the Times and the National Geographic news. The arrival of the Council gritter at Nantyrarian made for a great wintry scene
In thanking the speaker Rtn. Roy Roberts whose career was in journalism remembered the days of small black and white newspaper images.
The new technology allowed of a more creative talent which the speaker had shown to have in abundance.
President Colin thanked Rtn John Harris and members who had helped in the latest session of mock interviews, this time at Coleg Ceredigion.

Lunchtime meeting – James Cass – 8 April 2014
The speaker at this week’s meeting was James Cass, sales and marketing manager of Dulas Ltd, of the Dyfi Eco-Park, Machynlleth.

Dulas was formed in 1982 as a commercial subsidiary of the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth and are pioneers of the renewable energy industry,
responsible for thousands of megawatts of installations world wide. Thirty years ago they were among the first to specialise in renewable energy, the market was very small, the company concentrated on the international market. They worked with the UN providing the technology for solar powered vaccine and blood fridges for some of the world’s remotest regions as well as systems for pumping water and essential power supply.
Before the Shard was built, the Heron Tower was the tallest London building. It had a problem with its vast array of glass producing so much convected heat that the lifts were unstable. Dulas were able to install solar cells which had a shading effect but also generated electricity for use in the building.
Amongst their clients are Ty Nant, the National Trust, Unicef, Welsh Water, RME and the UK government. Many housing associations have adopted their photo-voltaic PV systems to provide ‘free’ electricity as well as proving finance for reinvesting.
The first zero carbon church- St Martin’s in the Cotswolds has a solar panel system as well as a biomass boiler.
Wind turbines and hydro power are also within the company’s remit. The Scottish government are particularly sympathetic to hydro power potential.
The company act as consultants by providing feasibility and site finding, systems design and the environmental impact.
President Colin thanked the speaker for the insight into the work of company on our doorstep involving the vital area of green technology. No doubt their international work of solar powered refrigeration would have involved the carrying of the polio vaccine in Rotary’s fight against that disease.

Lunchtime meeting – Jo Kennaugh – 11 March 2014
Jo Kennaugh, Development Officer for DASH was the speaker at last week’s meeting.  DASH,  which stands for Disability and Self Help, provides leisure opportunities for disabled children and young people (4 -25 years old) living in Ceredigion.  Jo described the various schemes which the charity organises.

For the younger age group (4 – 11) playschemes are available in the Summer and Easter holidays which parents can book for a modest cost.  Free transport is provided and siblings within the age range are also included. There are also DASHAWAY weekends for this age group.  YMUNO provides financial help or one to one support for disabled children to attend mainstream play activities.
For the older age group there are a range of activities provided through DASHAWAY weekends, DASHABOUT FRENDZ and DASHABOUT activity days.  The UNO project, funded for 5 years by the Lottery, aims to provide opportunities to develop resilience and the skills necessary for adulthood.
The benefits of the work of DASH are threefold.  It offers families of disabled childen and young people short breaks from caring.  The children and young people greatly appreciate the chance to have new experiences and learn new skills, make new friends and have fun resulting in increased self esteem and confidence.  For the community, the charity offers volunteering opportunities to gain experience and training suitable for employment in the caring sector.
Rotarian Alun Rees thanked the speaker for her excellent presentation and President Colin Fletcher presented a cheque to the charity.

Lunchtime meeting – John Bradshaw – 4 March 2014
Club member John Bradshaw was this week’s speaker. Under the title ” Stupas, Payas and Pagodas ” he spoke of his travels in Burma/ Mayanmar.

His 500 mile journey started in Rangoon / Yangon using a guide with a very old taxi rather than the pre-planned bus and train.
Yangon is a crumbling, dilapidated colonial city with few cars, no big stores. No motor bikes allowed to reduce crime with the local transport tri-shaws
The Buddhist country is littered with places of worship as the title suggests and their building is still going on. Shwedagan Paya is clothed in 60 tonnes of gold. Huge Buddhas of stone, concrete or marble sit or recline everywhere.
A legacy of the Japanese invasion of Burma were the many war cemetaries where British and Colonial troops of the Burma campaign were buried or commemorated.
The country is very undeveloped, oxen driven carts and ploughs serve the extensive paddy fields, less than half of the country’s roads are sealed.
Fuel is rationed, three gallons is the maximum allowance though there are frequent illegal road side stocks at inflated prices.
In Kalau, John visited a long house of the Palaung tribe with its communal living, the occupants coughing in the 200 foot room full of smoke from the cooking fires.
In Mandalay he saw the biggest pile of bricks in the world., the remains of the huge Mingun paya destroyed in the 1800 earthquake. nearby was the Mingun Bell, at 90 tonnes the world’s largest hung bell.
A long standing ambition was fulfilled when John spent 10 hours on a boat trip on the Irrawady river before visiting Bagan and its two thousand temples dating from 1200AD. John showed a short video of group of men wielding sledge hammers making quite a noise. He explained that they were not a local band but engaged in making gold leaf. His last slide showed a number of military vehicles having their fuel siphoned out before moving back to base.
Club President Colin Fletcher thanked John for his presentation of another of his Michael Palin-like adventures.

Lunchtime meeting – Rhys Sutcliffe – 25 February 2014
At the meeting on 25th February the speaker was Rhys Sutcliffe, a pupil from Penglais School, who had been selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award Course, held annually at Dolygaer, Brecon.

Rhys explained that he was one of thirty young people from all parts of the UK who, at the commencement of the week-long course, knew nothing about their companions but, by the end of the week, they had made many new friends.
All the students were involved in caving, canoeing, mountaineering and orienteering under the guidance of experienced and qualified instructors. They were put into teams of six and assigned a daily activity and even though most activities were new to the students, after the first day, each of them was designated a leader in an activity for the following day so that by the end of the week every student had been a team leader.
Rhys thanked the club for giving him the opportunity to take part in the RYLA scheme for, not only had he gained an insight into the different practical skills involved during the week, but to develop his inter-personal skills which he hoped would be beneficial both at university and in his working life. President Colin thanked Rhys for giving such a clear account of his time at Dolygaer and wished him every success in his future studies and career.

Lunchtime meeting – Lindsay Fletcher – 28 January 2014
The guest speaker at the meeting was Lindsay Fletcher who gave an excellent talk about his work as Captain of the container ship Maersk Laguna. Born and bred in Swansea, but now living in Aberystwyth, Captain Fletcher told Rotarians that he had entered the Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton in 1970 to study for a National Diploma in Nautical Science before following a four year apprenticeship. He then progressed through the ranks – qualifying initially as Chief Officer and then, in 1994, as Master. His early career was spent working for P&O before it merged with Nedlloyd in 1997. In 2006, P&O Nedlloyd became part of the Danish business conglomerate Maersk – the world’s largest overseas cargo carrier operating over 600 vessels with a 3.8 million container capacity. He had taken command of the newly built Maersk Laguna in January 2012 and was one of two captains who sailed the ship, each in turn spending three months at sea and three months at home.
The scale of the ship was most impressive – 300 meters long, 45 meters wide, 24 meters high and with a draft of 14 meters. Weighing 130,000 tonnes, it carries 7,500, twenty-foot long, containers. Built for Maersk at a cost of $130 million by the Daewoo Shipbuilding company in Okpo, South Korea, it consumes 150 tonnes of fuel daily at a cost of $30,000. For a ship of it’s size it was surprising to learn that its Filipino crew was only 23 strong. Amongst the facilities provided on board are a gymnasium and a swimming pool. Sophisticated navigation systems ensure that, once set up, the ship steers automatically.
The main route for the Maersk Laguna is from South America to Europe stopping at Algeciras in Southern Spain – a ‘hub port’ where containers are moved on to other ships often destined for the Far East. Captain Fletcher explained that container ships such as his were now used as ‘warehouses’ with goods going directly from ship to factory or supermarket with no intermediate storage. His South American cargo was typically refrigerated food products such as beef, pork, poultry and citrus fruit. Concluding his talk, Captain Fletcher described the next generation of Maersk container ships – the ‘Triple E’ series, also built by Daewoo; these have capacity for 18,000 containers and an increased emphasis on fuel economy. A recent order, for ten of these huge ships, has been valued at $1.9 billion.
Past President Sonia Dobson thanked Captain Fletcher for a fascinating and illuminating talk and explained that, while she herself would shortly be sailing around the South American coast, it would be on board a cruise ship and not a container vessel!

Reports on recent activities and events

Lunchtime meeting – Colin Fletcher – India, the Golden Triangle – 16 December 2014
At this week’s meeting, Past-President Colin Fletcher gave a slide presentation of his trip to India where he travelled the Golden Triangle from Delhi to Agra and Jaipur. His excellent slides highlighted the architectural splendour of so many buildings seen on the tour.

Situated in the heart of New Delhi, the India Gate is the National Monument of India. Designed by Lutyens, it is 42 metres high and was originally known as the All India War memorial. Built in 1931 it commemorates the ninety thousand men of the British Indian Army who fell in WW1
The spectacular Baha’i Lotus Temple was completed in 1986 and was designed to resemble a lotus flower with 27 giant white marble petals springing from nine pools, symbolising the nine spiritual paths of the Baha’i faith.
Colin’s talk linked the many magnificent buildings with the Mughals who once ruled large parts of India and beyond. The Taj Mahal in Agra is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world. It commemorates both the Mughal Emperor Shan Jahan and his wife who died during the birth of their fourteenth child. Completed in 1653 it is the finest example of Mughal architecture.
Jaipur-the Pink City is also blessed with magnificent edifices- the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds a signature building erected in 1799 to house the purdahed ladies of the harem to observe the outside world. During the monsoon when water fills a lake, the Jal Mahal or Water Palace seems to float serenely on the calm waters.
In giving the vote of thanks Rtn Richard Morgan said that the architecture of the Mughal emperors had been clearly shown through historical pictures. India , the largest democracy in the world, was a land of great diversity of culture, race and language.

Evening meeting -Young Musician competition – 18 November 2014
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Lunchtime meeting – Wil Troughton – Aberystwyth’s First World War – 11 November 2014
” Aberystwyth and the Great War ” was the title of a talk given by William Troughton at this week’s meeting. He is preparing a book on the subject to be published next year. In August 1914 some days before the declaration of war, a group of Aberystwyth naval reservists assembled for the journey to Devonport. Fourteen of them joined HMS Jupiter, an old battleship which was deployed as a guard ship before leaving for Archangel to act as an icebreaker allowing supply ships to enter the White Sea. They had to contend with a force 9 gale and -23 degrees C as well as being icebound for some time with food supplies low. After four months at sea, the Aber contingent were given a civic reception in May 1915. The Jupiter crew were allawarded silver medals by Emperor Nicholas 11. As early as 1908, the Territorial Army recruited over 140 men to establish the Cardiganshire Battery , a gunnery unit which saw war service in Egypt and the Suez Canal. RSM Fear initiated a Comforts Fund which purchased cigarettes and other items for the troops. Confirmation of receipt was encouraged so relatives were reassured that all was well. Mr Troughton touched on life in the trenches and the action of Lewis Pugh Evans who was awarded the VC for his exploits. At home there was the unsavoury episode of the German Professor, Hermann Ethe driven out of town by a large angry mob. Local householders were forced to take soldiers who trained on the Prom and Constitution Hill . The Theological College was closed to students and became a Red Cross hospital where local women acted nurses. In 1915 a blackout was declared to avoid the attention of German submarines in the Irish Sea. The town held the record in the UK for donations during War Weapons Week in 1918 The town became a refuge for many Belgian artists and musicians who became attached to the College and whose children attended local schools. Concluding his talk, William appealed for documents and photographs of the time of the Great War. President Hywel thanked him for his presentation which had involved much research.

Lunchtime meeting – Ceridwen Lewis – Global Exchange Volunteer – 4 November 2014
The speaker at this week’s meeting was Ceridwen Lewis a former pupil of Penweddig and Penglais Schools and an honours graduate of Sussex University,

Ceridwen was successful in becoming a Global Xchange volunteer with the Voluntary Overseas Service (VSO) which is run in partnership with the British Council .
She was also successful in gaining a grant from the Rotary Club for her venture.
Ceridwen spent three months working on community projects in Rangpur, Bangladesh with Polli Sree, a Human and women’s rights campaign, A small country, but the world’s eighth most populous with 180 million, it is flooded for 80% of the time.
Ceridwen lived with a host family and got used to curried meals three times daily. Traditional dress was adopted with a sarong on celebration days and some Bengali was learnt. She also did some protesting on behalf of women particularly for the very poor and low caste Hindi.
For the remaining three months in Edinburgh she volunteered with Stepping Stones, a charity that provides support for people with mental health problems. Her art background enabled her to set up art workshops as well as using a new skill – making curries.Ceridwen thanked the Club for their financial support, adding that she is using the experience gained as a Global Xchange volunteer working as a Refugee Support for the British Red Cross as a voluntary asylum case worker based in London.
President Hywel congratulated her on her presentation delivered confidently and with humour

Lunchtime meeting – Jordan Shapiro – Rotary Global scholar – 28 October 2014
After an interval of four years, the local Club is again hosting an overseas Rotary Scholar this academic year. A University of Rochester, New York alumna, Jordan Shapiro will continue her studies of international relations through a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship by pursuing a master’s degree at the department of International Politics at the University. This is not her first visit to Wales. In 2011 through a US-UK Fulbright scholarship Jordan spent six weeks in Wales studying our culture, history, economy and language. She met faculty members in the highly regarded International Politics department which sparked her interest in the Welsh Government and Devolution . Her research will examine how the UK nations’ system of government can be a model for other countries embroiled in separist conflict. This is in line with the Rotary Global Grant’s focus on peace and conflict resolution. The Club’s vice-president John Harries who is acting as Jordan’s counsellor, thanked her, adding that her enthusiasm for her subject was obvious. Members would look forward to learning how her studies had developed.

Lunchtime meeting – Christine Thorpe, Lifestraws – 21 October 2014
The Rotary Club of Brynmawr, south east Wales,  has been promoting a water filter known as LifeStraw since 2005. Manufactured by a Norwegian company, it is a portable water filter that effectively removes all bacteria and parasites responsible for causing common diarrhoeal diseases. It requires no electrical power, no spare parts or chemicals and can be carried around for easy access to safe and clean water away from home simply by sucking as using a straw.
At this week’s meeting, Chris Thorpe, president of the Brynmawr Club spoke to members on the use of the three variants of LifeStraw and how they have been  distributed worldwide by her Club.
The Individual and original model can filter at least 1,000 litres of water  before being discarded and costs £10. It is not meant for sharing and can be cleared by blowing.
The Family model costs £30 , again is an instant microbiological water purifier for routine use in  the home. It filters up to 18,000 litres which is enough to supply a family of five for three years. It does not require running water or a piped-in  supply in any form. It has an easy to clean prefilter and purification cartridge.
The recently introduced Community model is a point-of-use water purifier intended for use in community, educational or institutional settings. It can process 100,000 litres in a three year life and provides convenient access via 4 taps and a 25 litre built in storage tank.
The speaker noted that every 20 seconds somewhere in the world , a child would die as a result of drinking unsafe water. In an hour 180 children – in a day ?-  in a year?
In  2011 in the worst drought in East Africa for sixty years, the Brynmawr Club sent thousands of Personal and Family models to the region to be distributed by local Rotary Clubs. They have also been heavily involved in Pakistan, Haiti and the Philippines.
After being thanked by past-president Meurig Lewis , the Club’s International chair, vice-president John Harries presented a cheque for £1000 to Chris for her Club’s Water Projects. The cheque represented the profit from the summer pig roast.

Lunchtime meeting – Tony Bates – Developments at Aberystwyth Football club – 14 October 2014
Tony Bates, the local solicitor who is chairman of Aberystwyth Football Club was this week’s speaker. The Club was founded in 1884 and has had a proud history. To remember the fourteen players who failed to return from the Great War, the Club will soon unveil a memorial to them in the Clubhouse
In 1900 the Club won the Welsh Cup and almost repeated the feat last year narrowly losing to the New Saints in the final.
The early games were played on the College Vicarage field which Lord Davies bought for the College in 1907. Later the current ground was acquired as the Smithfield Park now Park Avenue. To alleviate the frequent flooding the ground was raised four feet by bringing in debris which has proved to be a problem with the maintenance of the playing area..
In 19e of European Football,Clubs have to have improved infrastructure and need sound finances. In 1998 Mr Bates was instrumental in securing sponsorship from Safeways at a time when finances were desperately low. He has been heavily involved with the Club since that time.
In Febru92 the FAW established the National League of Wales with Aber FC one of 20 clubs which have now been reduced to 12. With the chancary this year plans were announced for great changes to the ground in association with Tai Ceredigion including an artificial pitch, new housing,
a dedicated youth centre and a new spectator stand. However currently those developments are on hold.
Rtn Iori Jones in thanking Tony, said that the Club had a solid future, played good football and hoped that the exciting plans would come to fruition.

Evening meeting – Colin Evans – Wales’s lost international – 23 September 2014
Colin Evans MBE , former head of Thomas Picton High School and later Schools Liason Officer UCW was the speaker at an evening meeting this week.

He explained how he had searched the records to confirm a family held belief that great uncle Dai Evans had played rugby for Wales.
Born in Maenclochog, Pembs in 1872, his father , a railwayman, was killed when an engine went out of control , Dai was two years old.
With too many people looking for few jobs in farming, he saw his future in the coal mines of SouthWales, Cwmparc in the Rhondda.
Physically strong, 6 foot tall and 15 ½ stone he was soon attracted to rugby football. At that time, 1891, the game was being imported from the English public schools and Oxbridge.
St David’s College, Lampeter was a founding member of the Welsh Rugby Union when its vice-principal, an Oxford man introduced the game to his students. The game rapidly caught on particularly in the coalmining valleys where colliers of immense strength caused the English union to complain about their tactics and physicality.
Aided by his size he joined the Glamorgan Constabulary, gained five Welsh caps but was drawn back to his home county in 1908, becoming a tenant farmer
At the age of 38 in 1929, he died from TB.
Colin’s research had shown that sixty thousand families had left west Wales in search of employment in south Wales but had kept their roots in Pembrokeshire.
Hywel Wynn Jones thanked the speaker for a talk on an intriguing subject, a fascinating look into migration and how they had become part of a new society.

Lunchtime meeting – Foundation scholars Conor Berner and Peter John – 2nd September 2014
Conor Berner from Talybont and Peter John from Rhydyfelin, both former Penglais School pupils were this year’s beneficiaries of the Rotary Club’s scholarship awards for work of a humanitarian nature overseas.

At this week’s meeting they gave a slide presentation of their experiences in a ten week visit to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and the Andes.
The first three weeks were spent in Santa Domingo, Ecuador workingon a reforestation project and building ecological toilets. Two new toilets were constructed with a bamboo frame and roofed with leaves. When the 6 metre hole was full after two years it provided compost. In their free time they played football with local tribe members or swam in the river which was the only washing provision. Tribe members showed off their traditional dress which included dying their hair red using crushed seeds.
In the Galapagos they worked for three weeks on a farm which included herding and milking the cows, clearing an area for a plant nursery and with machetes, removing invasive plants which threatened native species. The boys did their own cooking – because it came from mainland Ecuador, food was expensive though the Wednesday Pizzas were a treat.
In a town in the Andes they dug channels for pipe work for six hour stretches conveying water to houses. Time was also spent helping in the local school as well as learning some Spanish .
Before leaving for home they visited Machu Picchu and glaciers in Peru, salt flats in Bolivia, and Rio de Janeiro .
In thanking the speakers for their excellent presentation. Rtn Hugh Davies said it was it was of great benefit to be able to travel worldwide at such a young age and that the experience would be with them for life. He wished them every success in their forthcoming university career.

Lunchtime meeting – Allan Lewis – 19th August 2014
Allan Lewis ,this week’s speaker is head of Economic and Community Development Services with Ceredigion County Council. His responsibilities include Regeneration, Town Centre and Commercial development, Business Support grants and European funding.

Recent changes in the Authority had seen the reduction in the number of Officers resulting in the condensing of work which in the speaker’s opinion had been beneficial in bringing things together. Officers were dealing in many fields and needed to be multiskilled particularly with the Council facing huge budget cuts.
Mr Lewis invited members to take a questionnaire which asked which services should be protected. Leisure centres and tourist offices were vulnerable and were in the hit list of 170 services
Aberystwyth was being promoted as a regional and national centre and is one of three towns being assessed by the Academy of Urbanism as a Great Town.
Regeneration plans were subject to control by Cardiff so plans for an athletic track, Clocktower Square, the Coliseum and paddling pool were being delayed because the new Minister for Regeneration and Housing has given priority to housing.
Speaking of the Mill Street development, the so called Road to Nowhere at Parcyllyn now has Welsh Government and Council premises and the car park will provide free parking for three hours as well as jobs for 300.
Properties in the town were being improved or being sold to the private sector. An interest free loan of £1.25 from Welsh Government would be used for regeneration or recycling at enhanced value to provide revenue for other purposes.
The £35m spent on Bronglais Hospital, the student village, the railway station improvements, the plans of Network Rail,and the Promenade would add to the town’s claim as a regional and national centre.
Mr Lewis fielded questions which included the museum, the old Boots premises, the Express café and sea defence and was thanked by a former colleague Emlyn Watkin
for his presentation adding that Allan was the right person in the right job.

Lunchtime meeting – Geraint Evans – 12th August 2014
Geraint Evans, the Ceredigion Manager for Music Service since 2011, was this week’s speaker. The Service has just developed a website which is updated daily for parents to view the calendar of activities and for past students to contribute as well as to listen to audio clips of concerts performed.

Geraint outlined a year in the life of the Service starting in September with the start of the primary schools’ ensembles leading to a concert in March. Three Friday evenings in Aberaeron are devoted to the intermediate wind and strings with over 80 participants in each. In December from the 5-7, is the three day County orchestra course in Llangranog with a concert on the 15 December. The senior choir will be involved though Geraint admitted that with a shortage of senior boys with exam commitments it was a struggle. The senior orchestra would perform Dvorak’s New World Symphony in the Great Hall 15 December.
A wind and strings course for seniors in January would be followed by a concert and the Spring term would see tutor Alan Phillips start rehearsals for his youth band.
Alan, over 31 years as music tutor, has had phenomenal success , in the National Youth brass band of Wales where 12 of the 52 members were Alan’s pupils.
A concert in the Art Centre on February 25, will feature the primary schools’ choir for 7 to 10 year olds led by Alison Powell. The current Six Counties scheme is difficult to administer so there may be a reversion to the three counties. Sadly there is no music service in Powis.
The Kronberg twinning is strengthened by regular exchange visits by local young musicians. September will see a new venture- music ambassadors, year 12 students will visit schools to talk about their experiences of the music service to encourage youngsters to become involved .
Musical instruments are supplied for the first year after which there is an assisted purchase scheme to buy their own instruments. Geraint emphasised the part played by Friends of Ceredigion Young Musicians. From the annual fee of £10, over £8,000 has been raised and spent on renewing instruments.
In thanking the speaker Rtn Derek Whiting spoke of the part Rotary played in arranging music competitions for youth. He also paid tribute to Geraint in his role of musical director of the bandstand concerts enjoyed by so many.

Lunchtime meeting – DG Sandra Townsend – 29th July 2014
At this week’s meeting, President Hywel Davies welcomed District Governor Sandra Townsend of the Porthcawl club. DG Sandra spoke on the critical matter of declining membership in Britain and Ireland while in the rest of the world the movement was growing. Rotary generally was against change but she had already implemented changes in the annual Assembly and District council meetings. ‘We should lighten and light up Rotary’

The battle against polio was ongoing encouraged by the news that India was now polio-free.
Having read of the Club’s projects for the year she was particular impressed with the plans for youth activities.
In thanking the District Governor for making the long trip to visit the Club, President Hywel commented that she was a breath of fresh air and an inspiring leader.
Present at the meeting was Liliana Melnik from Aber’s twin town Esquel, Patagonia, She addressed the meeting in fluent Welsh and brought a message from the Rotary Club of Esquel. The President of that Club, Norma Pazos wrote that July 2015 would be the 150 th anniversary of the arrival of La Mimosa carrying 153 passengers including five from Aberystwyth, to found the Welsh settlement in Patagonia. She invited the Aber Club to become involved in some of the celebratory projects. Hywel thanked Liliana and looked forward to having more details of the plans.

Lunchtime meeting – Nigel Nicholas – 22nd July 2014
Nigel Nicholas, the Ceredigion Coast Path officer was this week’s speaker.

In the year 2000 Ceredigion secured half a million pounds of Objective One funding to create the path from the Teifi estuary in Cardigan to the Dyfi estuary at Ynyslas. The Path, 60 miles in length , took six years to construct and was officially opened on 4 July 2008 and is part of an All -Wales coastal path 870 miles long. Wales is the first country world-wide to have a such a path along its coastline.
The total cost of construction was £150,000 with much of the work undertaken by volunteers who cut paths, built bridges and replaced stiles with gates to help the disabled.
It is estimated that in its first year, the Path generated £32m and bringing a 100.000 tourists to Wales in an extended holiday season. The Cardi Bach shuttle bus servicing the path has had its hours extended and is no longer just seasonal such has been its success.
Initially 95% of landowners were against the project but by its completion 95% had agreed for easement over their land.
Maintenance of the path is no easy task, £60K is spent annually on brush cutting.
Erosion of the glacial clay cliffs by sea action and land drains necessitates moving the path inland by agreement and good will. Badger sets have been a problem but by the use of one way gates the sett will eventually close for new sets to be built off the path. Care has been taken to ensure no disturbance of wild life – seals and their pupping sites, the iconic choughs have their habitat improved.
Past-president Haydn Davies said it was a pleasure to be asked to give the vote of thanks to his former student .It was pleasing to learn of the contribution of local volunteers to the project, the enhancement of tourism attracting people to our lovely county and the success in winning over landowners .

Lunchtime meeting – Roy Roberts – 8th July 2014
Roy Roberts, a fairly new Club member, spoke at this week’s meeting of his career in journalism and broadcasting. Roy is Aber born and returning home after 40 years away he had seen many changes in the town particularly the threefold increase in the student population since the Sixties.
During his schooldays at Ardwyn he became a radio ‘anorak’, building his own receivers to listen in world wide. At that time he took part in the ITV quiz ‘Taro Deg’ answering all ten questions correctly and winning £95.
After Swansea University where he read journalism and involved in student politics he became an indentured journalist with the Western Mail. He described his work there as brutal and where a thick skin was needed to survive. In those days the paper sold a hundred thousand copies where today it’s thirty thousand. He criticised the London papers for lack of Welsh news.
Roy was industrial correspondent when the coal and steel industries were in decline with the slimming down at Shotton, Port Talbot and Llanwern. However the arrival of Sony, Ford and Panasonic reduced the trauma of job losses.
A move to television followed where technology was quite primitive with foot-operated auto cue which often went wrong. Then producer of Wales Today, and local radio stations from Bristol and Plymouth where some current TV news readers honed their skills in his charge and to Pebble Mill in the Midlands.
He had seen huge changes in broadcasting- the nine or so BBC TV channels as well as 12 radio channels plus the commercials which gave a huge choice. He touched on the licence fee and its future when currently down – loading needed no fee.
President Hywel Davies thanked the speaker for an interesting talk giving an insight into the world of broadcasting

Lunchtime meeting – Dana Edwards – 1st July 2014
.This week’s speaker Dana Edwards, as an introduction to her talk on Aberystwyth, presented members with a 10 question quiz which included the year the first lifeboat arrived, what disaster befell the people of the town in 1349 and who originally owned the first car to be registered in Ceredigion EJ1
The theme of her talk was books which could provide the perfect memory revealing much . Books had provided the speaker with much information on Aberystwyth which was the substance of her talk.
Much had been said about the town’s name .Should it have been Aber-rheidol. Whatever its name it was easily pronounceable unlike many other Welsh town names.
From the early hill-side settlement at Tan y Castell to becoming known as the Biarritz of Wales the population grew from 200 in 1800 to five thousand in 1850.
With the coming of the railway, it became tourist destination with hotels to match the demand. The Waterloo, later to become the site of the King’s Hall, had 120 beds Queens had 80 . The climate, the air, sunsets and sea bathing were all promoted, the salt is was claimed stimulated the skin and had healing properties.
Bathing huts appeared in 1835 as it was prohibited to undress on the beach. If sea swimming was not for you the Bath St baths had heated sea water in 1880 .
Most visitors stayed for a fortnight to enjoy the entertainment, the gardens, theatre, the bandstand, golf and tennis, boat trips and donkey rides- “the place where holiday fun begins”.
Following the 39-45 war, during which the town hosted army units and the RAF, the Town became less popular and with the coming of cars and caravans the old form of tourism had changed.
Dana referred to the Court Leet which showed the power of the Pryse family of Gogerddan. As the chief land owner, for hundreds of years the control of the town lay in their hands. Through burgesses they could also decide who should go to the Westminster parliament- usually a Pryce.
The affairs of the town were governed by the Court Leet which met twice yearly up to 1835. Use of the stocks and public flogging were common and idle vagabonds were marched through the town.
The list of famous visitors included Alfred Llord Tennyson, John Ruskin, WilliamWilberforce and John Keeble. Those granted the Freedom of the Town include Sir John Williams , founder of the National Library, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill.
Officiating as Club President for the first time, Dr Hywel Davies thanked Dana for an entertaining and fascinating presentation which had involved much research
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Lunchtime meeting – Kim Peartree – 3 June 2014
WaterAid is an international charity that transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and  sanitation. Rotary International,in supported the charity for  twenty-five years, has raised more than £20m

At this week’s meeting, Kim Peartree of WaterAid spoke of the work of the charity using the mission statement “ Water and Sanitation for all”. Their vision is to provide clean, safe water for everyone by 2030 –currently 2.5 billion people do not have access to a toilet so it is not surprising that diarrhoea kills two thousand children every day.
In the UK, 200 litres of water are used per person per day, in the US it is twice that but in the developing countries the figure is 10 litres per day 
One in ten people in the world have to walk several miles for water resulting in millions of school days lost, as well as  billions of working hours.
WaterAid works in 26 countries in Asia and Africa but lately has had to pull out of Angola. The charity has massive support from UK water companies.
The speaker explained that WaterAid worked in partner ship with the communities helping them to help themselves –  villagers dug wells and mixed concrete . On a recent  visit to a  project in Nepal, Kim saw that one  benefit on completion of a project was the  generation of a grerat community spirit as well as the provision of fundamental needs.
Kim ended her talk by thanking the Club and Rotary in general for their fundraising.
In thanking Kim, President Colin noted that supply of water was taken for granted and was pleased  that the Rotary Prom wishing well was now devoted to fund raising for WaterAid . Thanks to the generosity of townspeople and visitors the latest donation to WaterAid was £820

Evening meeting – John Wilden – 13 May 2014
At this week’s evening meeting , President Colin, members and partners welcomed John Wilden as guest speaker, John has been a practicing osteopath for 39 years based in Llanidloes .
However his illustrated talk was on his trek to Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, in September 2013 when in a party of 48 brave souls including celebrities rugby legend  Martin Williams, naturalist Iolo Williams and comedian Rhod Gilbert tackled the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet.
Kilimanjaro is made up of three volcanic cones, two of which are extinct and the third Kibo is dormant. The ascent took four days, the descent two.
Sponsorship raised more than £300,000 for the Felindre Cancer  hospital near Cardiff
Although the ascent was not blessed with clear weather, John’s slides showed the  changes in vegetation from rain forest to alpine deserts and the volcanic terrain.
As the climb progressed, altitude problems  appeared which the medics in the group       had to treat. Some of the party were unable to continue from the Kibo base camp  for the final push to the summit which started at 11pm at -30 degrees, to  allow a daytime traverse of the perimeter of the volcanic caldera of Kibo and a  four hours descent to the Horombo camp. The last day was blessed  with sunny weather for the final trek through the rain forest and the final signing out from the   national park. John was fortunate to be a early lever from the park which allowed him to join a safari and enjoys sightings of the African wildlife.
Vice-President Hywel Davies thanked the speaker for a superb talk which had  engaged and fascinated everyone present
                                                          

Lunchtime meeting – Keith Morris – 6 May 2014
Local freelance photographer and photojournalist Keith Morris gave a lively, enthusiastic and amusing presentation of his photographic skills to Club members this week.

Keith has been chronicling local events since 1977 using the Barn Centre, with other artists since 1982.
Perhaps it came as a surprise to some that his images have graced the pages of most of our National papers indeed a photo of an Aber storm on New Year’s Eve 2012 found the front page of the Guardian which earned him £150.
He showed some spectacular shots of this winter’s storms and the damage caused. In the course of his work, Keith was struck by a wave which ruined his £6.000 camera. He showed an exclusive image of the boy stranded on the wooden jetty by the huge seas. This was taken from the safety of the RNLI station and within five minutes the image was in the offices of the Sunday Times and Express!
His image of three figures jumping into the sea from a beach groyne was purchased through his agency by Elton John-if he’d known the prospective purchaser he would have added a few noughts.
One striking image was of a Jewish family standing atop Constitutional Hill with the bay in the background, fire raging for half a mile across Borth bog after the months of rain, and the spectacular murmuration of the Pier starlings were other images shown. His photograph of the uncovered Bronze Age forest at Borth made the Times and the National Geographic news. The arrival of the Council gritter at Nantyrarian made for a great wintry scene
In thanking the speaker Rtn. Roy Roberts whose career was in journalism remembered the days of small black and white newspaper images.
The new technology allowed of a more creative talent which the speaker had shown to have in abundance.
President Colin thanked Rtn John Harris and members who had helped in the latest session of mock interviews, this time at Coleg Ceredigion.

Lunchtime meeting – James Cass – 8 April 2014
The speaker at this week’s meeting was James Cass, sales and marketing manager of Dulas Ltd, of the Dyfi Eco-Park, Machynlleth.

Dulas was formed in 1982 as a commercial subsidiary of the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth and are pioneers of the renewable energy industry,
responsible for thousands of megawatts of installations world wide. Thirty years ago they were among the first to specialise in renewable energy, the market was very small, the company concentrated on the international market. They worked with the UN providing the technology for solar powered vaccine and blood fridges for some of the world’s remotest regions as well as systems for pumping water and essential power supply.
Before the Shard was built, the Heron Tower was the tallest London building. It had a problem with its vast array of glass producing so much convected heat that the lifts were unstable. Dulas were able to install solar cells which had a shading effect but also generated electricity for use in the building.
Amongst their clients are Ty Nant, the National Trust, Unicef, Welsh Water, RME and the UK government. Many housing associations have adopted their photo-voltaic PV systems to provide ‘free’ electricity as well as proving finance for reinvesting.
The first zero carbon church- St Martin’s in the Cotswolds has a solar panel system as well as a biomass boiler.
Wind turbines and hydro power are also within the company’s remit. The Scottish government are particularly sympathetic to hydro power potential.
The company act as consultants by providing feasibility and site finding, systems design and the environmental impact.
President Colin thanked the speaker for the insight into the work of company on our doorstep involving the vital area of green technology. No doubt their international work of solar powered refrigeration would have involved the carrying of the polio vaccine in Rotary’s fight against that disease.

Lunchtime meeting – Jo Kennaugh – 11 March 2014
Jo Kennaugh, Development Officer for DASH was the speaker at last week’s meeting.  DASH,  which stands for Disability and Self Help, provides leisure opportunities for disabled children and young people (4 -25 years old) living in Ceredigion.  Jo described the various schemes which the charity organises.

For the younger age group (4 – 11) playschemes are available in the Summer and Easter holidays which parents can book for a modest cost.  Free transport is provided and siblings within the age range are also included. There are also DASHAWAY weekends for this age group.  YMUNO provides financial help or one to one support for disabled children to attend mainstream play activities.
For the older age group there are a range of activities provided through DASHAWAY weekends, DASHABOUT FRENDZ and DASHABOUT activity days.  The UNO project, funded for 5 years by the Lottery, aims to provide opportunities to develop resilience and the skills necessary for adulthood.
The benefits of the work of DASH are threefold.  It offers families of disabled childen and young people short breaks from caring.  The children and young people greatly appreciate the chance to have new experiences and learn new skills, make new friends and have fun resulting in increased self esteem and confidence.  For the community, the charity offers volunteering opportunities to gain experience and training suitable for employment in the caring sector.
Rotarian Alun Rees thanked the speaker for her excellent presentation and President Colin Fletcher presented a cheque to the charity.

Lunchtime meeting – John Bradshaw – 4 March 2014
Club member John Bradshaw was this week’s speaker. Under the title ” Stupas, Payas and Pagodas ” he spoke of his travels in Burma/ Mayanmar.

His 500 mile journey started in Rangoon / Yangon using a guide with a very old taxi rather than the pre-planned bus and train.
Yangon is a crumbling, dilapidated colonial city with few cars, no big stores. No motor bikes allowed to reduce crime with the local transport tri-shaws
The Buddhist country is littered with places of worship as the title suggests and their building is still going on. Shwedagan Paya is clothed in 60 tonnes of gold. Huge Buddhas of stone, concrete or marble sit or recline everywhere.
A legacy of the Japanese invasion of Burma were the many war cemetaries where British and Colonial troops of the Burma campaign were buried or commemorated.
The country is very undeveloped, oxen driven carts and ploughs serve the extensive paddy fields, less than half of the country’s roads are sealed.
Fuel is rationed, three gallons is the maximum allowance though there are frequent illegal road side stocks at inflated prices.
In Kalau, John visited a long house of the Palaung tribe with its communal living, the occupants coughing in the 200 foot room full of smoke from the cooking fires.
In Mandalay he saw the biggest pile of bricks in the world., the remains of the huge Mingun paya destroyed in the 1800 earthquake. nearby was the Mingun Bell, at 90 tonnes the world’s largest hung bell.
A long standing ambition was fulfilled when John spent 10 hours on a boat trip on the Irrawady river before visiting Bagan and its two thousand temples dating from 1200AD. John showed a short video of group of men wielding sledge hammers making quite a noise. He explained that they were not a local band but engaged in making gold leaf. His last slide showed a number of military vehicles having their fuel siphoned out before moving back to base.
Club President Colin Fletcher thanked John for his presentation of another of his Michael Palin-like adventures.

Lunchtime meeting – Rhys Sutcliffe – 25 February 2014
At the meeting on 25th February the speaker was Rhys Sutcliffe, a pupil from Penglais School, who had been selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award Course, held annually at Dolygaer, Brecon.

Rhys explained that he was one of thirty young people from all parts of the UK who, at the commencement of the week-long course, knew nothing about their companions but, by the end of the week, they had made many new friends.
All the students were involved in caving, canoeing, mountaineering and orienteering under the guidance of experienced and qualified instructors. They were put into teams of six and assigned a daily activity and even though most activities were new to the students, after the first day, each of them was designated a leader in an activity for the following day so that by the end of the week every student had been a team leader.
Rhys thanked the club for giving him the opportunity to take part in the RYLA scheme for, not only had he gained an insight into the different practical skills involved during the week, but to develop his inter-personal skills which he hoped would be beneficial both at university and in his working life. President Colin thanked Rhys for giving such a clear account of his time at Dolygaer and wished him every success in his future studies and career.

Lunchtime meeting – Lindsay Fletcher – 28 January 2014
The guest speaker at the meeting was Lindsay Fletcher who gave an excellent talk about his work as Captain of the container ship Maersk Laguna. Born and bred in Swansea, but now living in Aberystwyth, Captain Fletcher told Rotarians that he had entered the Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton in 1970 to study for a National Diploma in Nautical Science before following a four year apprenticeship. He then progressed through the ranks – qualifying initially as Chief Officer and then, in 1994, as Master. His early career was spent working for P&O before it merged with Nedlloyd in 1997. In 2006, P&O Nedlloyd became part of the Danish business conglomerate Maersk – the world’s largest overseas cargo carrier operating over 600 vessels with a 3.8 million container capacity. He had taken command of the newly built Maersk Laguna in January 2012 and was one of two captains who sailed the ship, each in turn spending three months at sea and three months at home.
The scale of the ship was most impressive – 300 meters long, 45 meters wide, 24 meters high and with a draft of 14 meters. Weighing 130,000 tonnes, it carries 7,500, twenty-foot long, containers. Built for Maersk at a cost of $130 million by the Daewoo Shipbuilding company in Okpo, South Korea, it consumes 150 tonnes of fuel daily at a cost of $30,000. For a ship of it’s size it was surprising to learn that its Filipino crew was only 23 strong. Amongst the facilities provided on board are a gymnasium and a swimming pool. Sophisticated navigation systems ensure that, once set up, the ship steers automatically.
The main route for the Maersk Laguna is from South America to Europe stopping at Algeciras in Southern Spain – a ‘hub port’ where containers are moved on to other ships often destined for the Far East. Captain Fletcher explained that container ships such as his were now used as ‘warehouses’ with goods going directly from ship to factory or supermarket with no intermediate storage. His South American cargo was typically refrigerated food products such as beef, pork, poultry and citrus fruit. Concluding his talk, Captain Fletcher described the next generation of Maersk container ships – the ‘Triple E’ series, also built by Daewoo; these have capacity for 18,000 containers and an increased emphasis on fuel economy. A recent order, for ten of these huge ships, has been valued at $1.9 billion.
Past President Sonia Dobson thanked Captain Fletcher for a fascinating and illuminating talk and explained that, while she herself would shortly be sailing around the South American coast, it would be on board a cruise ship and not a container vessel!

Reports on recent activities and events

Lunchtime meeting – Colin Fletcher – India, the Golden Triangle – 16 December 2014
At this week’s meeting, Past-President Colin Fletcher gave a slide presentation of his trip to India where he travelled the Golden Triangle from Delhi to Agra and Jaipur. His excellent slides highlighted the architectural splendour of so many buildings seen on the tour.

Situated in the heart of New Delhi, the India Gate is the National Monument of India. Designed by Lutyens, it is 42 metres high and was originally known as the All India War memorial. Built in 1931 it commemorates the ninety thousand men of the British Indian Army who fell in WW1
The spectacular Baha’i Lotus Temple was completed in 1986 and was designed to resemble a lotus flower with 27 giant white marble petals springing from nine pools, symbolising the nine spiritual paths of the Baha’i faith.
Colin’s talk linked the many magnificent buildings with the Mughals who once ruled large parts of India and beyond. The Taj Mahal in Agra is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world. It commemorates both the Mughal Emperor Shan Jahan and his wife who died during the birth of their fourteenth child. Completed in 1653 it is the finest example of Mughal architecture.
Jaipur-the Pink City is also blessed with magnificent edifices- the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds a signature building erected in 1799 to house the purdahed ladies of the harem to observe the outside world. During the monsoon when water fills a lake, the Jal Mahal or Water Palace seems to float serenely on the calm waters.
In giving the vote of thanks Rtn Richard Morgan said that the architecture of the Mughal emperors had been clearly shown through historical pictures. India , the largest democracy in the world, was a land of great diversity of culture, race and language.

Evening meeting -Young Musician competition – 18 November 2014
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Lunchtime meeting – Wil Troughton – Aberystwyth’s First World War – 11 November 2014
” Aberystwyth and the Great War ” was the title of a talk given by William Troughton at this week’s meeting. He is preparing a book on the subject to be published next year. In August 1914 some days before the declaration of war, a group of Aberystwyth naval reservists assembled for the journey to Devonport. Fourteen of them joined HMS Jupiter, an old battleship which was deployed as a guard ship before leaving for Archangel to act as an icebreaker allowing supply ships to enter the White Sea. They had to contend with a force 9 gale and -23 degrees C as well as being icebound for some time with food supplies low. After four months at sea, the Aber contingent were given a civic reception in May 1915. The Jupiter crew were allawarded silver medals by Emperor Nicholas 11. As early as 1908, the Territorial Army recruited over 140 men to establish the Cardiganshire Battery , a gunnery unit which saw war service in Egypt and the Suez Canal. RSM Fear initiated a Comforts Fund which purchased cigarettes and other items for the troops. Confirmation of receipt was encouraged so relatives were reassured that all was well. Mr Troughton touched on life in the trenches and the action of Lewis Pugh Evans who was awarded the VC for his exploits. At home there was the unsavoury episode of the German Professor, Hermann Ethe driven out of town by a large angry mob. Local householders were forced to take soldiers who trained on the Prom and Constitution Hill . The Theological College was closed to students and became a Red Cross hospital where local women acted nurses. In 1915 a blackout was declared to avoid the attention of German submarines in the Irish Sea. The town held the record in the UK for donations during War Weapons Week in 1918 The town became a refuge for many Belgian artists and musicians who became attached to the College and whose children attended local schools. Concluding his talk, William appealed for documents and photographs of the time of the Great War. President Hywel thanked him for his presentation which had involved much research.

Lunchtime meeting – Ceridwen Lewis – Global Exchange Volunteer – 4 November 2014
The speaker at this week’s meeting was Ceridwen Lewis a former pupil of Penweddig and Penglais Schools and an honours graduate of Sussex University,

Ceridwen was successful in becoming a Global Xchange volunteer with the Voluntary Overseas Service (VSO) which is run in partnership with the British Council .
She was also successful in gaining a grant from the Rotary Club for her venture.
Ceridwen spent three months working on community projects in Rangpur, Bangladesh with Polli Sree, a Human and women’s rights campaign, A small country, but the world’s eighth most populous with 180 million, it is flooded for 80% of the time.
Ceridwen lived with a host family and got used to curried meals three times daily. Traditional dress was adopted with a sarong on celebration days and some Bengali was learnt. She also did some protesting on behalf of women particularly for the very poor and low caste Hindi.
For the remaining three months in Edinburgh she volunteered with Stepping Stones, a charity that provides support for people with mental health problems. Her art background enabled her to set up art workshops as well as using a new skill – making curries.Ceridwen thanked the Club for their financial support, adding that she is using the experience gained as a Global Xchange volunteer working as a Refugee Support for the British Red Cross as a voluntary asylum case worker based in London.
President Hywel congratulated her on her presentation delivered confidently and with humour

Lunchtime meeting – Jordan Shapiro – Rotary Global scholar – 28 October 2014
After an interval of four years, the local Club is again hosting an overseas Rotary Scholar this academic year. A University of Rochester, New York alumna, Jordan Shapiro will continue her studies of international relations through a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship by pursuing a master’s degree at the department of International Politics at the University. This is not her first visit to Wales. In 2011 through a US-UK Fulbright scholarship Jordan spent six weeks in Wales studying our culture, history, economy and language. She met faculty members in the highly regarded International Politics department which sparked her interest in the Welsh Government and Devolution . Her research will examine how the UK nations’ system of government can be a model for other countries embroiled in separist conflict. This is in line with the Rotary Global Grant’s focus on peace and conflict resolution. The Club’s vice-president John Harries who is acting as Jordan’s counsellor, thanked her, adding that her enthusiasm for her subject was obvious. Members would look forward to learning how her studies had developed.

Lunchtime meeting – Christine Thorpe, Lifestraws – 21 October 2014
The Rotary Club of Brynmawr, south east Wales,  has been promoting a water filter known as LifeStraw since 2005. Manufactured by a Norwegian company, it is a portable water filter that effectively removes all bacteria and parasites responsible for causing common diarrhoeal diseases. It requires no electrical power, no spare parts or chemicals and can be carried around for easy access to safe and clean water away from home simply by sucking as using a straw.
At this week’s meeting, Chris Thorpe, president of the Brynmawr Club spoke to members on the use of the three variants of LifeStraw and how they have been  distributed worldwide by her Club.
The Individual and original model can filter at least 1,000 litres of water  before being discarded and costs £10. It is not meant for sharing and can be cleared by blowing.
The Family model costs £30 , again is an instant microbiological water purifier for routine use in  the home. It filters up to 18,000 litres which is enough to supply a family of five for three years. It does not require running water or a piped-in  supply in any form. It has an easy to clean prefilter and purification cartridge.
The recently introduced Community model is a point-of-use water purifier intended for use in community, educational or institutional settings. It can process 100,000 litres in a three year life and provides convenient access via 4 taps and a 25 litre built in storage tank.
The speaker noted that every 20 seconds somewhere in the world , a child would die as a result of drinking unsafe water. In an hour 180 children – in a day ?-  in a year?
In  2011 in the worst drought in East Africa for sixty years, the Brynmawr Club sent thousands of Personal and Family models to the region to be distributed by local Rotary Clubs. They have also been heavily involved in Pakistan, Haiti and the Philippines.
After being thanked by past-president Meurig Lewis , the Club’s International chair, vice-president John Harries presented a cheque for £1000 to Chris for her Club’s Water Projects. The cheque represented the profit from the summer pig roast.

Lunchtime meeting – Tony Bates – Developments at Aberystwyth Football club – 14 October 2014
Tony Bates, the local solicitor who is chairman of Aberystwyth Football Club was this week’s speaker. The Club was founded in 1884 and has had a proud history. To remember the fourteen players who failed to return from the Great War, the Club will soon unveil a memorial to them in the Clubhouse
In 1900 the Club won the Welsh Cup and almost repeated the feat last year narrowly losing to the New Saints in the final.
The early games were played on the College Vicarage field which Lord Davies bought for the College in 1907. Later the current ground was acquired as the Smithfield Park now Park Avenue. To alleviate the frequent flooding the ground was raised four feet by bringing in debris which has proved to be a problem with the maintenance of the playing area..
In 19e of European Football,Clubs have to have improved infrastructure and need sound finances. In 1998 Mr Bates was instrumental in securing sponsorship from Safeways at a time when finances were desperately low. He has been heavily involved with the Club since that time.
In Febru92 the FAW established the National League of Wales with Aber FC one of 20 clubs which have now been reduced to 12. With the chancary this year plans were announced for great changes to the ground in association with Tai Ceredigion including an artificial pitch, new housing,
a dedicated youth centre and a new spectator stand. However currently those developments are on hold.
Rtn Iori Jones in thanking Tony, said that the Club had a solid future, played good football and hoped that the exciting plans would come to fruition.

Evening meeting – Colin Evans – Wales’s lost international – 23 September 2014
Colin Evans MBE , former head of Thomas Picton High School and later Schools Liason Officer UCW was the speaker at an evening meeting this week.

He explained how he had searched the records to confirm a family held belief that great uncle Dai Evans had played rugby for Wales.
Born in Maenclochog, Pembs in 1872, his father , a railwayman, was killed when an engine went out of control , Dai was two years old.
With too many people looking for few jobs in farming, he saw his future in the coal mines of SouthWales, Cwmparc in the Rhondda.
Physically strong, 6 foot tall and 15 ½ stone he was soon attracted to rugby football. At that time, 1891, the game was being imported from the English public schools and Oxbridge.
St David’s College, Lampeter was a founding member of the Welsh Rugby Union when its vice-principal, an Oxford man introduced the game to his students. The game rapidly caught on particularly in the coalmining valleys where colliers of immense strength caused the English union to complain about their tactics and physicality.
Aided by his size he joined the Glamorgan Constabulary, gained five Welsh caps but was drawn back to his home county in 1908, becoming a tenant farmer
At the age of 38 in 1929, he died from TB.
Colin’s research had shown that sixty thousand families had left west Wales in search of employment in south Wales but had kept their roots in Pembrokeshire.
Hywel Wynn Jones thanked the speaker for a talk on an intriguing subject, a fascinating look into migration and how they had become part of a new society.

Lunchtime meeting – Foundation scholars Conor Berner and Peter John – 2nd September 2014
Conor Berner from Talybont and Peter John from Rhydyfelin, both former Penglais School pupils were this year’s beneficiaries of the Rotary Club’s scholarship awards for work of a humanitarian nature overseas.

At this week’s meeting they gave a slide presentation of their experiences in a ten week visit to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and the Andes.
The first three weeks were spent in Santa Domingo, Ecuador workingon a reforestation project and building ecological toilets. Two new toilets were constructed with a bamboo frame and roofed with leaves. When the 6 metre hole was full after two years it provided compost. In their free time they played football with local tribe members or swam in the river which was the only washing provision. Tribe members showed off their traditional dress which included dying their hair red using crushed seeds.
In the Galapagos they worked for three weeks on a farm which included herding and milking the cows, clearing an area for a plant nursery and with machetes, removing invasive plants which threatened native species. The boys did their own cooking – because it came from mainland Ecuador, food was expensive though the Wednesday Pizzas were a treat.
In a town in the Andes they dug channels for pipe work for six hour stretches conveying water to houses. Time was also spent helping in the local school as well as learning some Spanish .
Before leaving for home they visited Machu Picchu and glaciers in Peru, salt flats in Bolivia, and Rio de Janeiro .
In thanking the speakers for their excellent presentation. Rtn Hugh Davies said it was it was of great benefit to be able to travel worldwide at such a young age and that the experience would be with them for life. He wished them every success in their forthcoming university career.

Lunchtime meeting – Allan Lewis – 19th August 2014
Allan Lewis ,this week’s speaker is head of Economic and Community Development Services with Ceredigion County Council. His responsibilities include Regeneration, Town Centre and Commercial development, Business Support grants and European funding.

Recent changes in the Authority had seen the reduction in the number of Officers resulting in the condensing of work which in the speaker’s opinion had been beneficial in bringing things together. Officers were dealing in many fields and needed to be multiskilled particularly with the Council facing huge budget cuts.
Mr Lewis invited members to take a questionnaire which asked which services should be protected. Leisure centres and tourist offices were vulnerable and were in the hit list of 170 services
Aberystwyth was being promoted as a regional and national centre and is one of three towns being assessed by the Academy of Urbanism as a Great Town.
Regeneration plans were subject to control by Cardiff so plans for an athletic track, Clocktower Square, the Coliseum and paddling pool were being delayed because the new Minister for Regeneration and Housing has given priority to housing.
Speaking of the Mill Street development, the so called Road to Nowhere at Parcyllyn now has Welsh Government and Council premises and the car park will provide free parking for three hours as well as jobs for 300.
Properties in the town were being improved or being sold to the private sector. An interest free loan of £1.25 from Welsh Government would be used for regeneration or recycling at enhanced value to provide revenue for other purposes.
The £35m spent on Bronglais Hospital, the student village, the railway station improvements, the plans of Network Rail,and the Promenade would add to the town’s claim as a regional and national centre.
Mr Lewis fielded questions which included the museum, the old Boots premises, the Express café and sea defence and was thanked by a former colleague Emlyn Watkin
for his presentation adding that Allan was the right person in the right job.

Lunchtime meeting – Geraint Evans – 12th August 2014
Geraint Evans, the Ceredigion Manager for Music Service since 2011, was this week’s speaker. The Service has just developed a website which is updated daily for parents to view the calendar of activities and for past students to contribute as well as to listen to audio clips of concerts performed.

Geraint outlined a year in the life of the Service starting in September with the start of the primary schools’ ensembles leading to a concert in March. Three Friday evenings in Aberaeron are devoted to the intermediate wind and strings with over 80 participants in each. In December from the 5-7, is the three day County orchestra course in Llangranog with a concert on the 15 December. The senior choir will be involved though Geraint admitted that with a shortage of senior boys with exam commitments it was a struggle. The senior orchestra would perform Dvorak’s New World Symphony in the Great Hall 15 December.
A wind and strings course for seniors in January would be followed by a concert and the Spring term would see tutor Alan Phillips start rehearsals for his youth band.
Alan, over 31 years as music tutor, has had phenomenal success , in the National Youth brass band of Wales where 12 of the 52 members were Alan’s pupils.
A concert in the Art Centre on February 25, will feature the primary schools’ choir for 7 to 10 year olds led by Alison Powell. The current Six Counties scheme is difficult to administer so there may be a reversion to the three counties. Sadly there is no music service in Powis.
The Kronberg twinning is strengthened by regular exchange visits by local young musicians. September will see a new venture- music ambassadors, year 12 students will visit schools to talk about their experiences of the music service to encourage youngsters to become involved .
Musical instruments are supplied for the first year after which there is an assisted purchase scheme to buy their own instruments. Geraint emphasised the part played by Friends of Ceredigion Young Musicians. From the annual fee of £10, over £8,000 has been raised and spent on renewing instruments.
In thanking the speaker Rtn Derek Whiting spoke of the part Rotary played in arranging music competitions for youth. He also paid tribute to Geraint in his role of musical director of the bandstand concerts enjoyed by so many.

Lunchtime meeting – DG Sandra Townsend – 29th July 2014
At this week’s meeting, President Hywel Davies welcomed District Governor Sandra Townsend of the Porthcawl club. DG Sandra spoke on the critical matter of declining membership in Britain and Ireland while in the rest of the world the movement was growing. Rotary generally was against change but she had already implemented changes in the annual Assembly and District council meetings. ‘We should lighten and light up Rotary’

The battle against polio was ongoing encouraged by the news that India was now polio-free.
Having read of the Club’s projects for the year she was particular impressed with the plans for youth activities.
In thanking the District Governor for making the long trip to visit the Club, President Hywel commented that she was a breath of fresh air and an inspiring leader.
Present at the meeting was Liliana Melnik from Aber’s twin town Esquel, Patagonia, She addressed the meeting in fluent Welsh and brought a message from the Rotary Club of Esquel. The President of that Club, Norma Pazos wrote that July 2015 would be the 150 th anniversary of the arrival of La Mimosa carrying 153 passengers including five from Aberystwyth, to found the Welsh settlement in Patagonia. She invited the Aber Club to become involved in some of the celebratory projects. Hywel thanked Liliana and looked forward to having more details of the plans.

Lunchtime meeting – Nigel Nicholas – 22nd July 2014
Nigel Nicholas, the Ceredigion Coast Path officer was this week’s speaker.

In the year 2000 Ceredigion secured half a million pounds of Objective One funding to create the path from the Teifi estuary in Cardigan to the Dyfi estuary at Ynyslas. The Path, 60 miles in length , took six years to construct and was officially opened on 4 July 2008 and is part of an All -Wales coastal path 870 miles long. Wales is the first country world-wide to have a such a path along its coastline.
The total cost of construction was £150,000 with much of the work undertaken by volunteers who cut paths, built bridges and replaced stiles with gates to help the disabled.
It is estimated that in its first year, the Path generated £32m and bringing a 100.000 tourists to Wales in an extended holiday season. The Cardi Bach shuttle bus servicing the path has had its hours extended and is no longer just seasonal such has been its success.
Initially 95% of landowners were against the project but by its completion 95% had agreed for easement over their land.
Maintenance of the path is no easy task, £60Kyears it provided compost. In thing.
Erosion of the glacial clay cliffs by sea action and land drains necessitates moving the path inland by agreement and good will. Badger sets have been a problem but by the use of one way gates the sett will eventually close for new sets to be built off the path. Care has been taken to ensure no disturbance of wild life – seals and their pupping sites, the iconic choughs have their habitat improved.
Past-president Haydn Davies said it was a pleasure to be asked to give the vote of thanks to his former student .It was pleasing to learn of the contribution of local volunteers to the project, the enhancement of tourism attracting people to our lovely county and the success in winning over landowners .

Lunchtime meeting – Roy Roberts – 8th July 2014
Roy Roberts, a fairly new Club member, spoke at this week’s meeting of his career in journalism and broadcasting. Roy is Aber born and returning home after 40 years away he had seen many changes in the town particularly the threefold increase in the student population since the Sixties.
During his schooldays at Ardwyn he became a radio ‘anorak’, building his own receivers to listen in world wide. At that time he took part in the ITV quiz ‘Taro Deg’ answering all ten questions correctly and winning £95.
After Swansea University where he read journalism and involved in student politics he became an indentured journalist with the Western Mail. He described his work there as brutal and where a thick skin was needed to survive. In those days the paper sold a hundred thousand copies where today it’s thirty thousand. He criticised the London papers for lack of Welsh news.
Roy was industrial correspondent when the coal and steel industries were in decline with the slimming down at Shotton, Port Talbot and Llanwern. However the arrival of Sony, Ford and Panasonic reduced the trauma of job losses.
A move to television followed where technology was quite primitive with foot-operated auto cue which often went wrong. Then producer of Wales Today, and local radio stations from Bristol and Plymouth where some current TV news readers honed their skills in his charge and to Pebble Mill in the Midlands.
He had seen huge changes in broadcasting- the nine or so BBC TV channels as well as 12 radio channels plus the commercials which gave a huge choice. He touched on the licence fee and its future when currently down – loading needed no fee.
President Hywel Davies thanked the speaker for an interesting talk giving an insight into the world of broadcasting

Lunchtime meeting – Dana Edwards – 1st July 2014
.This week’s speaker Dana Edwards, as an introduction to her talk on Aberystwyth, presented members with a 10 question quiz which included the year the first lifeboat arrived, what disaster befell the people of the town in 1349 and who originally owned the first car to be registered in Ceredigion EJ1
The theme of her talk was books which could provide the perfect memory revealing much . Books had provided the speaker with much information on Aberystwyth which was the substance of her talk.
Much had been said about the town’s name .Should it have been Aber-rheidol. Whatever its name it was easily pronounceable unlike many other Welsh town names.
From the early hill-side settlement at Tan y Castell to becoming known as the Biarritz of Wales the population grew from 200 in 1800 to five thousand in 1850.
With the coming of the railway, it became tourist destination with hotels to match the demand. The Waterloo, later to become the site of the King’s Hall, had 120 beds Queens had 80 . The climate, the air, sunsets and sea bathing were all promoted, the salt is was claimed stimulated the skin and had healing properties.
Bathing huts appeared in 1835 as it was prohibited to undress on the beach. If sea swimming was not for you the Bath St baths had heated sea water in 1880 .
Most visitors stayed for a fortnight to enjoy the entertainment, the gardens, theatre, the bandstand, golf and tennis, boat trips and donkey rides- “the place where holiday fun begins”.
Following the 39-45 war, during which the town hosted army units and the RAF, the Town became less popular and with the coming of cars and caravans the old form of tourism had changed.
Dana referred to the Court Leet which showed the power of the Pryse family of Gogerddan. As the chief land owner, for hundreds of years the control of the town lay in their hands. Through burgesses they could also decide who should go to the Westminster parliament- usually a Pryce.
The affairs of the town were governed by the Court Leet which met twice yearly up to 1835. Use of the stocks and public flogging were common and idle vagabonds were marched through the town.
The list of famous visitors included Alfred Llord Tennyson, John Ruskin, WilliamWilberforce and John Keeble. Those granted the Freedom of the Town include Sir John Williams , founder of the National Library, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill.
Officiating as Club President for the first time, Dr Hywel Davies thanked Dana for an entertaining and fascinating presentation which had involved much research
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Lunchtime meeting – Kim Peartree – 3 June 2014
WaterAid is an international charity that transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and  sanitation. Rotary International,in supported the charity for  twenty-five years, has raised more than £20m

At this week’s meeting, Kim Peartree of WaterAid spoke of the work of the charity using the mission statement “ Water and Sanitation for all”. Their vision is to provide clean, safe water for everyone by 2030 –currently 2.5 billion people do not have access to a toilet so it is not surprising that diarrhoea kills two thousand children every day.
In the UK, 200 litres of water are used per person per day, in the US it is twice that but in the developing countries the figure is 10 litres per day 
One in ten people in the world have to walk several miles for water resulting in millions of school days lost, as well as  billions of working hours.
WaterAid works in 26 countries in Asia and Africa but lately has had to pull out of Angola. The charity has massive support from UK water companies.
The speaker explained that WaterAid worked in partner ship with the communities helping them to help themselves –  villagers dug wells and mixed concrete . On a recent  visit to a  project in Nepal, Kim saw that one  benefit on completion of a project was the  generation of a grerat community spirit as well as the provision of fundamental needs.
Kim ended her talk by thanking the Club and Rotary in general for their fundraising.
In thanking Kim, President Colin noted that supply of water was taken for granted and was pleased  that the Rotary Prom wishing well was now devoted to fund raising for WaterAid . Thanks to the generosity of townspeople and visitors the latest donation to WaterAid was £820

Evening meeting – John Wilden – 13 May 2014
At this week’s evening meeting , President Colin, members and partners welcomed John Wilden as guest speaker, John has been a practicing osteopath for 39 years based in Llanidloes .
However his illustrated talk was on his trek to Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, in September 2013 when in a party of 48 brave souls including celebrities rugby legend  Martin Williams, naturalist Iolo Williams and comedian Rhod Gilbert tackled the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet.
Kilimanjaro is made up of three volcanic cones, two of which are extinct and the third Kibo is dormant. The ascent took four days, the descent two.
Sponsorship raised more than £300,000 for the Felindre Cancer  hospital near Cardiff
Although the ascent was not blessed with clear weather, John’s slides showed the  changes in vegetation from rain forest to alpine deserts and the volcanic terrain.
As the climb progressed, altitude problems  appeared which the medics in the group       had to treat. Some of the party were unable to continue from the Kibo base camp  for the final push to the summit which started at 11pm at -30 degrees, to  allow a daytime traverse of the perimeter of the volcanic caldera of Kibo and a  four hours descent to the Horombo camp. The last day was blessed  with sunny weather for the final trek through the rain forest and the final signing out from the   national park. John was fortunate to be a early lever from the park which allowed him to join a safari and enjoys sightings of the African wildlife.
Vice-President Hywel Davies thanked the speaker for a superb talk which had  engaged and fascinated everyone present
                                                          

Lunchtime meeting – Keith Morris – 6 May 2014
Local freelance photographer and photojournalist Keith Morris gave a lively, enthusiastic and amusing presentation of his photographic skills to Club members this week.

Keith has been chronicling local events since 1977 using the Barn Centre, with other artists since 1982.
Perhaps it came as a surprise to some that his images have graced the pages of most of our National papers indeed a photo of an Aber storm on New Year’s Eve 2012 found the front page of the Guardian which earned him £150.
He showed some spectacular shots of this winter’s storms and the damage caused. In the course of his work, Keith was struck by a wave which ruined his £6.000 camera. He showed an exclusive image of the boy stranded on the wooden jetty by the huge seas. This was taken from the safety of the RNLI station and within five minutes the image was in the offices of the Sunday Times and Express!
His image of three figures jumping into the sea from a beach groyne was purchased through his agency by Elton John-if he’d known the prospective purchaser he would have added a few noughts.
One striking image was of a Jewish family standing atop Constitutional Hill with the bay in the background, fire raging for half a mile across Borth bog after the months of rain, and the spectacular murmuration of the Pier starlings were other images shown. His photograph of the uncovered Bronze Age forest at Borth made the Times and the National Geographic news. The arrival of the Council gritter at Nantyrarian made for a great wintry scene
In thanking the speaker Rtn. Roy Roberts whose career was in journalism remembered the days of small black and white newspaper images.
The new technology allowed of a more creative talent which the speaker had shown to have in abundance.
President Colin thanked Rtn John Harris and members who had helped in the latest session of mock interviews, this time at Coleg Ceredigion.

Lunchtime meeting – James Cass – 8 April 2014
The speaker at this week’s meeting was James Cass, sales and marketing manager of Dulas Ltd, of the Dyfi Eco-Park, Machynlleth.

Dulas was formed in 1982 as a commercial subsidiary of the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth and are pioneers of the renewable energy industry,
responsible for thousands of megawatts of installations world wide. Thirty years ago they were among the first to specialise in renewable energy, the market was very small, the company concentrated on the international market. They worked with the UN providing the technology for solar powered vaccine and blood fridges for some of the world’s remotest regions as well as systems for pumping water and essential power supply.
Before the Shard was built, the Heron Tower was the tallest London building. It had a problem with its vast array of glass producing so much convected heat that the lifts were unstable. Dulas were able to install solar cells which had a shading effect but also generated electricity for use in the building.
Amongst their clients are Ty Nant, the National Trust, Unicef, Welsh Water, RME and the UK government. Many housing associations have adopted their photo-voltaic PV systems to provide ‘free’ electricity as well as proving finance for reinvesting.
The first zero carbon church- St Martin’s in the Cotswolds has a solar panel system as well as a biomass boiler.
Wind turbines and hydro power are also within the company’s remit. The Scottish government are particularly sympathetic to hydro power potential.
The company act as consultants by providing feasibility and site finding, systems design and the environmental impact.
President Colin thanked the speaker for the insight into the work of company on our doorstep involving the vital area of green technology. No doubt their international work of solar powered refrigeration would have involved the carrying of the polio vaccine in Rotary’s fight against that disease.

Lunchtime meeting – Jo Kennaugh – 11 March 2014
Jo Kennaugh, Development Officer for DASH was the speaker at last week’s meeting.  DASH,  which stands for Disability and Self Help, provides leisure opportunities for disabled children and young people (4 -25 years old) living in Ceredigion.  Jo described the various schemes which the charity organises.

For the younger age group (4 – 11) playschemes are available in the Summer and Easter holidays which parents can book for a modest cost.  Free transport is provided and siblings within the age range are also included. There are also DASHAWAY weekends for this age group.  YMUNO provides financial help or one to one support for disabled children to attend mainstream play activities.
For the older age group there are a range of activities provided through DASHAWAY weekends, DASHABOUT FRENDZ and DASHABOUT activity days.  The UNO project, funded for 5 years by the Lottery, aims to provide opportunities to develop resilience and the skills necessary for adulthood.
The benefits of the work of DASH are threefold.  It offers families of disabled childen and young people short breaks from caring.  The children and young people greatly appreciate the chance to have new experiences and learn new skills, make new friends and have fun resulting in increased self esteem and confidence.  For the community, the charity offers volunteering opportunities to gain experience and training suitable for employment in the caring sector.
Rotarian Alun Rees thanked the speaker for her excellent presentation and President Colin Fletcher presented a cheque to the charity.

Lunchtime meeting – John Bradshaw – 4 March 2014
Club member John Bradshaw was this week’s speaker. Under the title ” Stupas, Payas and Pagodas ” he spoke of his travels in Burma/ Mayanmar.

His 500 mile journey started in Rangoon / Yangon using a guide with a very old taxi rather than the pre-planned bus and train.
Yangon is a crumbling, dilapidated colonial city with few cars, no big stores. No motor bikes allowed to reduce crime with the local transport tri-shaws
The Buddhist country is littered with places of worship as the title suggests and their building is still going on. Shwedagan Paya is clothed in 60 tonnes of gold. Huge Buddhas of stone, concrete or marble sit or recline everywhere.
A legacy of the Japanese invasion of Burma were the many war cemetaries where British and Colonial troops of the Burma campaign were buried or commemorated.
The country is very undeveloped, oxen driven carts and ploughs serve the extensive paddy fields, less than half of the country’s roads are sealed.
Fuel is rationed, three gallons is the maximum allowance though there are frequent illegal road side stocks at inflated prices.
In Kalau, John visited a long house of the Palaung tribe with its communal living, the occupants coughing in the 200 foot room full of smoke from the cooking fires.
In Mandalay he saw the biggest pile of bricks in the world., the remains of the huge Mingun paya destroyed in the 1800 earthquake. nearby was the Mingun Bell, at 90 tonnes the world’s largest hung bell.
A long standing ambition was fulfilled when John spent 10 hours on a boat trip on the Irrawady river before visiting Bagan and its two thousand temples dating from 1200AD. John showed a short video of group of men wielding sledge hammers making quite a noise. He explained that they were not a local band but engaged in making gold leaf. His last slide showed a number of military vehicles having their fuel siphoned out before moving back to base.
Club President Colin Fletcher thanked John for his presentation of another of his Michael Palin-like adventures.

Lunchtime meeting – Rhys Sutcliffe – 25 February 2014
At the meeting on 25th February the speaker was Rhys Sutcliffe, a pupil from Penglais School, who had been selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award Course, held annually at Dolygaer, Brecon.

Rhys explained that he was one of thirty young people from all parts of the UK who, at the commencement of the week-long course, knew nothing about their companions but, by the end of the week, they had made many new friends.
All the students were involved in caving, canoeing, mountaineering and orienteering under the guidance of experienced and qualified instructors. They were put into teams of six and assigned a daily activity and even though most activities were new to the students, after the first day, each of them was designated a leader in an activity for the following day so that by the end of the week every student had been a team leader.
Rhys thanked the club for giving him the opportunity to take part in the RYLA scheme for, not only had he gained an insight into the different practical skills involved during the week, but to develop his inter-personal skills which he hoped would be beneficial both at university and in his working life. President Colin thanked Rhys for giving such a clear account of his time at Dolygaer and wished him every success in his future studies and career.

Lunchtime meeting – Lindsay Fletcher – 28 January 2014
The guest speaker at the meeting was Lindsay Fletcher who gave an excellent talk about his work as Captain of the container ship Maersk Laguna. Born and bred in Swansea, but now living in Aberystwyth, Captain Fletcher told Rotarians that he had entered the Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton in 1970 to study for a National Diploma in Nautical Science before following a four year apprenticeship. He then progressed through the ranks – qualifying initially as Chief Officer and then, in 1994, as Master. His early career was spent working for P&O before it merged with Nedlloyd in 1997. In 2006, P&O Nedlloyd became part of the Danish business conglomerate Maersk – the world’s largest overseas cargo carrier operating over 600 vessels with a 3.8 million container capacity. He had taken command of the newly built Maersk Laguna in January 2012 and was one of two captains who sailed the ship, each in turn spending three months at sea and three months at home.
The scale of the ship was most impressive – 300 meters long, 45 meters wide, 24 meters high and with a draft of 14 meters. Weighing 130,000 tonnes, it carries 7,500, twenty-foot long, containers. Built for Maersk at a cost of $130 million by the Daewoo Shipbuilding company in Okpo, South Korea, it consumes 150 tonnes of fuel daily at a cost of $30,000. For a ship of it’s size it was surprising to learn that its Filipino crew was only 23 strong. Amongst the facilities provided on board are a gymnasium and a swimming pool. Sophisticated navigation systems ensure that, once set up, the ship steers automatically.
The main route for the Maersk Laguna is from South America to Europe stopping at Algeciras in Southern Spain – a ‘hub port’ where containers are moved on to other ships often destined for the Far East. Captain Fletcher explained that container ships such as his were now used as ‘warehouses’ with goods going directly from ship to factory or supermarket with no intermediate storage. His South American cargo was typically refrigerated food products such as beef, pork, poultry and citrus fruit. Concluding his talk, Captain Fletcher described the next generation of Maersk container ships – the ‘Triple E’ series, also built by Daewoo; these have capacity for 18,000 containers and an increased emphasis on fuel economy. A recent order, for ten of these huge ships, has been valued at $1.9 billion.
Past President Sonia Dobson thanked Captain Fletcher for a fascinating and illuminating talk and explained that, while she herself would shortly be sailing around the South American coast, it would be on board a cruise ship and not a container vessel!

 

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