The Fellowship met in The Church Rooms on Tuesday 17th April 2018. Not surprisingly, there was a record turnout for the long awaited Speaker of the Year' contest. After months of preparation and preliminary rounds,which had seen the elimination of many wo Id-be orators, the finalists assembled for the last battle of words.
After welcoming the assembly, Chairman Les Harris introduced distinguished guests many of whom had travelled from afar, members of the national press and the ITV camera crew. He then introduced the competitors each of whom was to speak on: "Something I Read!"
There is insufficient space here to go into the CVs of each and every competitor, suffice it to say that each and every one was a formidable personality in his own respective field. Well, they orated and, again for reasons of space, without going into detal, three of the competitors stood out in a class of their own so outshining the rest of the field, that they give the impression of standing there alone! And who were these three? How did they perform?
Canon Keith Evans in his own word - perfect way, and without a note, spoke on his love for, and the joy afforded him, from reading that wonderful book during his ordination retreat: "I Heard the Owl Call" by Margaret Craven. It was a tale of triumph and fulfilment by a young priest who, in spite of his being terminally ill, did what he set out do, leaving a wonderful legacy. This was a touching and moving oration.
Judge Stuart Batcup, quietly confident [as ever], used the occasion brilliantly as an excuse to deliver a masterly history of the schools of Mumbles - from their very beginning. He described his intensive research into the legal status of the old Church School in Dunns Lane and how, following his reading of historic documentation, solved a knotty problem that had confounded others for years. A most interesting discourse (mind you! if the learned judge spoke on Albanian underwear, he could make it interesting).
Grafton Maggs stuck to the subject. He didn't use any cheap tricks or diversifications. He defined the object of the written word. Gave examples and how in later life, he came to interpret and enjoy the wonderful writings of past English masters.. An instructive lecture and it was easy to see the immediate effect it had on those listeners who were still awake - they were keen to rush home and get out those dusty, unopened volumes of Shakespeare they had bought from Reader's Digest years ago.
Chairman Les Harris, fed up with all the bribery and corruption of past contests, brought voting papers with the names of the competitors. These were distributed and voters instructed to simply place an X against their choice.
Amazingly, only the above three had any votes. It was as if the others did not exist!
After ten recounts, Chairman Les Harris announced that, for the first time in its history the Speaker of the Year result was a dead heat - for all three of the above speakers!
The £3,000 prize was divided equally and, traditionally, was immediately handed back to the Fellowship funds.
Before an excellent buffet was served, Chairman Les had a pleasant task/ He awarded a bottle of vintage port each to two nonagenarian fellows, Basil Tavinor aid Grafton Maggs. A very kind gesture which was much appreciated by the two vintage members.
The Warriors - Men's Working Party
The Warriors meet every Thursday afternoon between 2pm - 4pm. As well as doing odd jobs around the Church they have boxed in the space under the organ loft, repaired the block flooring and many other projects - saving the Church thousands of pounds over the years.
They are always looking for more help - so, if you can give a few hours of practical help a week, why not come along to join them on Thursdays.
We had a wonderful evening when we welcomed Mr. Mike Evans as our speaker. The subject was entitled "Memories of the Late Great Ryan Davies. It was most entertaining and was ended with the wonderful song Myfanwy.
We meet next month on 14th May, when our speaker is Dr. John Rees, who will be talking on "Swansea Yellow Jack". John is the son of Evelyn Rees, and I can assure you this will be an excellent talk.
Please show your support ladies, all are welcome, friends, family, male of female.
A further reminder of our Summer Supper Saturday 2nd June, with Luke being our entertainment. Would you please give your names to Anne Neumann or Brenda Harris, as soon as possible please. The Sunshine has been ordered!!!!