CALGARY WELSH SOCIETY 2017 AGM & CELEBRATION OF 30 YEAR+ MEMBERS
Nearly 50 members gathered together on Saturday afternoon, April 1, to attend the AGM, elect a new board and honour 30 year+ term members. After the business of the board was completed, every-one enjoyed a wonderful tea followed by a presentation to honoured guests of certificates and Welsh hymn-books.
Photo 1: honoured guests standing, from left to right are Norm Pierce, Viv Ellis, Dianne Williams, Brent Gilbertson, Morfudd Jones, Madge Clarke, Betty and Roly Thomas. Sitting, from left to right are Margaret Kuyt, Margaret Gilbertson and Betty Bodenmuller. Unable to attend were Ron and Beth Davies, Wayne and Frances Davies, and David and Jean Mathews.
Photo 2: ‘Old and new’ board members, from left to right: Norm Pierce, Barbara Morris, Gwenda Raymond-Jones, Jean Kuhn, Margaret Freedman, Elaine Westlake, David Matthews, Tracy Burr, Jane Thomas and David Gaskin.
Elected to the board were: Margaret Freedman, president; Jane Thomas, vice-president; Barbara Morris, secretary; David Gaskin, treasurer, and members-at-large, Tracy Burr, Jean Kuhn and Gwenda Raymond-Jones. Retiring from the board were: Elaine Westlake, president; Norm Pierce, treasurer, and David Matthews, vice-president. Congratulations to all!
Thankyou to CWS photographer, Tony Jones.
ST. DAVID’S DAY CELEBRATION
Calgary Welsh Society celebrated St. David’s Day with a lunch, held at the Calgary Winter Club, on March 4 th. Our menu was Leek & Potato soup, chicken chasseur,potatoes & vegetables, apple crumble tart, followed by Welshcakes.
We had over 70 members & guests attending & after a warm welcome by our president Elaine Westlake, grace was said by Gwenda Raymond Jones, our toast to St. David was given by Barry Marks.
After the lunch, our guest speaker, John Hopkins, gave an interesting talk about his father’s family immigration to Canada. He spoke of his father’s life in Canada, his experiences serving in World War 2 & read some of his father’s poetry.
We were then treated to some wonderful singing by the beautiful voices of Laura Styler & Jane Davies.
Following this Dr. Cledwyn Haydn Jones once again led us in an entertaining County Call.
Everyone attending had a great time.
Special thanks to Tony Jones [photographer] and Margaret Freedman who submitted the report.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR MEMBERS AND FRIENDS ACROSS
NORTH AMERICA AND IN WALES!!
The Calgary Welsh Society held its annual Christmas Brunch on Sunday, December 11th. Nearly 100 guests attended. They were entertained by singers from Laura Styler’s school of music, Christmas carols, gifts and other fun activities. A special ‘Thank you!’ to Tony Jones, the society’s photographer for the following photographs.
MEMBERS TEA A GREAT SUCCESS!
More than 50 people attended a wonderful tea held at the Irish Club! Many thanks go especially to Barbara Morris and Margaret Freedman, and other members who helped prepare the event. A short ‘Noson Lawen’ followed the tea.
The tea turned out to be a great opportunity for members to socialize and ‘catch up’ with the news. A short report on NAFOW Calgary 2016 was shared.
CALGARY WELSH SOCIETY ANNUAL PICNIC
SUNDAY, JULY 24TH, 2:00 PM AT LAKE BONAVISTA
This was a great gathering on a great day! The sun was shining and the food delicious. A special thank-you to the board members who worked to make this a success. More than 75 people attended. Thank you CWS members for bringing great salads and desserts.
Thank you Tony Jones for the great photographs…’Jones the Photo’
‘SPRING IS SINGING’ – A GREAT SUCCESS!!
Once again the music-lovers who filled Christ Church on Saturday, May 14th, were thrilled by the outstanding performances of Laura Styler, Edith Pritchard, Matthew Bruce, Aaron Dimoff and Ron Bennie.
A GREAT TOURNAMENT!
ST DAVID’S DAY DINNER 2016
What a great evening! Over 70 members and guests enjoyed super food and wonderful company at the Calgary Winter Club on Saturday, February 27th. After a warm opening welcome by president, Elaine Westlake, David Gaskin made the toast to St David with a great story. After the grace, given by Norm Pierce, the gathering enjoyed an excellent and truly filling meal. Michèle Henderson, the guest-speaker, then held the audience spellbound with the story of her Great-great grandmother, Catherine Davies. who sailed on the Mimosa to Patagonia in 1865. Society members and guests were thrilled to be joined by Michèle’s family. Then Dianne Williams once again entertained the crowd with her wonderful voice, singing three pieces which were really appreciated by the crowd. After a NAFOW briefing by David Matthews, Cledwyn Haydn-Jones, in great voice and full of humour, involved people in the County Call. It was a great evening underlined by the socializing that continued when the event was well and truly over!
MEMBERS AND GUESTS ENJOYED A GREAT MEAL IN A GREAT SETTING
CHRISTMAS BRUNCH Read about it in the January newsletter on this website!
WHAT A GREAT NOSON LAWEN! OVER 50 PEOPLE gathered in the Crump Room at Christ Church on November 7th to enjoy an evening of wonderful and varied entertainment and incredibly tasty ‘potluck’ dishes. The evening began with the potluck meal consisting of a variety of salads, entrees and delicious desserts. CWS president, Elaine, gave a brief update on NAFOW and then the entertainment began. Perhaps the best Noson Lawen the writer has experienced, the evening was filled with song, instrumental music, drama, poetry, teachings and laughter. Special thanks goes to: all members who attended and brought those delicious dishes; members of the board and volunteers who organized and set-up for the event; Christ Church members who helped and ‘took over’ kitchen duties, and, of course, to the performers.
Cledwyn and Julie read an excerpt from ‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales’
‘An appreciative audience’
Dave Watson, once again, charms us with his choice of music
Marcos Parrado introduced us to a new instrument!
Morfudd helped us understand the ‘meanings’ of the love spoon!
The Morris Girls in fine form!
A super gathering enjoying a super potluck supper!
Tudor Davies taught and entertained us with poetry!
I am missing a few photographs of others who entertained: Desiree, Cindy, and Phil! Sorry about that! DM
OUR ‘CELEBRATING SENIORS’ TEA was held on Saturday, September 19th, at the Richmond Community Hall [2436-26 Ave SW]. Before enjoying a good old-fashioned tea, members and their friends watched two short slideshows. The first slideshow was the one used in NAFOW Columbus to give Columbus delegates a picture of Calgary, our society and the beauty of the part of the country we live in. The second gave members an insight into the ‘make-up’ of theNorth American Festival of Wales and its program of events. It showed examples of the events that took place with the goal of preparing Calgary Welsh Society members for the work we have to undertake to prepare for NAFOW 2016 Calgary. The event was very successful with several members signing up to serve on NAFOW 2016 committees. Thank you to the ladies who made and served the excellent dainties and the tea served in fine china!
GREAT SOCIETY PICNIC ……on a Beautiful Sunny Day! Between 70 and 80 members and their guests enjoyed a wonderful picnic on Sunday, July 19th at Lake Bonavista. Thanks go to hard working members, Ed and Phil, who did a great job with hamburgers and hotdogs, and to members and guests who brought a super selection of salads and desserts – truly delicious. Thanks also goes to Ross and Pam and Kate and Dave Coolidge who enabled us, once again, to enjoy the park area. Can’t forget the people behind the scenes who purchased the food and drinks, Jean and Margaret, and the several members who helped organize the food area. Thank you for helping make this a very special day!
5th ANNUAL ‘SPRING IS SINGING’ CONCERT Over three hundred people were wowed by this year’s 5th Annual Spring Is Singing concert. Held at beautiful Christ Church, people who lined up to attend were not disappointed. Jorge Aviles had people smiling with his rendition of Cabaret while Jason Erhardt had hearts ‘a-thumping’ with Men of Harlech. Edith Pritchard brought tears to the eyes of many with Y Nefoedd and Laura held the audience with the ballad Stars and Moons. The evening finished with some rousing choruses of Calon Lan and with the soothing sounds of Ar Hyd Y Nos.
We invite members, friends, and members of the general public to attend next year’s concert which will be held at Christ Church on May 14th!
CWS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The 2015 Calgary Welsh Society’s Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, April 11th, at St Mark’s & St Philip’s. The 45 members who attended made this one of the most successful AGMs.
After an excellent meal of fish and chips, and a great dessert, AGM business got underway! The president and treasurer spoke about a very successful and busy year. Regarding the election of board members for 2015-16, the 2014-15 board members were reelected unanimously.
Information on the organization and running of a typical North American Festival of Wales was shared with members. The responsibilities of the Calgary Welsh Society in the preparation for, and running of the 2016 NAFOW to be held in Calgary was also outlined. Members were invited to consider volunteering in the following areas: tours and travel; opening ceremony; tearoom and marketplace; promotion and sponsorship and registration, meeters and greeters.
Thanks to all members for attending. It was a great evening!
The St David’s Day Dinner at the Calgary Winter Club was a great success -celebrated in the traditional way with some wonderful singing by Amy and Megan Duckett, very good food and service, the County Call, some words about the Welsh Elvis, all in all, a wonderful social occasion!
ST DWYNWEN’S FAMILY CELEBRATION On Saturday afternoon, January 15th, 2015, the St Dwynwen’s Family Celebration was held at St. Mark & St. Philip’s Anglican Church. A fun-filled time of games, dancing and good food was enjoyed by about 40 people.
CHRISTMAS BRUNCH AT THE ROYAL EXECUTIVE INN On Sunday, December 14th, over 80 members and guests attended the annual Calgary Welsh Society Christmas Brunch at the Royal Executive Inn! The food was excellent as was the entertainment provided by Madge Clarke. Madge accompanied the crowd in the singing of several carols and also played a wonderful medley of Christmas music. There were several door prizes that kept people putting on their glasses and searching for the elusive winning tickets. People had a lot of fun as well as the opportunity to ‘catch up’ with old friends as well as meet new ones.
[Thanks to Tony Jones for the photographs]
DYLAN THOMAS CENTENARY CELEBRATION OCT. 25TH
Dylan Thomas was born on October 27, 1914. We “did his memory proud” on October 25, 2014 with our society’s centenary celebration at the Irish Cultural Center.
Fresh from a rewarding month’s residency at the Banff Centre, Ceri Owen-Jones and Elsa Davies, folk singers from Wales, delighted us with their beautiful voices while accompanying themselves on harp and fiddle. Their repertoire included their own compositions, traditional tunes from old manuscripts, music for twmpath ( social folk dances) and a tribute to Dylan Thomas that they’ve been showcasing in Wales this year with storyteller Peter Stevenson.
Our evening’s entertainment also included selections from and stories about Dylan’s works presented by six of our members, namely Brian Lewis ( welcome back, Brian),
Morfudd Jones, Lesley Lewis, Kit Duckett and new members Sherri D Wilson and Tudor Davies. Diolch yn fawr iawn for participating bawb!
And the food – yes, it lived up to it’s usual high standards! It was plentiful and delicious. Thanks to our 50 members and friends for providing delectable food to accompany our pies and veggie platters. Your enthusiasm and appreciative comments helped make our evening a resounding success!
Submitted by Elaine Westlake
‘WALK THE COAST OF WALES’ TEA AND SLIDESHOW
A GREAT SUCCESS!
On Saturday, Sept 20th at 2:30 pm at St Mark’s Anglican Church hall, eighty six people enjoyed a wonderful tea and slideshow! The event was a great success! Members of the Calgary Welsh Society who attended with their guests contributed over $2000.00 to the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation!
ANNUAL CALGARY WELSH SOCIETY PICNIC – The coals were fired up, the hamburgers and wieners a sizzling, people eating, chatting and enjoying great company when the heavens opened. The deluge resulted in a great social occasion with 79 people seeking shelter, apparently unfazed, and huddled, in tight quarters. The jam-packed shelter area reminded Elaine of the ” How many students can we stuff into a VW Beetle?” college days. EVERYBODY HAD A GREAT TIME!
RUGBY TOURNAMENT – May 23: the fourth annual Springbank Invitational Girls 7 a Side Tournament was a huge success with 18 teams participating and 50 games played. Highlights included the camaraderie and sportsmanship along with an entertaining half time show where each team did their version of the Haka! A Springbank High School spokesperson said, ” We are very appreciative of the support from the Calgary Welsh Society which was also noted and well displayed in our tournament program”. Our flag, Y Ddraig Goch flew proudly over the tournament field!
SPRING IS SINGING
2014 AGM / NOSON LAWEN
“Our AGM/Noson Lawen format was a hit! The thirty six members who attended witnessed a speedy AGM, shared delicious pizza and enjoyed the Noson Lawen. All members of last year’s Board were acclaimed into their positions. Thanks members for putting your trust in us. Philip did a great job as our Barman…..diolch, Phil. Thanks to the the musical and storytelling talents of Brian, Dave, George, Lesley, Dianne and Viv the Noson Lawen was most entertaining.”
MARCH 1 CELEBRATIONS 2014
Despite the minus 32 degree Celsius weather, our early morning flag raising of , ” Y Ddraig Goch” at Calgary’s City Hall and our St. David’s day Dinner at Fort Calgary, were fitting tributes to our patron saint.
Over 80 members and friends were present to celebrate with a buffet dinner. We were well entertained by the Calgary Girls School Grade 9 Concert band under the direction of Mr. Quan Le and Tony Kay, British Consul General was our guest speaker. Society member Alun Davies led us in the toast to St. David while member Cled Haydn Jones had us laughing through an entertaining County call.
St Dwynwen’s Family Celebration
Despite the change in venue, the celebration was a huge success. More than 70 people attended and there was the biggest attendance of children that we’ve seen since the St Dwynwen event started.
The music, dance, fun and games introduced by super MC, Kathleen Johnson, were enjoyed by all – whether participants or audience. Newly introduced
table games and a wonderful Welshcake
competition were a great success! The food, fish and chips, salad and dessert goodies, was simply excellent!
The event was very well organized and run by Barbara Morris and her family with the help of members of the executive and society.
The Society’s Christmas Brunch was held in the Emerald A Room at the Royal Executive Inn on Sunday, December 15th. The venue was nicely decorated and enhanced with some Welsh and Canadian flags. Over 80 people attended. Many members had very positive comments about a ‘very enjoyable’ and ‘wonderful’ event. The food was excellent. Our guest soloist was 9 year-old Jane Davies who, accompanied by Madge Clarke, thrilled the gathering with four songs, two of which were sung in Welsh. Madge also accompanied everyone in some carol singing. Thank you Madge and Jane for helping make this Christmas gathering one of the best yet! Several ‘Christmassy’ as well as Welsh door prizes were won by adults and children.
Noson Lawen: CANCELLED BECAUSE OF SNOW AND ROAD CONDITIONS
Our annual Seniors’ tea was held at the Dove’s Nest on September 29, 2013. Our fifty guests agreed that the food was delicious and the ambience pleasant, but most important of all that the company was excellent! Thanks to Gale Tesarski and herstaff, we enjoyed another lovely afternoon at ” The Nest”.”
Annual Picnic at Lake Bonavista
The weather cooperated for our annual picnic which was held at Lake Bonavista on Sunday, July 21. The food was delicious, the company of over 90 members and friends even better, and a good time was had by all. Thanks to Ross and Pam Hicks and Dave and Kate Coolidge for using their lake passes to permit us entry. Look for photos on our updated Newsletter page.
The Calgary Welsh Society AGM was held at the Kingsland Community Center, 505-78 Ave. S.W. on Saturday, May 11th at 7 p.m.
While there was a very disappointing turnout of members, the meeting was able to get underway with the required quorum. There was quite a bit of discussion regarding what could be done to make such an important meeting as our AGM, more attractive to members.
Calgary Welsh Society Supports Girls 7s Rugby Tournament.
On sunny Saturday, May 11th, seventeen girls rugby teams from schools in and around Calgary participated in the third Annual Invitational Rugby Sevens tournament held on three fields adjacent to Springbank High School.
The event was very well attended and the Calgary Welsh Society was given a full page advertisement.
The action was terrific and speaks well of the growth of this great sport in Alberta. The half time show featured many fun events, one being a competition which required the teams to demonstrate their Haka skills! Great fun and many laughs.
The 4th Annual ‘SPRING IS SINGING’ Concert was held at Christ Church on 8th St. SW on Saturday, April 27th, 2013. It was a huge success with well over 300 people in attendance. Many members of the audience, in person and through emails, have commented on the excellence of the concert. ‘The best one yet’ was the overall feeling!
This year the concert, in response to requests, offered a selection of some of the most popular pieces from opera, musical theatre and Welsh music. The concert featured accomplished performers, Laura Styler-Jones, soprano, Edith Pritchard, mezzo-soprano, Jason Erhardt, bass, Jorge Aviles, tenor, and Ron Bennie, accompanist.
This year the artistes introduced many of their pieces, often with some light humour. This was greatly appreciated by the audience and helped establish a connection which continued throughout the entire concert. The quality of singing was exceptional.
Toward the end of the concert, the audience was invited to join in the singing of four Welsh favorites, ‘We’ll Keep a Welcome in the Hillsides’, ‘Cwm Rhondda’, ‘Diadem’ and the Welsh National Anthem – ‘Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’. After a very brief but enjoyable lesson in Welsh pronunciation, the singing was excellent, a reflection of the beauty of Christ Church itself.
After the concert, the audience was invited to meet the artistes and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, Welsh cakes and other goodies. Special thanks go the ladies of Christ Church who, again, helped make this social a wonderful success!
The St. David’s Day Banquet was held on March 2nd, 2013 at Fort Calgary’s Officer’s Mess! It was a wonderful evening with very good food and great entertainment. Ninety six people, including four children attended and, by all accounts, they thoroughly enjoyed the evening!
The pre-dinner program began with the President’s welcome to all members, family and friends attending, including guests, British Consul General, Tony Kaye, his wife and two friends. The Toast to St David was made, in excellent fashion, by Colin Dalton. This was followed, to the delight of the crowd, by eight year old Jane Davies, who, accompanied by her vocal coach, Laura Styler Jones, sang Suo Gan in Welsh and the Ash Grove. The Grace was given in Welsh by board member, Tracy Burr.
Following the dinner, ‘One Accord’, a forty-voice mixed choir conducted by Liz Paynter, entertained the crowd with some wonderful singing. The traditional speech that followed was given by Cledwyn Haydn-Jones who held the crowd with his words of wisdom, recollections and humour.
People were delighted to see Calgary City Mayor Nenshi enter the Officer’s Mess a little later. Introduced by president, Elaine Westlake, Nenshi spent a few minutes addressing the gathering commenting on the importance of the multi-cultural richness that existed in Calgary.
After a fun-filled County Call made by David Matthews, the evening was closed with the singing of the Welsh National Anthem. A wonderful evening indeed!
Welsh Flag Raising, March 1st, Calgary City Hall
On March 1st, 2013, St David’s Day, the Welsh Flag was raised in front of Calgary City Hall. It was flown all day until sundown. Several people, some new to the society, joined us to sing the Canadian and Welsh National Anthems and watch the flag being raised to celebrate our Welshness! Ladies in Welsh costume were present!
A big ‘Thank you!’ to City Hall for making this possible. ‘Diolch yn fawr iawn!’
St. Dwynwen’s Day
St Dwynwen’s Day held at the Horton Rd Legion on January 19th was a great success! Over 60 people attended and families had a great time playing games, dancing, and feasting on fish and chips!
Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 12 noon – Executive Royal Inn in the Sapphire Room
Admission for members: $25; Non-members: $28; Children 12 & under ‘half-price’.
Pencil this date into your calendar as your family won’t want to miss this heart warming Christmas event!
Members will be contacted by email and a telephone committee member. A firm RSVP will be required when you are contacted by the telephone committee.
Non-members are welcome. Please contact Elaine or David for further information [see contact page].
Was held November 3, 2012, 7:00 PM – Irish Cultural Center – 6452 35 Ave NW
We really enjoyed our special guest, actor and Dylan Thomas specialist, Russell Roberts, during an evening of outstanding participation. Thanks to all who attended and who brought delicious salads and desserts!
(*Russell is in town with a lead role in a Vertigo Theatre play: http://www.vertigotheatre.com/main/index.php?site=mystery&id=production&production=27)
*Great Success!!!* Welsh in North America Photo Exhibit
Held on October 1 – 28, 2012, Calgary, AB
A touring exhibition which depicts the involvement of, and the contributions made by people of Welsh origin in North America. A new panel called ‘The Welsh in Alberta’, developed for the Calgary Welsh Society, was unveiled to help celebrate Calgary as the 2012 Culture Capital of Canada.
The Calgary Welsh Society held openings at each of the three libraries. Many Calgarians of Welsh origin enjoyed the brief ceremonies with ladies in Welsh costume, some wonderful singing and some Welsh-cakes.
More Information on the Exhibition: http://www.wales.com/en/content/cms/English/USA/Exhibitions/Exhibitions.aspx
October 14, 2012
We celebrated our much appreciated Seniors at our popular Seniors Tea at a new location, “the Patisserie du Soleil”. We sincerely hope that everyone enjoyed their afternoon out! Thank you for joining us!
North America Festival of Wales
August/September, 2012, Scranton, PA, USA
Ponoka’s 70th Annual Gymanfa Ganu
August 12, 2012, Ponoka, AB
The Calgary Welsh Society enjoyed a full charter bus which took our members (some very new! – welcome!) and their friends to Ponoka’s 70th Annual Gymanfa Ganu on Sunday, August 12th.
Dr. Cledwyn Haydn-Jones did a beautiful, heart warming job of directing the singing at the event where the Ponoka Welsh were expressed their appreciation to the Calgary Welsh Society for our support and our participation. The social afterwards was wonderful – so many tasty treats including Welsh cakes! On the bus, the group enjoyed much visiting, a brain-mushing, challenging quiz written by our own Bryan Lewis, door prizes (Tosh Lambeth won a land-slide of prizes, lucky fellow!) and of course wonderful singing led by Dr. Haydn-Jones…even accompanied on the harmonica played by our lovely Morfudd Jones. We welcomed a special guest all the way from Wales! Cheryl Vaughn was a joy to the group and surprised us all with her incredible singing voice, both during the Gymanfa Ganu as well as on the bus ride home. Thank you all for joining us and supporting our important partners in Ponoka. Diolch yn fawr!
Cwrs Cymraeg – Welsh Studies Institute in North America
July 22-29, 2012, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
CWS Family Picnic
July 22, 2012 @ 2:00 PM, Lake Bonavista, Calgary, AB
Our annual Welsh Society Family Picnic was held at Lake Bonavista Park on Sunday afternoon, July 22nd. Thank you all for joining us and enjoying a great family day!
Spring is Singing 2012
The Calgary Welsh Society welcomed a record crowd to our 3rd Spring is Singing Event sponsored as a free event, a gift to Calgary. A very special thank you to each of the incredible artists: Laura Styler-Jones (Soprano), Edith Pritchard (Mezzo), Derek Johnson (Tenor), Jason Erhardt (Baritone) and Ron Bennie (Accompanist). New this year, Mr. Bennie treated the crowd to an incredible solo performance on the grand piano. Every member of the group absolutely wowed the crowd with their amazing talent, voices and wonderful presence. Several guests reported being brought to tears with the impact of the music. David Matthews did a wonderful job as Compere. At the social afterwards, the homemade Welshcakes and squares were a hit with our visitors! Thanks to Christ Church for hosting us, our talented bakers, volunteers and to all of the crowd who joined us. Thank you too for the generous donations received by the Calgary Welsh Society.
Annual General Meeting
April 21, 2012
Thank you to everyone who attended the AGM. Elections took place. No new nominations were received, the entire Board agreed to allow their names to stand and were re-elected. If you have any questions regarding the AGM, please feel free to contact any member of the Board.