I report as your chairman on the choir’s activities for the year ending tonight (21 July).
It has been one of contrast in that during the last twelve months we have lost valued members of the choir in Charlie Thomas and Lyn Lewis as well as the company of retired members Ron Evans and Wil Evans. But we have been fortunate enough to have new members join in Dai Bartlett, Gary Evans and Robert Jones as well as ‘signing up’ a very talented young man in Ioan Price as our accompanist.

Looking back in the diary, this time last year we had an enjoyable day trip to Cyfarthfa Castle and the Penderyn Whisky Distillery, Merthyr with a call back at Llandovery for further refreshments. In October the choir performed at Betws RFC for a group of visitors from New Zealand who were following the rugby World Cup and in the same month Alan Jones, Pontyberem began to create a new website for the choir with the help of Charlie Thomas – despite his worsening health. I spent a good few hours in Charlie’s house trying to unlock the password for the old website and it was a very eerie feeling when the same password worked straight away the day after Charlie had passed away. It has continued to work ever since.

In November members of the committee took time to watch a DVD – Save Our Choirs – at Cross Hands cinema and while there was nothing new in the message, the growing importance of social media was evident. I am grateful to Paul Lewis for managing the choir’s Facebook page which is going from strength to strength. It is without doubt the way forward with publicity and communication.

The choir took part in a concert with Llanelli MVC and Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi at the
Furnace Theatre and in a Music Marathon at St Anne’s CHurch, Cross Hands in December and completed the year’s events with our annual visit to Bryntawel, Tumble and the General
Committee meeting in the Prince of Wales, Porthyrhyd. The loss of Charlie Thomas over Christmas was felt by all. It was not the best of starts the choir could have had to the New Year and with our accompanist Betsan having to end her services due to family and work commitments the choir once again was faced with finding a new accompanist. In the meantime, Bethan Evans, stepped in to help us out when she could but we all knew that it would only be a temporary solution. I would like to thank Bethan for her help.

With the choir celebrating its 50th Anniversary, the Ladies committee marked the occasion with the presentation of a framed logo as well as the donation of scarves for all choristers. The ladies have also agreed to pay for the new trousers which go well with the new polo shirts bearing the anniversary logo.

The anniversary dinner was held in Tumble Welfare Hall and it was an excellent evening
enjoyed by all. There were some nice touches on the tables with the choco pops and I am grateful to Lawrence and Barbara Mackee for also arranging the anniversary cake.
Whilst background work was continuing with all these arrangements, the choir also found time to have a successful Cawl a Chân with Côr Curaid y Cwm in Llanddarog village hall in march. All this as well as further developing the arrangements for the grand concert in Pontyberem in October this year.

The choir also elected three new Life Vice Presidents – John L Thomas, Meurig & Lloyd
Williams. All three have been with the choir from the outset and continue to contribute to its
activities. The presentation of commemorative plaques to them was much appreciated.
We were all delighted a month or so ago when Ioan Price took up the post of accompanist. Ioan is a talented musician and has already showed us what he can do. His first concert was with the pupils of Penygroes School at the Apostolic Temple, Penygroes earlier this month and one would think that he has been with us all along.