YMCA work for several years before the war was characterised by intensive extension, both in respect of youth work and residential centres. Much of this progress ceased with the outbreak of hostilities. Now that the war had come to an end, the Association was again being strained to the uttermost by the demand for extension all over Wales.
a) At least twenty YMCA centres for members of the Forces remained for the men in the peace-time army. b) At St. Athan R.A.F. Station, despite the fact that one large centre was already at work, what was possibly the largest institute of its kind in the whole country, was erected by the YMCA at a cost of £9,000. This Institute was dedicated to the memory of the late Earl of Plymouth, who had done so much for men and women members of the Forces stationed in Glamorgan. c) Many boys and young men who went out to war in the 18 to 20 age group, came back and caught the new vision of the YMCA service. This service included the erection of larger and better equipped YMCAs and residential holiday and training centres both for youth and adults.
Tbe war work of the YMCA in Wales was officially brought to a close on 24th October, 1946, when the Lord Mayor of Cardiff (Alderman Walter R. Wills, JP) invited representatives of the Council and its workers from all over Wales to a meeting at the City Hall, Cardiff.
At this meeting, the thanks of the Council was expressed to all workers by Mr. W. H. Mayne, now the President of the Council, Lady Plymouth, President of the Welsh YMCA Women's Auxiliary, together with the Hon. Mrs. J. H. Bruce, Mrs. J. Elliot Seager, MBE.,J.P., who were Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Auxiliary, Sir Frank Willis, CBE., M.A., Secretary of the National Council, London, and Mr. W. J. Pate, M.A., National Secretary of the Welsh YMCA.
The Lord Mayor of Cardiff welcomed all YMCA helpers and workers and on his own behalf, and on behalf of the City of Cardiff and the Principality, thanked the YMCA for the service it had rendered in Wales during the war period.
Each person, whether an official, a voluntary worker, or an employed officer, was equally important and fitted into the whole scheme of service. The YMCA in Wales will always be indebted to these men and women who played such a valiant part in the service rendered by the YMCA to members of H.M. Services, during the period of the war.
THE OPENING OF THE LORD PLYMOUTH YMCA, EAST CAMP. ST. ATHAN.
The new YMCA building was situated near the amenities centre at St. Athan East Camp, and as previously stated was regarded as one of the finest Forces Centres to be built. It was dedicated to the memory of the late Earl of Plymouth, and was formally opened by the Countess of Plymouth on 1st July, 1948.
General L.E.A. Price Davies, V.C., of the National Council of YMCAs, presided at the Opening Ceremony, and was one of the first of many speakers to congratulate Mr. W. J. Pate, M.A., National Secretary of the Welsh