Tributes were also paid to Mr. John Cory, J.P., who died in 1910. For many years he had been president of the Welsh Administrative Council. His generous donations to the funds of many building schemes were a considerable factor in the forward movement of the Association in Wales.
Although Gwilym James and Roberts Powell were involved in diffuse and voluminous administrative detail, they found time and energy in the midst of the turmoil of organisational responsibility to speak at many conferences. This was the means of expressing the religious aims of the Association and inspiring its spiritual life.
The George Williams pattern of prayer and Bible study was quite prominent in the activities of the new Associations of varying size in the 1910s. This is verified by a collection of press notices printed around the turn of the century and extracted from YMCA magazines, programmes and newspaper cuttings. Most Associations included one or more of the following agencies
in their programme:
Prayer Service Bible Class
Literary Societies Debating Groups
Missionary Circle Pocket Testament League Brotherhood Meetings
Public Lectures Association Conferences Open Air Meetings
The highly promising and progressive Welsh YMCA work suffered a disaster when much of its growth was halted by the outbreak of war in 1914. The current of progress was diverted to other channels. The inspired administrative machine disintegrated. Gwilym James was called to London to take over specialised responsibilities in the Metropolitan area. Roberts Powell withdrew from the Movement and there is no information available regarding his subsequent work. It was a tragedy for the Welsh YMCA Movement. Those two dynamic Secretaries, with their experience of YMCA service for H.M. Volunteers, would have been invaluable to the wartime service to H.M. Forces in Wales. They would also have continued to give spirited guidance to local Association committees at a time when it was most needed. As it was, many Associations suffered from isolation for long periods; as a result, two of the best YMCA prospects in Wales eventually closed their doors, as did many of the smaller Associations.
Fortunately, the Industrial Department continued to function enthusiasm of its officers and committee.
The new Swansea YMCA building, having been in use for only a few months, was requisitioned for hospital service. Other Associations maintained an excellent welfare service for locally stationed members of the Forces.
Mr. F. S. Higman was asked to direct YMCA Forces Centre Work in Wales in addition to his overburdening duties in Cardiff and his intensive activities in the suburbs of the city.
It may well be asserted that a golden age of Welsh YMCA history, to 1914 was brought to its close by the 1914/18 war.