THE LORD ABERDARE MEMORIAL HOUSE
The year 1930 will remain memorable in the history of the YMCA in Wales. For many years the Welsh National Council directed the organisation with its many ramifications from inadequate accommodation comprising three small dormer rooms on the second floor of a business house; but the above mentioned year witnessed a remarkable transformation.
A project was considered by a small group of prominent YMCA laymen and some friends of the Movement in Glamorgan, to raise a memorial to commemorate the services of the late Lord Aberdare, an honoured name in Welsh YMCA circles, and former President of the Welsh National Council.
It was suggested that the memorial should take the form of a headquarters building in Cardiff for the Welsh National Council. The Dowager Lady Aberdare was consulted by the Officers of the Council and gave warm approval to the proposed project.
At a subsequent meeting of the Executive Committee of the Council, the proposal received enthusiastic support and a "Lord Aberdare Memorial Committee" was appointed to implement the project along the lines suggested.
The Committee consisted of members of the YMCA, together with several admirers and friends of the late Lord Aberdare, as follows:
Treasurer Chairman Vice Chai
The Bishop of Llandaff and the Countess of Plymouth The Earl of Dunraven Mr. W. J. Holloway Mr. W. H. Bond
The Hon. Financial Secretary Hon. Secretary
Mr. W. H. Mayne, J.P Mr. W. J. Pate
The Memorial Committee forthwith proceeded to launch an appeal for £2,000, this being the estimated sum required to purchase a suitable property, adapt and recondition the fabric, and furnish a Memorial Boardroom. Within six weeks sufficient funds had been secured to purchase the valuable leasehold property at 53 Park Place, Cardiff. The freehold rights of the property were then acquired by Lady Aberdare, and these were conveyed to the appointed body of trustees. Lady Aberdare also donated a further sum of money to meet the cost of oak panelling for the walls of the Memorial Board room.
The Welsh National Women's Auxiliary subscribed sufficient money to provide parquet flooring and furnishings for the room.
In due course the appeal fund was over-subscribed, but it was decided to keep the fund open with a view to providing a sum of one thousand pounds for maintenance of the fabric of the Memorial House.
Confronting Cathays Park with its splendour of majestic buildings and graceful avenues, The Lord Aberdare House was a fitting memorial to one of the noble sons of Wales. The Memorial Committee, representing a large body of subscribers, was deeply sensible of the service rendered to the youth of Wales by their late president. It was consistent with his life that his memory should have been perpetuated in a memorial house which became the National Headquarters of the Young Men's Christian Association in Wales.