X hits on this document

PDF document

The%20History%20of%20the%20YMCA%20in%20Wales.PDF - page 89 / 137





89 / 137

early days before 1914, it flourished. The committee was composed of well known businessmen. It had a substantial membership and offered a varied programme.

During the war of 1914, it suffered from neglect of area leadership. The Secretary of the Welsh YMCA District Committee, Mr. Gwilym James, had been called from his excellent work in Wales to direct YMCA activities with H.M. Forces in the London area. In addition, the Secretarial staff of the Welsh YMCA concentrated its energies on similar work in Wales, and Local Associations, bereft of experienced leadership, suffered considerable losses. It was a mistaken policy. Many small Associations failed to survive, two large Associations closed their doors and the Pontypridd Association nearly succumbed.

A special appeal for funds at the opening of the new building greatly reduced' the capital debt, but by 1923 it had increased to £8,500 due to maintenance demands. The trustees, greatly concerned, proposed to sell the property. A resolution to this effect had been prepared and an management

made to call a Welsh National to attend. The introductions, Welsh National

Trustees Meeting to discuss and determine the issue. The new Secretary, appointed only a few weeks earlier, was invited meeting was convened as arranged. After the briefest of the resolution was put to the meeting. The Secretary of the Council made a strong plea that it should be delayed for a

few weeks in order that the Council be given time to consider the situation. The request prompted some uncomplimentary remarks but the Trustees agreed. Within a few days the Secretary for Wales interviewed two of his senior colleagues of the National Council, London, and put forward a request for financial aid to meet the cost of a year's salary for an experienced Secretary at Pontypridd YMCA. This was agreed and the Association at Pontypridd survived to become a very active concern.

That Trustees Meeting had far reaching consequences. Two of the youngest trustees caught the spirit of an inspired renaissance. Cyril Morgan and Tom Jones launched a businessmen's appeal in the town on behalf of the YMCA. In twelve months the debt had been reduced to £4,500. The mood continued. A strong YMCA Women's Auxiliary was formed. Financial efforts became an annual feature and in eight years £2000 had been donated to the Pontypridd Association. An effort in 1936 realised £800., by means of a Christmas Fayre which was opened by H.H. Princess Helena Victoria, the President of the National Women's Auxiliary.

The S. Wales Federation of Boys' Clubs and the Welsh YMCA co-operated in efforts to establish boys' clubs in the industrial valleys of South Wales.

The Federation constructed another floor upon the entire length of flat roof of the extensive Pontypridd Association premises. The new accommodation comprised a gymnasium hall, a chapel, and a variety of rooms suitable for Youth Club activities, at a cost of £3,000 which was donated by the National Fitness Council and other trust funds. The new premises were opened by the Duke of Gloucester.

The Federation allowed the YMCA Boy Members frequent participation in their club activities. Later the two boys groups merged to become the Pontypridd Boys' Club.

A scheme, to establish Educational settlements in towns in South Wales severely affected by unemployment, was sponsored by a small group of well known educationalists and public administrators several years before the

Document info
Document views199
Page views199
Page last viewedMon Oct 24 05:14:06 UTC 2016