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Dr Alun Jones, Chairman


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Gowertonian Centenarian

 

 

Gowertonian Gilbert Lewis, originally from Gorseinon, celebrated his 100th birthday on 5th October 2017. To mark the occasion, the Gowertonian Society presented Gilbert with a book about the history of Gowerton Intermediate School and he was also given a Gowertonian Society tie, which he is proudly wearing in the photograph.

After graduating from Swansea University in 1939, Gilbert was employed for 37 years at the Chemical Defence Experimental Department at Porton Down in Salisbury.

 

   

 

Gowerton School GCSE and A Level Results 2017

Excellent news from Gowerton School with pupils continuing to do well
         
 
 
At GCSE the excellent A/A* grades include one boy with 9A*, 2 pupils with 8A* 1A
Further information will be posted on the school's newsletter in September.
 
         
 
Year 13 students are now moving on to study at their chosen universities. Here are some examples of the universities and courses: Law at Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, Medicine at Cardiff and Southampton, Journalism at Cardiff and Worcester, Pharmacy at Cardiff and Reading, Geography at Aberystwyth, Portsmouth and Swansea.
 
 

 

Gowerton School Project


Dr Alun Jones, Gowerton Boys' Grammar School 1955-1962
with Year 7 pupils

Ben Stephens, Ryan Stanford, Emily Cooper, Tyler Logan

As part of our Gowerton Project to help pupils further their knowledge about the 120 years of history of the school we invited members of the Gowertonian Sociey committee to be interviewed by pupils. 

Pupils also studied old photographs and the history of the school.

If any Gowertonians would like to be involved in this project next year please contact us.

Kath Lawlor (Assistant Headteacher)

 

Gowerton School Award 2017

Many congratulations to the
headteacher, staff and pupils of
Gowerton Comprehensive School.

 

 

Birthday Greetings


Congratulations and best wishes to John Vivian Hayes, Gowertonian (1928-1935), who celebrates his 100th Birthday on Saturday, 10th December 2016.

John, also known as Viv, was born in Kingsbridge and was head boy at Gowerton Intermediate School in 1935. After graduating from Swansea University with an honours degree, John became a Latin teacher at Barry Grammar School.

At the start of World War 2, John joined the airforce and became a squadron leader. To read John's interesting account of his wartime service, please go to RMS Scythia

It was at Milford Grammar School, when John returned to teaching after the war, that he met and married Phyllis. With their children, Helen and Michael, they moved to Llanelli where they both taught at the local Grammar Schools.

John was always keen on sport. At Gowerton School he broke Haydn Tanner's high jump record - which was then broken by Onllwyn Brace! As well as playing rugby at Gowerton School, John played for the Scarlets and the All Whites.

"Childhood Memories of a former Head Boy" was written for the Guardian newspaper by John Vivian Hayes.

 

Concert at Peclawdd Primary School

 

Gowerton School has established cultural links with the Community of As (formerly known as Asch) following the ceremony in Belgium in 2014 to pay tribute to Gowertonian, WW2 Pilot Officer Penry Guy.

A group of musicians, the Mayor of As, Miel Craeghs, and Deputy Mayor, Kathleen de Cleene will be at Gowerton School for the Remembrance Service on Friday, 11th November.

On Saturday, the Keereweerom Choir, members of the Fund Penry Guy and pupils from the Music Academy, Belgium will be performing at a concert at the Penclawdd Primary School.

Everyone is welcome to attend this concert. There is no admission charge.


Visit to Asch


Concert

   

 

 

 

Gowerton School GCSE Results 2016

Many congratulations to pupils and staff of

Gowerton Comprehensive School

on their excellent GCSE results.

 

Retirements at Gowerton School

 

Best wishes to the headteacher of Gowerton Comprehensive School Mr Peter Harrison, to deputy headteacher Mr Tom MacCarthy, to the head of sixth form Dr Melanie Lloyd and to the business manager Mrs Edwina Skinner on their retirement.

Many thanks from members of the committee of the Gowertonian Society to Peter and his staff for the warm welcome we have always been given at school functions.

New headteacher, Mr Nigel Jones, will be joining the school next term

Mr Peter Harrison
  http://www.gowerton.com/blog/mr-p-b-harrison-final-thanks/

 

Lord Mayor's Honours

 

Gowertonian, Edwina Hart MBE, is to be honoured by the City of Swansea for her Services to Political Life.

Edwina, who has recently retired as Welsh Assembly member for Gower, has served as Minister for Finance and Local Government, Minister for Social Justice and Regeneration, Minister for Health and Social Services and Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science.

The Lord Mayor's Honours will be presented at a special gala ball at the Brangwyn Hall on Friday, 29th July 2016, and the event is expected to raise thousands of pounds for local charities.

 

Edwina Hart MBE
   

 

An Evening with Sir Karl Jenkins

 

 

One of the highlights of the 2016 Gower Festival
was the Evening with Sir Karl Jenkins held at
Bethesda Chapel, Burry Green on 8th July.

Karl signed copies of his recently published
autobiography, “Still with the Music.”

To read more about this event, please go to dispatch-box

Sir Karl Jenkins
   

 

Sad News

HUGHES Owen John
(Former deputy head Gowerton Comprehensive)

Sadly on 20th May 2016 at Morriston Hospital. Owen of Borough Road, Loughor. Dearly loved husband of Nelda. Devoted father of Janet and his grand-daughters Rhian and Bethan. A dear brother of Alun and the late Aubrey. Funeral Thursday 2nd June. Public service at St Catherine's Church, Gorseinon at 11.45am, followed by cremation at Llanelli Crematorium at 1.00pm. Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu may be made payable to Bloodwise and sent to Anthony Inkin & Paul Deans, privately owned funeral directors, Kilby Court, Loughor, Swansea, SA4 6RQ Tel 01792 897710

 

Tributes to 'OJ' on Facebook ("Gowertonians" group) include:

"A Gowertonian through and through"............. Alfie Jones

"A much admired and respected colleague".......Tom MacCarthy

"My favourite teacher"....................................Wanda Hill

"An inspirational deputy head".........................Arun Midha

 

 

Sir Karl Jenkins

Sir Karl Jenkins
Gowertonian Karl Jenkins receiving his knighthood, 6th October 2015

 

Best GCSE Results Ever for Gowerton School in 2015

 

72% achieved 5A*-C including maths and English.

99% of yr11 pupils achieved 5 A*-C/ level2 equivalent

Between them, Holly Breeze Jones, Becky Alexander and Kaitlyn Egan achieved
16A* 8A 1B...outstanding results!

We are proud of all the hard work and effort from pupils and staff.
Congratulations to all.

 

Holly, Becky & Kaitlyn
 

Congratulations also to the 6th form on their excellent results. On results day 95% of pupils wishing to pursue further education at University achieved their first or second choices. 

 


 

 

Sad News

Miss Dorothy Miller, geography teacher at Gowerton Girls' Grammar School, passed away peacefully at Parkway Care Home Sketty on 23rd July 2015. She would have had her 95th birthday in November.

According to her nephew, David Arnold, Miss Miller still had some contact with ex-pupils and colleagues and he would be pleased to hear from any of us by e-mail or telephone (01189 732702)

David says that in agreement with his aunt's wishes her body has been bequeathed to Cardiff University for research purposes, so consequently there will not be a local funeral for the foreseeable future.

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Miss Brenda Paris (Mrs Gethin), biology teacher at Gowerton Girls' Grammar School, passed away on at Bryn Illtyd Care Home on 16th July 2015.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, 31st July at St Illtyd's Church, Pembrey followed by committal at Llanelli Crematorium at 3pm.

 

 

Gowertonian Society AGM

At the AGM of the Society held at the school on July 7th it was agreed that the present officers would continue in their present positions for the next year. It was noted that Gordon Dennis was to resign from the committee after serving as a member for over 60 years.

Val Richards, President, reported on the Society's activities throughout the past year of which there were very many and our financial contribution to school organisations, most recently sponsoring music masterclass tuition of budding musicians. The Society donated nearly £2000 pounds this year and whilst we recoup some of this expenditure from the annual reunion we need to supplement that income by other means and hopefully could appeal for donations from former students who read our website or from those of us who are on Facebook. Contibutions and ideas are most welcome.

Congratulations are in order for committee members Chloe Guy, Ph.D who now is Dr.Chloe Guy MB.B.ch.Ph.D, Tony Small - recently awarded the BEM for his contribution to music in the area and finally Kath Lawlor who leaves her post as Head of Music and becomes Deputy Head of the school. We send  Dan Biggar and Liam Williams our best wishes for the Rugby World Cup and finally that school has another Knight of the Realm - Sir Karl Jenkins.

Dr Alun Jones

 

Honours for Gowertonians

         
 
 
 
 
Sir Karl Jenkins
 
Tony Small BEM
 

 

Gower Festival Concert 2015

 

Click on image for more details

 

Brangwyn Hall Concert 2015

 

 

 

School Magazines

Gowerton Comprehensive School teachers, Darren Long and Ryan Richards, are publishing copies of The Gowertonian, Y Gorwel and Worm's Eye on the school website.

If you can add to this collection, please contact the school or the Gowertonian Society website.

 

Brangwyn Festival Memories

Dear Gowertonian,

As part of 2015 celebrations we are producing a souvenir brochure ‘looking back and looking forward’.

I wonder if you would consider letting us know of a favourite ‘Brangwyn moment or musical’ of yours and possibly attaching a photograph of yourself for use as part of a two page feature.

‘Your Moment’ might be a date, name of a friend or anecdote…. or anything else.

Two of my personal favourites were - the PE Department telling Trevor Cheeseman he had to have full dress suit to help move The Bechstein (he hired one) and Afan Daniel reading an extract from ‘Idylls of the King’ – “The old order changeth, yielding place to new” (not a dry eye in the house).

You can reply to this invitation by post or email to tom.maccarthy@swansea-edunet.gov.uk

I very much look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Mr T MacCarthy

Assistant Headteacher

 

100th Birthday Celebration


Gowertonian Marian Walters celebrated her 100th birthday
on Monday, 29th September 2014
with a visit by the Gowerton School choir.

 

 

Denys Jenkins BEM

Denys Jenkins BEM
 

Gowertonian Denys Jenkins has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours List and has also received a Silver Acorn, one of the highest awards in scouting, in recognition of more than 50 years of service.

Denys Jenkins has spent 40 years as a voluntary and charity worker and is well known to pantomime goers as the lovable Denny Twp. He has also been praised for his work opening charity events and sharing his love of reading by talking to children in local schools.

Denys's work with the Friendship Theatre Group in Llanelli had raised more than £155,000 for local charities, and he himself has raised as much as £750,000 over the years through various activities

 

Beti Williams MBE

Gowertonian Beti Wiliams (nee Protheroe) has been awarded an MBE for Services to Women in Science, Engineering and Technology.

Beti's awards include:

1998  Finalist in the Welsh Woman of the Year Awards

2006  Awarded the Best Woman in Technology in Academia and the Public Sector Award in the UK Blackberry Woman and Technology Awards

2010 Awarded the British Computer Society Meritorious Service Award

 

Beti Williams MBE
 

 

Gowerton School musicians' commemorative visit to Belgium and France
Remembering two Gowertonians who lost their lives in action in World War 1 and World War 2

I am planning to take a group of Gowerton School pupils, including the school’s brass ensemble, on a short tour to Belgium and France in June 2014.
The impetus for this tour is an invitation to the school to take part in a commemoration by the villagers of Asch in Belgium of a Lancaster Bomber pilot from Gower (an old boy of Gowerton County School – now Gowerton School), G Penry Guy who died in action when his plane crashed on the edge of the village.
The visit will also give the participants an opportunity to visit the grave of another Gowertonian, John Emlyn Rees (1892-1916) who is buried at Grenay, near Bethune in France.

G Penry Guy 1922-1944
G Penry Guy came from Penclawdd. He was a member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who, by June 1944, was a Pilot Officer flying Lancaster Bombers. 
Our school Book of Remembrance records the following information about Pilot Officer Penry Guy:
Penry Guy at Gowerton 1933-37
Pilot officer, Bomber Command, RAF.
The Lancaster bomber, of which he was a pilot, was hit while over Belgium June 21/22 1944. He held it in control for his six comrades to escape, and so lost his own life. Aged 22. He lies in the Church cemetery, Asch, Belgium.
The community of the Belgian village of Asch has organised a series of formal events on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th June 2014 to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of Penry Guy’s death. These include:
A reception and greeting by the Mayor of Asch; 
A service of remembrance at the graveside, during which we hope our brass ensemble, consisting of four GCSE pupils, will perform the Welsh, English and Belgian national anthems and an appropriate solemn piece of music;
A fly over by the Belgian Royal Air Force, which has been organised by the village of Asch; 
Unveiling a memorial plaque and artwork near the location where the Lancaster III LM 580 DX-L went down.

John Emlyn Rees 1892-1916
On our return journey, we plan to visit the World War I cemetery at Grenay in northern France, where John Emlyn Rees, another old Gowerton County School pupil, lies. This will again be a poignant occasion. 
Emlyn Rees was my great uncle. For the last ten years my family has sponsored several music awards in the school's annual Awards Evening in memory of Emlyn Rees. Each of the brass players accompanying us on this tour has been a recipient of this award, so we feel it appropriate to visit his graveside and perform the Welsh anthem there. 
Emlyn Rees came from Loughor. He enlisted in 1914 but lost his life in 1916, a Lance Sergeant in the 6th Battalion the Welsh Regiment – the Glamorgan Battalion - formed in Swansea in 1914, in which many Gower men enlisted.

Request
We are seeking support and funding towards the visit. We are under some time pressure because the commemorations are less than a month away, which denies us access to many major grant funders such as the Heritage Lottery Fund. If you can help in any way please contact us at Gowerton School on 01792 873461 or via this email.
Thank you

Kathleen Lawlor
Head of Music, Gowerton School, Cecil Road, Gowerton SA4 3DL



Karl Jenkins

 

Dr Alun Jones, chairman, and committee members Anne Davies and Catherine Thomas represented the Gowertonian Society at the Royal Albert Hall, London on Friday, 9th May 2014 at a concert to celebrate the 70th birthday of Gowertonian, Karl Jenkins.

 

 

 


Alfie wrote:
It is worth noting that Karl Jenkins is having a series of concerts to celebrate his 70th birthday. So far they have been held in New York, Cardiff, Sweden and at the Royal Albert Hall, London where he met Gowertonians and invited them into his private box. As expected, the packed hall was thrilled with the the performance and Welsh singer Cerys Matthews, at the end of the concert thanked Gowertonians for our support and attendance.

 


 

Happy Birthday, Rona!

Congratulations to Mrs Rona Davies on her 90th birthday, 23rd May 2013.

Rona celebrated her special day at her home in Killay with her daughter Lady Helen Boswell, daughter-in-law Mary, step daughter Margaret, granddaughter Julie, former colleagues, neighbours and friends.

 

Margaret, Mary, Rona, Helen and Julie
 

 

The Education System of Wales

A TV production company making a social history programme, would like to hear from former grammar school pupils about their memories or stories of school life in the 1960s.

For more information, please contact this website.

 

 

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday to John Vivian Hayes, 96 years old.

John (also known as Viv), bottom right in the photograph, was a pupil at the Gowerton County School from 1928-1935. He was head boy in 1935 and also a champion high jumper.

John lives in Llanelli. He taught Latin and German at the Llanelli Boys' Grammar School.

John would like to know whether he is now the oldest Gowertonian.

If you know of a Gowertonian older than John, please contact the website or a member of the Gowertonian Society committee.

 

 

 

Gowertonians at the National Eisteddfod

The Saturday Night Concert on Aug 4th was the UK Premiere of Karl Jenkins' latest work, "The Bards of Wales", conducted by Karl himself, with Dennis O'Neill a Soloist.

Eric Jones' hymn "O Fab y Dyn" was the test piece on the Tuesday when the Pensioners' Choirs competed.

Conductor of Cor Hamdden Caerdydd was Mrs Eilonwy Jones (Jenkins).

Chairman of the Choir last year, was John C Davies of Grovesend. Adjudicator was John Hugh Thomas.

Robert Nicholls, Penclawdd was Organist at the Gymunfa Ganu, and also Conductor of "Meibion Taf" a Male Voice Choir on Saturday 11th Aug.

 
Wynne Thomas

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Facebook Group

A new Facebook group called 'Gowertonians' has been set up by committee member Catherine Thomas (née Proud). This group is already very popular and is for past pupils from the Gowerton Comprehensive School as well as from the Grammar Schools. Catherine is looking forward to hearing from you.

 

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High Sheriff of South Glamorgan

 

 

Gowertonian Dr. Arun Midha has been installed as High Sheriff of South Glamorgan. The official declaration was made to his Honour Judge Sir Roderick Evans, whose father, Tom Evans, was a teacher at the Gowerton Boys' Grammar School.

Arun's mother, Olive, and his brothers Ravi and Paul are also Gowertonians.

(Photograph by courtesy of The Evening Post)

 

 

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BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2011

Congratulations to Gowertonian Anne Ellis OBE, who has received a well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the 50 years she has dedicated to hockey as a player, coach and administrator.

 

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Coffee Morning at Plas-y- Môr

 

Mrs Ena Davies, who taught French at Gowerton Girls' Grammar School in the 1960s, has raised £6,000 for the local hospice.

Friends gathered this week for coffee and home-made Welsh cakes at Ena's home Plas-y-Môr, the subject of her book.

Ena has just a few books left. If you would like a copy (£8.99), please contact the website.

 

 

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Emmy Awards 2011


Composer Mark Thomas, a Gowertonian originally from Penclawdd, has been nominated in the Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music category in the creative arts section of the Emmys for the theme tune to the transatlantic comedy series Episodes.

A Bafta winner for his score of cult film Twin Town, Mark is to take a red carpet walk at the Emmy Awards in Hollywood for his work with American star Matt Le Blanc. He will be competing against dramas including The Borgias, The Kennedys and Camelot.

 

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Gowerton School Inspection 2011


 

Congratulations to the headteacher, staff and pupils of Gowerton Comprehensive School on their recent inspection result.

As Gowertonians, we are so proud and pleased that the high standard of education we enjoyed at Gowerton School is being maintained.

 

 


Headteacher, Mr Peter Harrison, with the chair
of governors, Mrs Deborah Lloyd, and a group of
Gowerton School pupils celebrating their recent
inspection success.

(Photograph by courtesy of the Evening Post)

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Service in Honour of Young Cadets

Gowertonian D Byron Lewis, HM Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan, and his wife Hilary (Morgan), also a Gowertonian, at a service at St Mary's Church, Swansea, celebrating the cadet forces and youth uniform organisations in West Glamorgan.

HM Lord Lieutenant
of West Glamorgan D Byron Lewis
and his wife, Hilary

(Photograph by courtesy of the Evening Post)

 

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Lewis Jones's 80th Birthday

L Ann Bwis Jones, Bill Bowen and the School get an honourhe occasion of Lewis's 80th birthday

In an article in about Bobby Moore in the Sports Guardian on 13th April 2011, Lewis Jones, Bill Bowen and Gowerton School were mentioned by Frank Keating.

He wrote: "If English football's tragically lost paragon would have been 70 on Tuesday, by coincidence the day before, Monday, was the 80th birthday of Benjamin Lewis Jones.

Four-score and many happy returns to another game's preux chevalier, and with a similar aura. Is Lewis Jones the most rounded and versatile British player ever to grace rugby league? Argue if you must but there is no doubt, surely, that Jones was the very best of any Welshman who "went north" when amateurism ruled down south.

Can the James brothers – "the curly-haired marmosets" – have been better than Lewis Jones? Or was Jim Sullivan better or Gus Risman or Billy Boston or Terry Price or Dai Watkins or Jonathan Davies?

Lewis Jones from Gorseinon went to Gowerton Grammar School, where he was inspired by tales of how the school's teenage prodigies, Haydn Tanner and Willie Davies, had helped beat the 1935 All Blacks after being coached as well by the saintly sportsmaster Bill Bowen, whose credo was solely to correct imperfect technique but never, ever, to interfere with any boy's innate style, singular outlook or daring.

Lewis Jones had all of these three gifts in abundance. He was only briefly a fluorescent light which dazzled the union game – two Welsh seasons and a blinding tour for the 1950 Lions – before Leeds signed him to transform the 13-a-side code with a skip in his stride and a smile on his face.

I never saw him play but the imperishable Welsh rugby history, Fields of Praise, generously produces, as it forever does, the next best thing. "With a mesmerising variation of pace and stride, hips that oscillated as if on ball-bearings, and shoulders that shrugged and twisted through thickets of tackles, Lewis Jones's speciality was an Ali-like double shuffle, a scissoring movement of the legs which signalled, too late for his opponents, that he was about to move into a fifth gear."

It was an attribute he demonstrated sensationally for Wales at Twickenham in 1950 and a few months later even more so for the Lions in Auckland, then for season after season in rugby league, to embellish the glittering legend.

Two successive birthdays in April: two immortals to stir the nostalgia and to give thanks for."

 

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Sad News

Mrs Ann Borthwick, a past president of the Gowertonian Society, passed away on Thursday, 17th February 2011.

Ann will be greatly missed by us all. Our thoughts are with David and family at this sad time.

 

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World War Hero

A memorial plaque has been presented to Gowerton School in honour of Frederick William Higginson, a man with one of the most outstanding Battle of Britain achievements. He was born in Gorseinon on 17th February 1913 and attended Gowerton County School from 1921 to 1926.

The purpose of the Memorial Plaque is not only to record the outstanding performance of a former pupil of the School but it will serve to engender in today's pupils that feeling of respect and gratitude for the fine work done by 'The Few' in 1940. 

The person researching the project to place Memorial Plaques at schools where heroes of the Battle of Britain were educated states 'My local knowledge makes me aware of the fine collection of former Gowerton pupils and their achievements throughout the World.  Having said that, if it had not been for the remarkable success of Frederick William Higginson and his colleagues in seeing off the planned invasion of Britain there might not have been the safe democracy within which we have all grown up.'

For more about Wing Commander Higginson, please go to Dispatch Box and to Remembrance Service to read about the ceremony at which the plaque was unveiled

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Dylan Thomas and his links with Pontardulais

Old Gowertonians David N. Thomas and Deric John, both originally from Pontardulais, have written an article on Dylan Thomas and his links with Pontardulais which is published in the autumn 2010 issue of Cambria magazine.

It's also online at
https://sites.google.com/site/dylanthomaspontardulais/home/dylan-and-the-bont with lots of photos.

Hope you enjoy it.

 

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Book Launch

On Wednesday, 6th October 2010, former Gowertonian Eric Jones (Pontarddulais) will be launching his new book Brothers Sing On at the Rugby Club in Pontarddulais. The book, which is due out next week, refers to the history of Pontarddulais Male Voice Choir and was written to commemorate their centenary.

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Diamond Wedding Anniversary

Congratulations to Bill and Iris on 60 years of wedded bliss. Bill Hallett was a pupil at the Gowerton County School from 1939 until his call up in 1944.

Bill, an orchestral musician, spent most of his career in the Royal Opera House and his wife Iris was a very successful string teacher. They have 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

 

 

This photograph of Bill was taken in a Gowerton Church Hall concert in late 1943. Even as a schoolboy he had to wear the musician's work clothes - evening dress.

 

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Dennis O’Neill

Dennis O`Neill was invested as an honorary fellow of Trinity College, Carmarthen on Tuesday 6th July 2010 for his contribution to music in Wales. Most appropriately the presentation was made by Dr. Brian Clarke, (Gowerton Boys` Grammar, 1963-1970), Registrar of Trinity College. I am aware of this as my son graduated from Trinity on the same day!

Alex Reid

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Officers and Committee 2010

It will be with the deepest regret that Gowertonians everywhere will learn that, due to ill-health, Mrs Ann Borthwick has felt it incumbent to resign as President of the Society – a position she had deserved by her lifelong devoted commitment to all worthy things Gowertonian.

Ann, née Lewis, Gorseinon born and a Girls’ Grammar School pupil (1947-54), later a Head of Year and Department in Comprehensive times, brought firm and far reaching local experience, a respect for tradition and an awareness of the ongoing needs of the 21 st Century School. She assiduously attended every Society happening, bringing a natural charm, an awareness of occasion and an ability to express herself honestly and most acceptably. Her contribution to both School and Society has, as President, proved invaluable in so many ways. An added bonus has been the unfailing support of David, Ann’s husband. May they both be assured of the appreciation, affection, concern and good wishes of a multitude of Gowertonians.

At this year’s AGM, the existing committee was reappointed – existing officers retain their positions, with the exception of the President.

Mrs Valmai Richards (née Gronow) was unanimously appointed as President. A former pupil and teacher at the Girls’ Grammar School, Valmai has served on the Gowertonian Committees since 1961 and has been responsible for the website since its inception. She takes up her new position with the best wishes of her many Gowertonian friends.

Rona Davies

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National Eisteddfod 2010

Notable Gowertonian Eric Jones, musician and also author of Maestro (biography of Noel Davies, ex-conductor of the Pontarddulais Male Voice Choir) is to be honoured at this year's National Eisteddfod by becoming one of the White Robe Druids. He will be known as Moelfryn.

Eric is married to Gwen (née Owen), a former head girl of the Gowerton Girls' Grammar School.

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BAFTA Award

 

 

 

 

 

The S4C film, Rhestr Nadolig Wil, directed by Dafydd Wyn and featuring actors Dewi 'Pws' Morris, John Ogwen, Ryland Teifi, Rhian Jones, Arwyn Davies and Beth Roberts won the Drama Category at the 2009 BAFTA Children's Awards.

Gowertonian Christian Phillips, originally from Waunarlwydd, and Caryl Parry Jones co-wrote the music and the script for the film.

 

Christian Phillips

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Robert Evans

It was with heavy hearts that we heard the news that Robert Evans had died in the early hours of Friday, 22nd January. Words cannot do justice to such a tragic loss. Robert was a conscientious, caring, competent man in every way and our deep condolences go out to Pam and the family.

On behalf of the Gowertonian Society, I can truthfully say that he lifted us up when we were seriously down and brought a fresh enthusiasm with new contacts and boundless energy.

He was an excellent chairman and his approach to each aspect of the work was meticulous. His organisation of the Annual Dinner could not be faulted.

I have known and respected Robert as a teacher for over 30 years but his work with the Gowertonian Society raised that respect to a higher level. He will be sadly missed by all of us but the committee will continue to support the school in all facets and will proudly serve as Gowertonians.

Ann Borthwick, President.

 

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Musical Director of London Welsh Male Voice Choir

 

Gowertonian Edward-Rhys Bate from Penclawdd is the new Musical Director of the London Welsh Male Voice Choir. After becoming a church organist at 15 years old, he was commissioned to write music for the National Youth Theatre of Wales before studying music at Bangor University. Edward-Rhys has a post-graduate diploma in music technology and sound recording, a Master of Music degree in composition, an MA in choral conducting and has performed with the BBC National Chorus of Wales.

 

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Fatal Neglect: Who Killed Dylan Thomas? - by David N. Thomas

 

 

Given the school's connection to Dylan Thomas, David Thomas's latest book 'Fatal Neglect: Who Killed Dylan Thomas?' should be of especial interest to Gowertonians, according to the author who was at Gowerton from 1957 to 1960 before moving to Port Talbot. David's grandmother, Tabitha Nicholas, was also a Gowertonian, as was his father Gwynne Thomas and his two aunts Nancy and Margaret Thomas, all of Oakfield Street, Pontardulais. David says that he was lucky to be at the school  when Gilbert Bennett and Bill Bowen were on the staff because they started him on his writing career.

Headmaster, Dr Tom James, had been Dylan Thomas's English master in Swansea and Gilbert Bennett was President of the Dylan Thomas Society. Some of Dylan Thomas's relatives lived in Loughor and Pontardulais.

If you have any recollections of Dylan Thomas, please write to David N. Thomas, 1 Dolfor, Ciliau Aeron, Lampeter SA48 8DE or send an e-mail to krayer-thomas@care4free.net

For more details, contact Tori at torikt@seren-books.com

 

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Karl Jenkins

Penclawdd-born musician and Gowertonian Karl Jenkins has been made an honorary fellow of Swansea University for his achievements in composition.

Dr Jenkins has composed advertising music for famous brand names such as Pepsi, Levi's and British Airways and has played the Ronnie Scott Club, the Montreux Festival, Carnegie Hall and many more world famous venues.

The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace has brought Karl global recognition and those for whom he has written music include Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the London Symphony Orchestra and Bryn Terfel.

 

Dr. Karl Jenkins.
(Photograph by courtesy of the Evening Post)

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Haydn Tanner (1917-2009)

Please go to Dispatch Box to read 'A Tribute to Haydn Tanner' by James Harris

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The William King Educational Trust

The Gowertonian Society has donated £100 to The William King Educational Trust. William was a staunch supporter of this society, especially our annual dinners. His children Sarah and David and William's nieces and nephews attended Gowerton School.
          
Nicky, William's wife, has reported to us that the Trust has now raised over £17,000 towards the project to build a primary school in Belize for 5 - 13 year old children and it is hoped that building will start in September 2009.

Should there be Gowertonians out there who may wish to support the appeal they should contact Nicky King at Llwyndyrys, Uplands, Gowerton Swansea SA3 3ET or e-mail her on: www.wket.org.uk/

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Happy Birthday to Mr Gilbert Davies and Miss Miller

 

Norman Anthony (GBGS) and Ena Davies (GGGS and Penyrheol Comprehensive School) took birthday greetings to Gilbert Davies who will be celebrating his 96th Birthday on Friday, 19th December with visits from his family . He was delighted to receive messages from his past pupils.

 

 

 

Miss Dorothy Miller, a geography teacher at the Gowerton Girls' Grammar School for more than 20 years, celebrated her 88th birthday today, 17th November 2008, at a lunch party at Plas y Môr, the home of Mrs Ena Davies.

If you were a pupil of Miss Miller and would like to contact her, please e-mail the website for her address. She would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

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The Gowertonian Award for Outstanding Service to the Community

The Gowertonian Society has introduced this new award to be made annually and presented at the Annual Dinner.

In 2008 the award was made to Tony Small for his outstanding devotion to the development of music in the village of Penclawdd and to Denys Jenkins for his amazing contribution to charitable causes in the area. Eric Jones received the award in 2009.

The Society is open to nominations for consideration for next year. Please contact Dr Alun Jones or e-mail the website.

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Historical & Hysterical Tales of Pontarddulais Public Houses

 

Gowertonian Deric John and his two pals, Alun Rees and Bryan Yelland, have written a book 'delving into the rich tapestry of life at pubs in Pontarddulais'.

 

To read more about it, please click on book review

Historical & Hysterical Tales Of Pontarddulais Public Houses is published by LLygad Gwalch and costs £6.50.

Also, Deric has a very interesting website about the origin of South Wales place names

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GOWERTON INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL - 1896 to 1946

The Society has recently had bound copies made of a book about the very first years of the school, entitled ' Gowerton Intermediate School - 1896 to 1946'  There are only 23 copies left and they can be purchased at £10 plus £1 postage.

The Society is grateful to Wynne Thomas of Llanishen for initiating this re-publication exercise.

For more information please contact the website.

 

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Mrs Rona Davies

Rona Davies

The Gowertonian Society has been indebted to many people but none more so than Rona Davies who resigned her position on the present executive committee at our recent AGM.

Rona, funnily enough, was not a pupil at the school but taught in both Boys' and Girls' Grammar Schools and the school as it embarked on its Comprehensive journey.


Teachers can consider themselves successes if what they 'teach' influences the lives of their pupils in the broader sense....Rona has most certainly done that. Rona became an outstanding Senior Mistress in the latter part of her career. Her way of dealing with pupils was always 'fair, firm and friendly'. Pupils simply could not dislike her and more often than not they considered her a rock upon which they based their attitude to school and life.

As someone who has worked with Rona, I am in a great position to confirm what a brilliant person she is. As a friend she is so supportive and, without her, Gowerton School, the Gowertonian Society and everybody she has been associated with her in her influencial life would be so much the poorer!

Thank you so much Rona and enjoy your life in the way that you have deserved!
Robert Evans [Chair]

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Safety of Gowerton School Pupils

Can you help?

Message to the Forum (Tuesday 20th May 2008)

We are having some difficulties in Gowerton at the moment with the safety of children crossing the road in the morning. The lollipop man has resigned, we can't get another one, and the local council have refused to install a pelican crossing at the Talbot Street/Cecil Road junction on the grounds that there are "no monies available". The road is crossed by pupils of all 4 schools in the village, including Gowerton Comprehensive School. One school girl has already been hit at the spot, but until there is a death(!) we remain a low priority. So the local community are trying to raise the required £22,000.

I have set up an ink-jet cartridge recycling scheme to help towards the total. If you have any empty HP, Lexmark, Canon or Dell cartridges, would you consider sending them in (free!) for our appeal?
Just pop them in an envelope and send them to the following address:

Cash For Cartridges (Ref: R00837)
FREEPOST
RLZL-EUJG-ZYEL
13 Main Street
Keyworth
Nottingham
NG12 5AA


No toner or Epson cartridges please!

The money for the cartridges will be directed straight into our appeal account.

Many thanks, and hope you can help.

Gaynor

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Presentation Ceremony

Mrs Ena Davies, Head of Modern Languages at Gowerton Girls' Grammar School in the 1960s, has presented a cheque for £4,000 to Ty Bryngwyn, a local hospice. The money was raised from the sale of Ena's book entitled Plas-y-Môr, a story of the history, mystery and controversy surrounding her home at Burry Port.


Dr Mary Llewellyn-Morgan, President of the Ty Bryngwyn Appeal Fund,
receiving the cheque from Mrs Ena Davies.

Also present were: CC Gwynne Wooldridge (Gowertonian), Committee Member and his wife, Heulwen, Rev. Jeff Morgan (Gowertonian), Mrs Susan Thomas, Secretary, Mrs Valmai Richards, Gowertonian Society, Ian Avery, nephew, and his wife, Pat.
For more details, please go to Dispatch Box

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Notable Gowertonian and Welsh Composer

Alun Hoddinott
 
We are saddened to inform you that Gowertonian Alun Hoddinott has recently passed away.

 

Alun Hoddinott, born in Bargoed in 1929, was a prominent Welsh composer and teacher. His talents developed early, and he won a university scholarship at the age of sixteen. He was educated at Gowerton Grammar School; then studied at University College in Cardiff (BA, 1949; Ph.D., 1960). After graduating he studied for some years in London with the Australian composer and pianist, Arthur Benjamin.

In 1951 Alun Hoddinott was appointed lecturer in music at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and served in this post until 1959. In 1959 he joined the staff of the University College in Cardiff, first as lecturer (1959-1965), then reader (1965-1967), and finally as Professor of Music and Head of Department (1967-1987). From 1966 to 1989 he served as artistic director of the Cardiff Festival of Twentieth Century Music.

For more about Alun Hoddinott, international ambassador for Welsh music, please use links below.

 
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Maestro

Maestro by Eric Jones



Eric Jones has written the biography of Noel Davies [Gowertonian and ex conductor of Pontarddulais Male Voice Choir]  The book is published by Wasg Gomer, Llandysul, Ceridigion SA44 4JL [www.gomer.co.uk] at £7.99

Maestro is available in most Welsh Language Book Shops, Waterstones, Borders and Cwtch dan Star in Pontardulais.

     

 

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Top Award for Gowertonian

Peter SteadGowertonian and former Swansea University lecturer, Professor Peter Stead has been honoured for his work in the media.
Swansea-based writer, broadcaster and cultural historian Peter Stead will receive the Cyfrwng Award for 2007. The award is made to individuals with links to both the academic and media worlds. Professor Stead is being honoured during this year's Cyfrwng Welsh media issues conference at Swansea University.
John Hefin, Cyfrwng chairman, said: "As one of Wales's leading social historians, Professor Stead is a most worthy recipient of the Cyfrwng Award - for his scholarly, readable books, yes, but possibly more importantly for radiating such understanding, enthusiasm and wit whenever he discusses a subject close to his heart"

Peter was our guest speaker at The Gowertonian Society Dinner,Saturday, 22nd Sept 2007 at the North Gower Hotel.

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Gowerton School Tour 2006

For a full report and photos of the Gowerton School Tour 2006, please click on SCHOOL TOUR 2006

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Ena's Book 'Plas-y-Môr

Mrs Ena Davies, who taught French at Gowerton Girls' Grammar School in the 1960s, has written and published a book entitled 'Plas-y-Môr, a Property with History, Mystery and Controversy'.

If you'd like to buy a copy (£8.99, proceeds to the local hospice) please Ena. For more details go to Dispatch Box.

To date, more than £3,500 has been raised for the charity. Well done, Ena!

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1990s Gowerton Comprehensive School Reunion for Pupils,Teachers and PTA Members
1990s Reunion Poster
21st July 2006 at the Oxwich Bay Hotel, 8pm - 1am

Message from the organisers:-
We have Memory Books £1 full of old school photos, a DVD of the night with big brother style diary room comments £15, and reprints of some old photos as well as photos of the night, in the form of year group and smaller groups £3, 6 by 4 in display folder & £7 for A4 framed. Bargain!
For more details, please Leanne Adkins or
Tel: 01792 851778 or 07974 760996
The event raised £350 for the children's charity Latch
If you have any photos taken at this event, please .
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Anne Ellis OBE

Anne Ellis OBEGowertonian Anne Ellis has been awarded the OBE and also been made an Honorary Fellow of Swansea University.

Anne, a pioneer of women’s hockey, was capped 136 times by Wales and has captained both the Wales and Great Britain Olympic women’s hockey teams.

She was a pupil of Miss Thomson at Gowerton Girls’ Grammar School and taught at the Gowerton Comprehensive School for 32 years, retiring from her post as head of physical education in 1995.

Anne has been a member of the Sports Council for Wales since 1993 and became Vice Chair in 1999. She is also Chair of the Board of Directors for Wales National Pool and Sketty Village Sports Complex.

This year Anne was the "Chef de Mission" of the Welsh Team who competed in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March 2006. The team size was approximately 230, including athletes and coaches.

Anne Ellis OBE, receiving her award from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in 2005. She had previously been awarded the MBE.
Anne Ellis OBE
 

 

As well as being the Welsh Hockey Union president, the vice chairman of the Sports Council for Wales, chairman of Wales National Pool, a member of the European Hockey Federation Development Committee, Director of Great Britain Olympic Hockey and chairman of the South Wales Women's Regional Hockey Committee, Anne has just been elected chair of the International Hockey Federation's Development and Coaching Committee - the first Welsh woman to hold such a post.

 

 
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Service of Remembrance

Many Gowertonians are not aware of the Service of Remembrance which takes place each year at the Gowerton Comprehensive School.

The service recognises former pupils of the Gowerton Schools who fell in both World Wars.

Please see the Events Diary for a brief report on each year's service. Gowertonians wishing to attend the service should contact the chairman of the society, Dr Alun Jones

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