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THE NATURALISTS' CORNER

PROPERTY SALES !

SOME EARLY ACCOUNTS

LLANSAWEL

CWMAMMAN EISTEDDFOD

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CWMAMMAN EISTEDDFOD Saturday last, the 24th inst., was an auspicious day at Cwmamman, for it was the day on which the first big Eisteddfod in the valley was held. Such gather- ings. on a small scale, are not new to Cwmamman, but this was a great event. A spacious marquee âcapable of holding about 2,000 personsâhad been erected on the Recreation Ground, the site of which has lately been generously given to the valley by' the noble Lord of Dynevor and the Hon. W. F. Rice. The day opened beautifully, a.nd with the large num- ber of competitors which had entered for the vari- ous events it was at once seen that Cwmamman was in for a record day. There was a considerable dis- play of bunting along the main road. This was perhaps only natural, considering that the president of the morning meeting was the Hon. Walter F. Riceâone of the donors of the spacious and much- needed Recration Ground, on which the Eisteddfod was held. The platform in the marquee had been tastily decorated. Mottoes were seen hanging around bearing well-known Welsh inscriptions as "Y Gwir yn erbyn y Byd," "Goreu arf, arf Dysg," "Duw a Digon," "Iesu na'd Gamwaith," etc. The chairman of the Eisteddfod Committee was Mr. Jeremiah Thomas, Garnant; the vice-chairman being Mr. J. Jenkin Morgan, Glanamman. The treasurer was Mr. Willie Roberts, Garnant, and the duties of joint secretaries were efficiently carried out by Messrs. John Jones, A.U., Garnant, and D. Davies, Glanamman. The musical portion of the programme was adjudicated upon by Messrs. D. Thomas, M.A., Muc. Bac (Oxon.), Swansea, and Wr. J. Evans, Aber- dare. The adjudicator of the literary part being Mr J. Jenkins (Gwili), Ammanford, who also acted as conductor during the day. Air. John Morgan, A.L.C.M.. Garnant, and Miss S. A. Lewis, Glan- amman, ably acted as accompanists. A pleasing figure was that of a harpist in the person of Mr. John Lewis, Trebanos. MORNING MEETING. The president was the Hon, W. F. Rice, Dynevor Castle, who was introduced .bv the Rev. E. A. Davies, vicar of Cwmamman. The Vicar said the name of the president was a household word in the locality, and he was the son of the best father in the country round. He afterwards read the follow- ing appropriate verses:- Hawddammor Gwm-vr-Amman, Nid Amman, Aberdar, Dymunwn oil longvfarch Cwmamman hoff Sir Gar. Amid Its brownish records, May this red-letter day Prove white for our Eisteddfod, In token of her stay. You've made a wise selection Of president-to start,â For Urian Rice Dynevor Will nobly do his part. 0 linach Rhys Ap Tewdwr, Ein hanrhydeddus wr, Sy'n Gymro "waed coch cyfan" Ac l ni'n dellwng dwr. Trwy fvvynder tad ein Llywydd, A'n Walter Rice ynghyd, Ni gawsom wych chwareu-faes Yn rhad, hyd ddiwedd byd. Without this public dowry Where would we be to-day, Well-minus our Eisteddfod A phawb, yn ddwlâyn nhre'. Ond mwyachâni bydd grwgnach Am le i chwareu'r bel; Am awyr bur agored, Er iechyd pawb a ddel. Our annual Eisteddfod Has found a "Home" to-day, Thanks to My Lord Dynevor, God bless him-long, we pray. The Hon. W. F. Rice, on rising, met with a most hearty reception. He expressed sincere thanks for the honour done him in being asked to preside over the first big Eisteddfod in the Amman Valley, and he hoped this would be the hrst of a long series of successful gatherings of this kind. It w.as always a pleasure to listen to the beautiful and natural voices of the sons and daughters of Wales (cheery. He hoped the children would be brought up to take an interest in song and art. All who had read history knew that the Eisteddfod was a very old institution. Such gatherings had been held even as far back as the fourth and sixth centuries. One of his ancestors, Gruffydd ap Nicholas, had taken a prominent part in promoting a great gathering at Carmarthen in the year 1451. This had been an Eis- teddfod on a princely style, for the chair they com- peted for was all of silver. The prize was withheld until the consent of the King had been obtained to present the winner. Kings at that time were in- clined to think that large gatherings in Wales and elsewhere were simply meetings to intrigue against them. Things had now changed, the joys of the people were now also the joys of the King (cheers). He compared at some length the difference between the ancient and modern times. In olden times a jester was kept, and he could fancy nothing more horrible than paying a man simply to make jokes (laughter). In Wales, however, they had a harpist, and at Dynevor Castle to-day there could be. seen the harpists' room (cheers). There was also there a very old Welsh harp which had been presented to Lord Dynevor by John Roberts, the harpist. The old ancestors were sometimes hard and even cruel, but they had after all a love for song-a, song from the heart. Why were we enraptured by the singing of Madame Patti and Madame Clara. Butt? Why- they sang from the heart. The children of to-day would be better men and women by being brought up in the land of song. However bad a man or woman was, he or she had always some good part, and this good part would be best brought to light by music. In conclusion, he expressed his sincere wishes for the success of the Eisteddfod and the continued prosperity of the Amman Valley (cheers). The competitions were then proceeded with, and the following were the awards:- Pianoforte solo, "Fete Champetre," for those under 14-1, Miss Getta Nicholas, Landore. Recitation for those under 12, "Ti elli fod yn Gymro" (Gwili)-l, May Davies, Lower Cwmtwrch; 2, M. M. Lewis, Waunarlwydd. Recitation for those under 16, "Ein Cyfle"-l. and 2, divided between M .M. Lewis, Waunarlwydd, and May Jones, Panteg, Ystalyfera. Three Verses to "Dwfr, Awyr a Than" (Water, Air, and Fire). There were seven competitors, and the prize was awarded to "Iolo," whose name did not transpire. Singing any Welsh Air (Welsh words) for girls under 16â1, Llinos Thomas, Glanamman. Singing any Welsh Air (Welsh words) for boys under 16-1, J. Steven Davies, Pantyffynon. The adjudicator (Mr. D. Thomas), in giving these awards, complimented the committee in putting these two last events for competition. These Welsh National Airs should not be forgotten. They deserved to be remembered, and he wished other committees of eisteddfodau to bring them into note. pianofore Solo, "Troupettes de Joie," for those under 17-1, Getta Nicholas, Landore. AFTERNOON MEETING. In the unavoidable absence of Lieut.-Coll. D. Morns, the Rev. J. Edryd Jones, xjopular pastor of New Bethel Chapel, presided at this meeting. The reverend gentleman said he would do his ut- most to fill the vacancy. He was sorry for the ab- sence of Col. Morris through iilness, and he ex- pressed a hope for his speedy recovery (cheers). The Eisteddfod was an old institution, and every Welsh- man should be proud of it, and should strive to make the institution more successful than it had ever been (cheers). It was the medium to bring out the. best talents of the people. There was a danger of condemning the Eisteddfod owing to the fact that it was competitive. The great cry now-a-days was for combination, and this was averse to competition, but the idea of the Eisteddfod was not so much the winning of the prize, but the drawing out of the besfc |Ll^en?:s of its supporters. Competitors in the old Olympic games competed not for the sake of tho laurels they might win, but for the perfection of athletism. The great aim of the Eisteddfod should be to bring out the best efforts of the people, there- by bettering others and turning the talents for the benefit of the nation at large. He hoped this first gathering would be a red-letter day in the history of Cwmamman, and that it would be a means of bringing out the very best talent of the musician and artist alike (cheers.) I The competitions followed with the following re- suits:- Poem to Dyffryn Amman (Amman Valley). There were nine competitors, and the prize was divided between "Tristan" and "Eos v Garn," whose names were not transpired. However, later in the day it transpired that "Tristan" was Mr. R. Wil- liams, Brynamman, better known perhaps as "Gwydderi-g." Essay, "Angen penaf Cymru heddvw" (What Wales needs most to-day). Seven had competed, and the prize was awarded to Mr. Alyddfai Thomas, Ffaldybrenin. The adjudicator described the essay as "splendid and worthy of the Eisteddfod." Solo for those under 16, "The Guiding Star"-I, Miss Blodwen Jones, Garnant; 2, Miss May Morgan, Garnant. Singing "pennillion" with the harp, for those under Iu"â1, divided between Joe Morgan, Cwm- gorse, and Llinos Thomas, Glanamman; 2, divided between Annie Lleweliyn, Glanamman, and Annie Rees, Garnant. Soprano solo, "Gwlad y Bryniau"-l, Madame Bessie Morris, Ammanford. Contralto solo, "Tad yr Amcldifad"-I, Madame Agnes Thomas, Tirydail. Children's Choir, "Nant a'r Blodeuyn." Two choirs competed, viz., Bcttws (conductor, Mr. J. Williams), and Garnant (conductor, Mr. Harry Owen). The first, prize was awarded to Bettws, and the second to Garnant. Tenor solo, "Babylon"â1, Air. Glvn Walters. Gowerton. Open recitation, "Prophwydoliaeth -Milton am Cromwell" (Milton's prophesy of Cromwell). The prize was divided between Mr. John Evans (Gar- nantvdd), Garnant, and Mr. Tom Harry. Garnant. Instrumental quartette, "A Soldier's Tale." Two parties competed, viz., Ammanford and Gwaun-cae- Gurwen. The prize was awarded the latter. Bass solo, "Angladd y Marchog"â1, Mr. AV. Michael, Garnant. Ladies' Choir, "Clvchau Aberdovey" ("Bells of Aberdovey"). Two choirs competed, viz., Pontar- dawo (conductor, Mr. D. Dav:es), and Brynamman (conductor, Mr. J. Clun Williams). The prize was awarded to Pontardawe. There were nine competitors for the ode to "Cvn- ydd." not under 200 lines. The prize was awarded to "Amanw." While, the adjudication was being given all the local bards were on the platform. "Amanw's" name being called, proved to be Mr. W. Jones, Brynamman (Gwilym Brynamman). He was escorted to the platofrm by ''Ceidrim" and "Glan- berach." Gwili's enquiry, "A oes Heddwch," met with an unanimous reply of "Heddwch"; and "Amanw" was chaired with bardic honours. Mr. Cornelius Rees sang the "chairing song." Singing "pennillion" with the harpâ1, Richard Morgan, Brynamman; 2, Tom Jones, Pontardawe. Chief Choral Competition. --Alale Voice Party, for the best rendering of "Crossing the Plain." In this there was keen competition, there being five parties, who sang in tho following order, viz.:â(1) Clydach (conductor, Mr. G. Davies): (2) Pontardawo (Mr. D. Daniel); (3) Ammanford (Mr. E. Hopkin); (4) Bryn- amman (Mr. John Jones); Gwaun-cae-Gurwen (Mr. D. Roberts). The prize was awarded to Bryn- amman, while Gwaun-cae-Gurwen were declared second. Second Choral Competition for Mixed Choirs, "As the Heart Pants." Two choirs only entered for this, viz.: Cwmamman (conductor, Air. John Jones), and Alltwen (conductor, Mr. LI. Lewis). The latter named choir was declared winner. A chair, offered by Mr. Tarr. Ammanford, for the best musical rendering of the day, was awarded to Mr. W. Michael, Garnant. It should also be noted that the oak chair for tho best ode was kindly given by Mr. D. Thomas, ironmonger, Garnant. SACRED CONCERT AT CWMAMMAN. On Sunday evening, the 25th inst., a grand sacred concert was held in the spacious marquee in which the eisetddfod was held on Saturday, under the presidency of Dr. T. Morgan, Garnant. The pro- ceeds went towards the Recreation Ground, tho site of which has been so generously given by Lord Dynevor and the Hon. W. F. Rice. There was a crowded audience, and the order was of the best. Appended is the programme:âPart I.: Selection by the Cwmamman Silver Prize Band, uader the con- ductorship of Mr. Ben Jones; baritone solo, "Arm, Arm ye Brave." Mr. W. Michael, Garnant; soprano solo, "The Light of the World," Madame Bessie Morris, Ammanford; recitation, "Y Gadlef New- ydd," Mr. T. Harry, Garnant; tenor solo, "Thord," Mr. Thomas Thomas, Ynyshir; contralto solo, "Nearer my God to Thee," Madame May Jones, Ammanford; baritone solo, "Kingdom Beautiful," Mr. Ben Jones, Glanamman. Part II. Cwmamman Mixed Choir (led by Mr. J. Jones), "As the Heart Pants"; contralto solo, "The Better Land," Miss Blodwen Jones, Garnant; recitation, "Rhyw Ddau." Mr. John Evans, Garnant; tenor solo, "Yr Hen Gerddor," Mr. T. Thomas, Ynvshir; contralto solo, "He was Despised," Madame May Jones. Amman- ford; bariione solo, "Y Bachgen Dewr," Mr. AN-. Michael, Garnant; soprano solo, "Yr Arerlwydd yw fy Mhugail," Madame Bessie Morris. Ammanford. A vote of thanks to the chairman and artistes was proposed by Mr. M. Morgan, M.E., Garnant. The meeting concluded by the singing of "0 Fryniau Caersalem ceir gweled," to the well-known tune of "Crugybar," led by Prof. Thomas Rees, of Wilkes- barre, U.S.A., America, an old Garnant friend, who is now paying a visit to his native land.

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