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Notes from South Wales.
Notes from South Wales. (From our Special Correspondent). Bishopric of Llandaff. This post is still vacant. As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of progressive churchmen in South Wales who believe that it could very well be abolished, and the thousands of pounds saved thereby applied towards providing addi- tional and better-paid curates, who, after all said and done, are the men who perform the most arduous work of the Church of England. The office of a Bishop is purely ornamental and quite unnecessary in the propaganda of Christian work. Look on this Picture- It is instructive to contrast the relations of Churchmen with Nonconformists in different parts of Wales. The other evening at Llanilar, Cardiganshire, for example, the Llanilar Choral Society gave a concert-in aid of the local church tower restoration fund. The Society chiefly consists of Nonconformists, and their action in helping the fund shows a fine spirit of Christian ,charity. But this is not all. The concert was held at the Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, which was lent for the occasion, and the Rev. J. F. Lloyd, Vicar, presided in the Set Fawr. Here we have the true spirit. And on This. After the above pleasant facts came to my knowledge I had my attention drawn to a book on Church and Nonconformity in Wales, by the Rev. Lemuel J. James, M.A., "assistant priest of Cadoxton-Barry." In this book the writer, amongst other things, contends that the Nonconformist preachers are not clergy, and therefore cannot celebrate the holy communion." When a Welsh clergyman expresses such narrow and ridiculous views need one wonder at the opposition of Nonconformists to the people who express them ? Fancy arguing that men like, say, the Rev. Evan Jones, of Carnarvon, or the Rev. Thomas Levi, of Aberystwyth, or the Rev. Charles Davies, of Cardiff, or the Rev. Towyn Jones, of Cwmaman, or any other Noncon- formist minister, cannot celebrate the holy communion because they are "Nonconformist preachers Cynon Male Voice Choir. Great enthusiasm prevailed at Aberclare when the announcement reached the town of the success of the Cynon Male Voice Choir in winning the hundred guineas prize at the Royal Albert Hail Eisteddfod, reported fully in the last issue of the LONDON WELSHMAN. Aberdare held a great reputation in the musical world in past times, but within recent years the town has not figured prominently in the great eisteddfodic ,competitions; consequently this brilliant achieve- ment of the Cynon Male Voice Choir was doubly I ratifying to "the queen of the Welsh hills," as ,9 the town was once described by a London journalist. Mr. W. J. Evans, the conductor, was received at the railway station, on his return from London, by a great throng, and escorted in triumph to the Market Hall, where fully 6,000 people gave him a further ovation. Congratu- latory addresses were delivered by prominent townsmen, and Mr. Evans in returning his thanks for the reception, paid a compliment to the faithfulness of the members of his trium phant choir. The interesting proceedings were fittingly terminated by Mr. Evans leading off with the Welsh National Anthem, in which the people heartily joined. As a personal friend of Mr. Evans, I can testify to his great enthusiasm for music. He is very popular in Aberdare, and loccupies the position of organist at Siloa Welsh Independent Chapel, one of the largest Noncon- formist places of worship fn Wales. I may add that Mr. Evans' father, Mr. Rhys Evans, is also a musician of great excellence. He was the conductor ot the Aberdare section of "Cor Mawr Caradog," and took part in the ever memorable contest at the Crystal Palace, when the "Cor Mawr" in question scored a great triumph. He also conducted the Aberdare Choral Union which, for many successive Christmases, gave fine performances of sacred oratorios in the town. Breconshire and the Welsh Language. In reference to a recent note in this column condemnatory of the action of the Conservative majority on the Breconshire Standing Joint Police Committee in refusing to adopt a motion by Mr. Cobb, in regard to Welsh-speaking police constables for the county, I should like to explain that in his original motion, Mr. Cobb moved that the constables entering the County Force must be able to both speak and write Welsh, but he subsequently amended it by leaving out the stipulation as to the writing of the language. As eventually submitted to the Committee, Mr. Cobb's motion simply asked that the constables should be required to speak Welsh. This explanation only shows up the Conservative majority in a more bigoted light than ever, for, surely, it would have been only a simple act of justice that the constabulary of a Welsh county should be required to possess the ability of speaking the native language. "An Unfair Attack." A friend has sent me a copy of the Brecon County Times—the Conservative organ of the district—in which my references to the incident just referred to is described as an unfair attack on the Conservative members of the Committee. I should be exceedingly pleased to have the "unfairness" of my "attack" elucidated. Of course, the County Times, as the organ of the Conservatives, would naturally resent any "attack" on its special friends, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that my criticism has met with the enthusiastic approval of all true friends of Wales and her national aspirations in Breconshire. f St. David's Day Celebrations. This year's St. David's Day celebrations were more numerous than ever, a striking proof of the growth of Welsh nationality. Un- doubtedly, the best gathering was that under the auspices of the Welsh Language Society at Llanelly. Some excellent and instructive speeches were given, and the Chairman, Mr. W. Lewis, B.A., Headmaster of the Llanelly Intermediate School, mentioned amongst other interesting items, that at the school in question, the Lord's Prayer was chanted in Welsh every morning at the opening of the day's work. It was also stated that lessons in various South Wales elementary schools were given by the masters through the medium of Welsh, thereby greatly accelerating the ability of the pupils to grasp the subject in hand. Some capital suggestions were also made in regard to adorning schoolrooms with pictures of Welsh celebrities and Welsh mottoes. Some of the Philistines who still stalk our beloved land, may jeer in their superior way at patriotic suggestions such as these, but we can well afford to treat them with the contempt they deserve. A fitting termination of the gathering was the singing of Welsh airs by close upon 2,000 children. It was a sight that thrilled the audience which listened to them, and one feels that so long as we foster a spirit of patriotism amongst the children in this manner, the future of our gallant little nation is safe. for the children of to-day are the rulers of the days to come. National Museum and Library. There is no doubt that the location of the National Museum and Library is now one of the most interesting questions of the hour in Wales. It is evident that the only way to give anything like general satisfaction in the matter is to divide the Treasury grant into three sums, and apportion them to Aberystwyth for Mid- Wales, Cardiff or Swansea for South Wales, and Carnarvon or Bangor for North Wales. In short, to have three joint museums and libraries, the same as we have three university colleges. All who know Wales thoroughly are aware that there is a great difference between the north and south, and if the National Library or Museum, or both, were located in Cardiff or Swansea, it is not likely that North Wales people would send gifts of books or articles to either Cardiff or Swansea, no more than South Wales people would send them to Carnarvon or Bangor, in the event of the National Library and Museum being located at either of the latter towns. As the chairman of the Carnarvonshire Education Committee remarked the other day, it would be just as well that the National Library and Museum should be located in London, as in Cardiff, as far as North Wales people were concerned. Aberystwyth's Position. One thing is certain. In the event of the three gentlemen empowered to fix upon a site deciding to allocate the National Library to Cardiff or Swansea, Aberystwyth-which already possesses what practically amounts to a National Library, not to mention a very interesting museum--would never recognise the Cardiff Institution as being the only" National" one, but would proceed to develop her present In- stitutions, enriched as they would be by what is admitted to be the finest collection of Welsh books extant, viz. :-the Peniarth Library. So it is obvious to all unprejudiced minds that the Commissioners will be well advised to establish three constituent Libraries and Museums in North, Mid, and South Wales respectively, and apportion the Treasury grant accordingly. American President and the Revival. President Roosevelt is taking an interest in the Welsh Religious Revival, and it is reported that he has followed the accounts of the remark- able meetings in Wales with much interest. President Roosevelt has always had a great liking for Welshmen, and when Mr. Dan Davies, the conductor of the famous Merthyr choir, visited the States some time ago, and had an interview with the President, the latter said that Welsh people made exceptionally good citizens, and he had a very high opinion of the Welsh residents in the States. Football Mems. The Welsh International Association Football Team achieved a brilliant performance at Wrexham Racecourse, on Saturday, in defeating the Scottish International Eleven by 3 goals to i. This is the first time for Wales to beat Scotland at Soccer in the history of International contests. Whereas the Rugby code holds the sway in South Wales, it is the -occer code that is in the ascendant in North Wales, and it need hardly be said that the greatest enthusiasm prevailed in the district at the victory of Wales. The heroes of the Welsh side were Grenville Morris, of Notts Forest, and Roose, the goal- keeper of Everton, which club is in the semi- final for the English Cup. Morris is a native of Builth Wells. Roose is a native of North- east Wales, and brother to the Rev. Mr. Roose, English Calvinistic Methodist Minister. Keen interest is being taken in Saturday's match between the Welsh and Irish Rugby Fifteens at Swansea. If Wales wins, she will wear the Triple Crown. Unfoitunately, Wales will have to play minus several of her best players who are injured, nevertheless, the sub- stitutes may be expected to give a good account of themselves.
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