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Notes from South Wales.


Notes from South Wales. (From our Special Correspondent.) Significant. I notice from the Glamorgan Gazette that Bridgend was selected as the town from which to commence the South Wales campaign of the Women's Tariff Reform League." Seeing that the Glamorgan County Asylum is situated at this town there is a good deal of significance in the statement. Bishopric of Llandaff. Immediately after I wrote my last week's reference to the Llandaff bishopric came the announcement of the appointment of Vicar Hughes, Llantrisant. So long as there are such superfluous posts as bishoprics to be filled, it must be admitted that a better man than Vicar Hughes could not be selected. He is a Welshman, and speaks the language. This is proof that at last the ecclesiastical authorities are fully a'ive to the importance of appointing Welsh-speaking clerics in Welsh districts, and are not likely to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors, who pitchforked English clergy- men amongst Welsh-speaking men and women, and thereby alienated the sympathies of the latter. There is only one section that do not relish the appointment of Bishop Hughes. and that is the Ritualistic party, who are very strong in the Cardiff district. It will be interesting to see how Bishop Hughes will deal with the many illegal practices to be witnessed every Sunday in several of the Anglican churches in that neigh- bourhood. Glamorgan to the Front. I recently had the pleasure of reading a copy of the circular letter sent out by the Glamorgan- shire Education Committee to the various local school committees with reference to the teaching of Welsh in primary schools. The circular reads as follows, and I need hardly say that I am in hearty sympathy with its objects The Education Committee are strongly of opinion that in the schools of the county it is of educational and national importance to emphasise the Welsh element, and by retaining and strengthening links with the past literature and history of the race, to develop both national patriotism and national self-respect. They con- sider the great deeds and great thoughts of Welshmen are a national and powerful stimulus for Welsh children, which we cannot afford to ignore. They would suggest that in the decora- tion of the class-rooms and central halls, Welsh mottoes, of which Welsh literature affords an unusually large number, pictures of great Welsh- men, the Welsh national flag, &c., should be used. They further suggest that Welsh songs and recitations should be taught, and subjects from Welsh history and literature be occasionally employed for composition exercises. It is their opinion that the materials of local history ought to be utilised as well as the materials of local geography. In schools where the teaching of Welsh has not been attempted, it is desirable to use translations of famous Welsh literature-for example, the Mabinogion and Welsh lyrics; to relate important incidents in Welsh history, and to give biographical sketches of eminent Welsh- men. The Committee wished it to be known that it is their settled policy to include Welsh in the curriculum of every primary school, except that in the event of an application being received from any school to be exempted from such teaching, exemption shall, for reasons deemed by the Committee to be sufficient, be granted." Bros y Bryniau. It may not be generally known that Williams Pantycelyn was inspired to write his immortal .Dros y bryniautywyll niwliog after walking over one of the mountains into the Rhondda Valley. I happened to be journeying in that direction a short time ago, and despite the grime in the- thickly-populated valley below, the view from the mountain summit was impressive in the extreme, the distant panorama of hills, partly enveloped in mist, being very inspiring, and I could well realise how Williams Pantycelyn must have been impressed Dros y bryniau tywyll niwliog, Yn dawel f'enaid edrych draw, Ar addewidion sydd i esgor Ar ryw ddyddiau braf ger Haw, Nefol Jiwbil Gad i'm wel'd y boreu wawr." Or, to quote the English version O'er the gloomy hills of darkness, Look, my soul, be still, and gaze All the promises do travail On a glorious day of grace Blessed Jubilee Let Thy glorious morning dawn." The Colliery Explosion. I am sure that the hearts of Welshmen all the world over will go out in sympathy to the bereaved wives and relatives of the colliers killed in the explosion at the Cambrian Collieries, Clydach Vale. There is not a braver man under the sun than the Welsh miner, and the deeds of heroism in connection with this latest disaster in the history of the South Wales coalfield again show what a fine type of man is he who delves for coal in the bowels of the earth. The scenes in the vicinity of the colliery on Sunday and Monday were pathetic in the extreme, and the people who thronged the roadways in the vicinity of the pit could not restrain their tears when the charred and mutilated remains of some of the poor fellows who had been killed were con- veyed in solemn silence to their humble homes in the straggling little town. Wales v. Ireland. The contest at Swansea on Saturday between the Welsh and Irish International teams aroused extraordinary interest, and fully 40,000 spec- tators were present. It was not a brilliant game to watch, but of the two sides there was no question whatever as to the superiority of the Welshmen, and the win was thoroughly deserved. Wales thus secures the triple crown for the fourth time in the history of Rugby international contests, which is a highly creditable testimonial to Cymric pluck, strategy, and endurance, especially when it is remembered that the Welsh players are practically all drawn from the three counties of Glamorgan, Brecon, and Carmarthen. It may be added that the three London Welsh- men-A F. Harding, E. T. Morgan, and J. F. Williams—acquitted themselves particularly well. In fact, Harding is one of the very best type of forwards the Rugby world has ever seen. The Teaching of Welsh. There was an interesting discussion at the last meeting of the Mountain Ash Education Com- mittee in reference to the question of teaching Welsh in the local schools.. At present only two hours a week are devoted to the study of Welsh, but at the meeting in question Mr. Rogers, the chairman, moved a resolution that a more direct method of teaching Welsh be adopted, so that the instruction should be more thorough and satisfactory. Mr. Owen Jones seconded, and Mr. E. T. Williams supported in a patriotic speech. Mr. Williams said that the majority of the ratepayers wanted Welsh taught, and it was highly important to them as a nation that it should be so. The only dissentient voice was that of Mr. Gray, an Englishman who resides in the town. Mr. Gray did not think it any use having Welsh taught in the schools. But Mr. Williams said that if Mr. Gray learnt it he would be convinced of its hidden beauties. In fact, the Welsh letters were even more beau- tiful than those of the Greek. The resolution was carried, and a sub-committee appointed to fully consider the question. The Rev. E. V. Tidman asked whether Mr. Gray's name could be in- cluded, and Mr. Gray retorted, "No, I can fill up my time with something better," which, to say the least, was an absurd remark to make, and all patriotic Welshmen will cordially endorse the chairman's proper reply, that he doubted whether Mr. Gray could do "something better." St. David's Day Gatherings. It is curious that a Welsh town like Aber- ystwyth cannot get up a more patriotic gathering on St. David's Day than is the case. At the recent St. David's banquet in the town, it is true that the toast of "The immortal memory of St. David was duly honoured, but the principal part of the remaining speech-making dealt with such items as the Volunteers, Militia, and local trade, whilst all the songs sung were English, and the finale, "Auld Lang Syne" and "God Save the King." Surely the company might have sung the Welsh National Anthem, even if all the other songs were English ones. What a contrast was this gathering to the one held at Ferndale, in the Rhondda Valley. At the latter town's celebration the principal toasts were "Crefydd, Gwladgarwch, Addysg," "Cymru," Dewi Sant," whilst all the songs were in Welsh, viz., "Caradog," "Gwroniaid," "Gwlad y Gan," "Gwlad y Delyn," Dewi Sant," Hiraeth," and Bardd a'r Cerddor likewise the recitations, and even the violin solo was a Welsh air, Dros y Garreg." It is to be hoped that in future Aberystwyth will promote a St. David's Day celebration on typically Welsh lines, such as that of Ferndale. A Good Move. I congratulate the members of the Carmarthen Chamber of Commerce on its decision to appoint a committee to consider the advisability of having a Welsh woollen textile exhibition and a conference of woollen manufacturers at that ancient town in the course of the coming summer. Any movement that tends towards the development and improvement of Welsh industries deserves the heartiest support and encouragement, and I hope that the enterprise of the Carmarthen Chamber will have the success it merits. Carmarthen is a splendid centre for holding such an exhibition. Sensible Remarks. Mr. Keir Hardie, the junior member of Par- liament for Merthyr, often makes some very appropriate and sensible remarks. In the course of a speech in one of the South Wales towns the other day, he said They had all read of the great show in London in the previous week, when Parliament was opened by the King. The State officials and the military were out, and it was a scene of splendour. In the House of Lords there were scores of peers in wonderfully contrasted robes. Peeresses in their satins and silks. It was estimated that the diamonds worn by the peeresses were valued at 2% million 4 pounds, and while these diamonds were blazing in the gallery of the House of Lords, there were tens of thousands of women and children in London without food or raiment. Was that state of affairs to be allowed to continue ? This great display of wealth on the one hand to mock the misery of the suffering poor on the other." An Absurd Attack. The chairman of the Cardiff Board of Guardians, in referring to the question of the location of the National Museum and Library, said "that Aberystwyth was situated on the extreme western coast of Wales, and he was surprised that such a distinguished physician should have no better knowledge as to the position of the heart of Wales." It is evident that it is the chairman of the Cardiff Board of Guardians who does not possess "that better knowledge," and not Sir J. Williams. If the chairman of the Cardiff Board of Guardians will study the map carefully, he will see that whilst Aberystwyth is the most central town for North and South Wales Cardiff is situated at the extreme end of South Wales, and only a short distance from the English border.