Over 50,000 Miles Covered. Scenes of unparalleled enthusiasm marked the home-coming of the Treorchy Royal Male Choir on Saturday after their fourteen months' tour in the British Colonies. The streets and the leading business premises" were gaily decorated with multi-coloured bunting, and a triumphal arch bearing appropriate mottoes had been erected near the Stag Square. The party reached Southampton be- tween 2 and 3 o'clock on Saturday morn- ing, but their progress to the Rhondda had been delayed in accordance with the wishes of the Reception Committee at Treorchy, who were arranging a Wel- come Home" in their honour. Treorchy was reached by the 6.19 train, the party travelling in a special saloon. The approach of the gaily decorated engine, and the firing of railway detonators was the signal for a rousing cheer, which was renewed again and again as the train drew up to a stop. The saloon was imme- diately surrounded by a gladsome crowd, eager to extend the ever-ready welcome to the bronzed vocalists. Mr. William Thomas, the conductor, and his colleagues were officially welcomed by Councillor W. T. Jones, J.P., the chairman of the Reception Committee, and upon emerging from the railway station, every member of the party was presented with a button- hole by three little maids .attired in Welsh costume. A triumphal procession was hastily organised, headed by Cory Workmen, Owmparo and Treorchy (Wesleyan) Bands, and the party, mounted in brakes, were conveyed through streets crowded with thousands of spectators, who cheered lustily at the sight of the boys."
At Noddfa Chapel. Noddfa, the commodious edifice wherein Dr. Morris holds kingly sway, has wit- nessed many a notable gathering, but rarely has its igrey walls resounded to heartier enthusiasm than they did on Saturday evening, whence the Royal Party returned after their magnificent reception in the streets. Every seat in the great building was occupied, and tier MR. WILLIAM THOMAS, Conductor, Treorchy Royal Male Choir. upon tier of happy humanity swelled out the welcome paean, whilst thousands more outside, unable to gain admission, caught up the rousing cheer borne through open windows and hurled it into the night. The chair was occupied by Councillor W. T. Jones, and supporting him were Mabon, Dr. W. Morris, County Coun- cillor E. T. Davies, Alderman E'. H. Davies, District Councillor E. JILies, Mr. Tom John, M.A., Dr. Barrett (Cwm- parc), Mr. E. Thomas, J.P. (Cochfarfj), Cardiff, Rev. D. Rhagfyr Jones, Rev. Thos. Jones, and Mr. H. Howells. The meeting was opened with a fervent rendering of "O fryniau Caersalem," to the strains of the well-known Crugybar," Mabon, as usual conducting with rare skill. Dr. Morris afterwards engaged in a short prayer, in which he thanked God for the safe return of the choristers. The Chairman said that meeting showed their high appreciation and regard for their friends, the Royal Male Voice Choir (applause). Seldom was found such spon- taneous and hearty greetings as was evidenced there that evening. They had met to extend a Welcome Home to the party. There were several reasons for their greeting, and he could assure them they were true and genuine. They admired them, and they had missed them for a considerable time. During their lengthy tour in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa they had maintained their high reputation-(cheers)-a reputa- tion gained by hard work and clean living —(hear, hu-ar)-a. reputation, he further hoped, they would never tarnish. Such a vast audience proved their admiration and appreciation of their good qualities. Their tour in South Africa and the other Cblonies had been most successful. They had shed lustre on their native country— • Gallant Little Wales, the land of song (applause). Mabon, who received a rousing recep- tion, speaking in Welsh, said it was a great pleasure for him to unite with the T'reorchy people in extending the party a hearty welcome back to the land of their birth. He (Mabon) had come to see, and the sight he had witnessed was A glorious one—A sight that had not been seen in Wales before (applause). This was the first time in the history of the country to welcome home a party that had gone forth as ambassadors of song and peace. They were peaceful mission- aries, who had sang of peace on the golden plains of Africa and the wide plateaus of Australia and New Zealand. He did not know what the party would undertake next time. Perhaps they would sing their way to the-crests of the Rockies, or the Indies, or into China, Japan and India, and perhaps into Russia—(laugh- ter)—and who knew but that they might bring back the true story of who had discovered the North Pole (laughter and
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A Phenominal Success. The choir, which numbers 21 members, covered over 50,000, miles in their four- teen months' tour, and during this period no fewer than 310 engagements were ful- filled. Starting from Treorchy on July 9th last year, the party travelled through South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania, thence to New Zealand and South Africa, con- certs being given in the four States, Transvaal, Natal, Orange Free State, and Cape Colony. Wherever they went the party were lionised—they were feted by mayors and public bodies, were received in state by Governors, and attended numerous civic receptions. The tour throughout was a, phenomenal success- musically and financially. The largest halls obtainable were filled to overflowing, and in many places hundreds failed to gain admittance. The secret of the suc- cess was as much due to the high moral tone of the party as to its musical accom- plishments. Testimony in this direction is forthcoming in the numerous souvenirs which each member of the party was made the recipient. The conductor has several addresses and batons presented to him, while the whole party were made the recipients of beautiful gold medals by the Sydney Cymrodorion Society emblematical of Wales, with the leeks and red dragon in raised figures as a centrepiece.
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Rhondda District Council, Baptist Association Meetings. At a special meeting of the Rhondda District Council on Friday, Councillor Thos. Thomas presiding. Dr. W. E. Thomas brought forward his motion to rescind a, previous resolution of the Coun- cil re the granting of the use of the schools for purposes other than educa- tional. It will be remembered that at the last meeting of the Council, an appli- cation was received from Dr. Morris, Noddfa, Treorchy, for the use of the Treorchy Girls' School to entertain the delegates at the annual meetings of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Baptist Association to be held on October 18th- 21st at Treorchy. The resolution of the Council precluded the granting of the application, and Dr. Thomas thereupon moved a notice of motion to rescind this resolution. The motion was proposed on Friday last, and seconded by Councillor Thos. Thomas, and carried unanimously. It was also resolved at the same meet- ing that the Council should scavenge Sections 20 and 22 (Porth and Ynyshir) with their own carts, owing to the in- creased amounts of tenders submitted.
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cheers). They had borne the elements of peace to the far countries of the earth in a manner that had not been attempted before, and they had returned with their characters clean, unstained, a proof to the world of the greatness and purity of example set bv the fathers of the land of song. HE did not know what the next age might do. The Royal Party had done so much in this age that the next could only hope to hold its own. The party had left a glorious influence for good behind them wherever they went. They had charmed the desert, climbed the mountain, and sang their ay across oceans. They fought their way with song and not with Dreadnoughts—(laugh- ter)—and what was more, the people were willing to pay for it (loud laughter). The peoples they had visited did not want the songs for nothing, like some people wanted Dreadnoughts (renewed laughter). I Dr. W. Morris, the veteran pastor of Noddfa, and the spiritual father of so many of the" boys," was naturally elated with the choir's achievements and safe return. He felt proud, he said, that he was a citizen of Treorchy and lived in the Rhondda Valley. He was proud of the fact that he was a Welshman and a patriot, and as a patriotic Welshman jealous of the dignity and honour of the Welsh nation, he desired, in the name of the nation, to extend the choir a hearty welcome on their safe return from the Colonies. The party had not embarked on the tour without carrying: with them the fate of the Welsh nation, and he was certain by the reception accorded the party everywhere that they had fully dis- charged their responsibility and main- tained the honour of Wales (applause). As a result Wales and her people stood higher in the world's regard to-day than ever. The choir had not only charmed the audi- ences they sano; to, but had even disarmed the critics. The party, in the memorable words of Lord Salisbury, had brought home Peace with honour," and their singing would be an inspiration to other nations (applause). At this stage of the proceedings the secretary Mr. W. T. Owen) announced that a number of letters were received expressing the regret of their senders' inability to be present. Among those read was one from Mr. W. Jenkins, J.P. (Ocean Collieries), and a postcard from Mr. D. Lleufer Thomas, the Stipendiary magistrate of the Rhon- dda. Mr. Tom John, M.A., said that this was a proud evening for one and all. The chairman had put the closure upon him and Dr. Morris (laughter). He (the chairman) had had such an experience with Mabon that he thought drastic measures were necessary for those who followed (renewed laughter). It was diffi- cult to cut a thing short when one felt so big as he did that night. Treorchy could afford to send another choir to Australia and the Colonies. They had heard that evening the children singing, and if anybody doubted that Treorchy would be unable to sustain its reputation in the future, he would have to go and hear these children sing (applause). The question was, What had these boys done for Wales? Had they reflected the character and the ability of the Welshman in their tours P They had already done America and the Colonies, and if they anticipated another tour, he would advise them to go to the North Pole, where there was at present considerable discord, and nothing but the harmony of the Tre- orchy singers could bring ordt, out of the confusion (loud laughter). He w: s very proud that Welsh character and ability had justified the enterprise of going through the Colonies (hear, hear). The choir had done to itself and to the Welsh people—and Mr. Wm. Thomas would tell them that people in Australia and South Africa said so—no end of good. The singing of the boys was not understandable in many countries, because it was the singing of the democracy. They had professional singers on the Continent, but it was only in Cymru Lan" that they would find the people singing. The surprise everywhere evinced was that the boys were workers and not professionally trained singers. Every- where they went they received magnifi- cent receptions. But what was more was that they generally found Welshmen in the leading positions. They believed at one time that the only nationality to be found near the jam-pot were the Scotch- (laughter)—but from the reports to hand, in South Africa, Australia, America, in fact, everywhere, there was proof posi- tive that Welsh character and ability would always hold its own against all the nationalities in the world (cheers). He (Mr. John) had a, very extravagant en- thusiasm with regard to Welsh character, and he ventured to say that what was dominant and predominant in the Israelitish nation under the old dispen- sation was also dominant and predominant in the Welsh nation to-day. The old nation-was prominent for its prophets, bards and musicians, and there were bards and musicians in Wales," and her prophets were her preachers. What the nation wanted was confidence, and the educational system of the day was such that they could get along. He was there- fore glad of the boys." Their tour had given proof that they came from a land where religion was respected, and their music showed that it was possible to say that no nation could sing as they did in Wales. Religion and music was nobly reflected in their lives, and for that reason he was proud to unite with his Treorchy friends in giving the choir a hearty welcome to the old country (loud applause). Alderman E. H. Davies, in a brief address, said that he did not think any body of people had done so much to elevate the Welsh character as the Tre- orchy Choir. He himself had been, a, member of a, choir 44 years ago, con- ducted by Mr. Morgan Llewellyn. The choir competed at Treforest, the test piece being We never will bow down," and the spirit fostered by his connection with the choir had remained with him to the present day. Mr. Ed. Thomas, J.P. (Cochfarf), Car- diff, welcomed the choir on behalf of him- self and his wife, Madame Hughes- Thomas, who, he said, was appearing that evening with her choir at a concert in Leicester. His best welcome would be voiced in Ceiriog's well-known line:—" Ti wyddost beth ddywed fy nghalon." He had old recollections of Treorchy. Turn- ing to Mabon, Cochfarf declared that for supporting nine hours' work he was kicked out from Treorchy to Cardiff. He had considerable experience of foreign coun- tries where Welshmen had settled, and the first impression of a Welshman on visiting his kith in these lands was the self-confidence of the Cymric settlers. That was one of the chief requirements of the stay-at-home, Welshman. Proceed- ing, the speaker said that the world was looking forward to Wales in the direction of singing. Only the previoua week he attended the Scottish National Eistedd-
fod," and it was there declared by one competent to judge that if the Scotch people desired to hear music, they should go to Wales (applause). Further addresses were delivered by Mr. T. W. Berry (Rhondda Director of Education), ..uT. R. D. Clialke (Porth), and others. Mention should also be made of the splendid singing of Miss Alice Cove, the well-known Treorchy soprano, who charmed the vast audience with an exquisite ren- dering of the Dear Old Land." The choir of school children, under the con- ductorship of Mr. H. Howells, head- master, Treorchy Schools, rendered Home, Sweet Home "-a truly appro- I priate contribution—in a manner that won rounds of annlause, and a. rendering of "Hen Wlad fy Nhadau" in response to an encore fairly electrified the huge gathering. Not less felicitous were the stirring strains of Men of Harlch" by the Royal Choir, who, though fatigued by a tedious journey, gave a taste of their rare power, and in compliance with an undeniable demand for a repetition gave Gogoniant i Gymru." Thus ended a memorable gathering, the story of which will be told by grey-haired patriarchs to the children clambering on their knees, when the heroes themselves will have their last song, and the voice that thrilled shall be silent in the grave.