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"The Coming of Age " of Messrs.…

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"The Coming of Age of Messrs. Thomas & Evans. Phenomenal Success of the Firm. A function unique and extraordinary in its character and of a doubly interesting nature was that which was held on Thursday last, when, at the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. William Evans, and to cele- brate the 21st anniversary of the estab- lishment of the firm of Messrs. Thomas and Evans, the whole of the employees were entertained to a sumptuous tea on the lawn adjoining Porth Farm, the resi- dence of Mr. and Mrs. William Evans. The place had been very prettily deco- rated for the occasion by Mr. Edgar Thomas, and there was quite an Elysian flavour to the surroundings. The Cymmer Colliery Brass Band, under the conductor- ship of Mr. George F. Martyn, were in attendance, and played a number of lively and appropriate selections. The firm of Messrs. Thomas and Evans, with its large business! ramifications, was started 21 years ago in a cottage, which was subsequently converted into a shop in Hannah Street. From the outset the business flourished. Mr. Thomas, how- ever, withdrew from the firm, which has still retained its maiden name, and the business of which ha<3 since been carried on solely under the able direction of Mr. William Evans, who has been most appro- priately designated The Welsh Lipton." To-day there are no less than 12 branches, situated at Merthyr, Aberdare, Quaker's Yard, Pengam, Caerphilly, Tredegar, Maesteg, Aberavon, Pontypridd, Norton Bridge, and Bridgend, besides the large establishment at Porth, whilst the total number of persons employed is 400. The firm has 120 horses and three traction engines. In addition to the branch shops, there are six aerated water factories with 15 depots, throughout Monmouthshire and South Wales. The completion of the 21 years' trading has been marked with the erection of a large block of spacious and well-equipped business premises in Hannah Street. In addition to the factories men- tioned, a huge bakery establishment has been erected at Porth, and its compara- tive relation to .similar undertakings can be gauged when it is stated that over 200 sacks, of flour are used weekly in the pro- cess of bread making. A noteworthy t feature in the firm's existence, and one which bears undoubted evidence of the cordiality and good relationship which has, existed, and still exists between employer and employed, is the number of the latter who are credited with long service dis- tinctions and who may well append the military D.S.O. to their names. Notable amongst them are Councillor John Mor- gan, Merthyr, chief accountant to the firm, 19 £ years' service; Mr. Rd. Davies, clerk, 18 years; and Mr. Frank Evans, manager, Porth branch, 17 years. There were also a number of other officials pre- sent at the function whose term of ser- vice with the firm run into the tens. At 8 o'clock, the party adjourned to a large room connected with the Hannah Street premises, where a convivial meeting was held and over which Mr. Evans presided. The walls of the room were bedecked with a number of suitable mottoes and such that adorn the pathway of the successful business man. Amongst those inscribed were:—"Success to the Firm," "Integ- rity," Thrift," "Honesty," "Health," "Prosperity," "Industry," and" Long Life and Happiness to Mr. and Mrs. William Evans. Mr. Evans, in his introductory address, .said that they were an hour late in start- ing, due no doubt to the enjoyment derived at the garden party. The programme would, therefore, have to be curtailed. In the first place he desired to express the sincere pleasure which it gave him in meet- ing practically the whole of his staff at the termination of a business career ex- tending over 21 years. It was an event which he had looked forward to. He had intended to hold the function after the 20th year, but a wiser head thought it better to celebrate it on the 21st birth- day. During the 21 years,, as anybody might have guessed, the firm had met with a good many ups and downs, but, fortunately, there were more ups than downs (cheers). With these results they had met in considerable numbers that afternoon, and excluding the mineral water staff, no less than 199 employees had partaken of tea, which clearly indi- cated that the success of the firm, if not phenomenal, was rather unusual (ap- plause). Having, regard to the various businesses and trades which they were engaged in and the different kinds of labour they employed, they made a very happy family around the tea table (laughter). Some of the members of the staff had been in the employ of the firm for 17, 18 and 20 years. To those the career of the firm was well-known, but it was to the younger ones that he parti- cularly desired to review the past. Mr. Evans then dwelt upon the growth of the various departments, and in so doing stated that the success which had attended the first meat department was chiefly due to the sagacity of Mrs. Evans. Without her the success attained would not have been so great (hear, hear). After the bakery business had been in existence for some time, he found that there was no alternative but to suspend operations at this particular branch, as he had come to the conclusion that he had started it ten years too soon, as people made their own bread. Later on, people began to give up bread-making, and he immediately saw the need of a, bakery in the district. He thereupon restarted this trade, and to-day he ventured to state it was one of the largest and most up-to-date in the whole of Wales. To the staff in this department he desired to take that opportunity of bearing testimony to the energy and tact displayed by them. Referring to the mineral water department, Mr. Evans, said that they were the biggest brewers of non-alcoholic beverages. He concluded a capital review of the firm's progress by bearing high testimony to those who had assisted him in his business (loud cheers). Mr. Frank Evans, manager, Porth branch, dwelt upon the advantages to be gained by a perfect unison between the employer and his servants. There was nothing, he stated, to be gained by being at cross purposes. The employer bought the goods, but it was useless him doing this unless he had the right. assistants behind the counter to dispose of them. His connection with the assistants at Porth had always been of a harmonious nature. The success, of the business depended upon each individual link. The assistants should strive to gain the esteem of each other as well as the respect of their employer, and then their success would be assured (hear, hear). A very pleasant surprise now awaited both Mr. and Mrs. Evans, in the form of a presentation subscribed for by the em- ployees. Mr. Evans was made the, re- cipient of a beautiful gold hunter non- magnetic watch, supplied by Messrs. Mappin and Webb, London. The watch bore the following inscription —" Pre- sented to Mr. William Evans by his em- ployees as a token of esteem and regard on the completion of 21 years' trading as Thomas and Evans. Porth, February, 22nd, 1906." Mr. Thomas Isaacs, in making the pre-

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