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BARRY COALTRIMMERS' TONTINE CLUB. THE SECOND ANNUAL DINNER A MARKED SUCCESS. THE ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL VALUE OF TRADES UNIONS. The second annual dinner of the Barry Coal- trimmers' Tontine Club was held on Saturday evening last at the Castle Hotel. Barry Docks, under the presidency of Mr W. J. Lewis, who was supported by Councillor J. Chappell (Cardiff), Messrs Samuel Fisher (secretary of the Cardiff, Barry, and Penarth Coaltrimmers' Union), J. T. Clatworthy (Cardiff), Herbert Harris (secretary of the Barry Trim mers'Ton tine Club), E. A. Howells, J. Pook, H. Griffiths, C. Hill, F. Strickland, J. Dimond, T. Whitehouse, H. Dance, Morgan Jones, T. Jenkins, A. Morgan, J. Thomas, T. James, D. Bowen, J. Lewis, D. Thomas, J. Powell, W. Sitford, W. Scaffell, Llewellyn Rees, Joseph Thomas, James Jones, W. Meyrick, etc. A striking feature was the marked increase in the attendance com- pared with that of last year. Mr and Mrs W. Farmer provided an excellent dinner, and upon the removal of the cloth a number of suitable toasts were submitted. After the Royal toast had been loyally honoured, Mr Samuel Fisher proposed The United Trimmers of the South Wales Ports." He said there was strength in unity and combination, but whilst the trimmers of South Wales were not actually united to their brethren in the North of England, they were on the friendliest terms -possible, working hand in hand, and he hoped this friendship would continue for many years to come. It was melancholy to contemplate what their position would have been during the past ten years if individual bargaining had been prevalent. It would be a sorry thing if individual gangs were allowed to make their own bargains instead of having one distinct tariff for all. Trades Unionism, as a whole, had been under a cloud during the past two or three years, and even the judges in the High Courts appeared to be against them. But the fact that such an encouraging number of Labour men had been returned to Parliament promised a new lease of life for the working men of this country. He hoped the Barry trimmers would be united in their own ranks, because un- rest would creep into every union. There was no tonic like unionism, and their motto, he hoped, would be the greatest good for the greatest number." (Cheers.) In supporting, Mr J. T. Clatworthy. the Union organiser, said there were many interests which ooaltrimmers all the world over had in common, for they were engaged in a trade upon which the development of this country very largely depended. Fortunately, they had been singularly free from any serious disputes. There were many circum- stances which were responsible for this eminently satisfactory state of affairs, but he believed the chief factor was the sound understanding between the masters and men—(applause)—and also the organisation of the men, enabling them to demand a fair and just return for services rendered. In Barry, and South Wales especially, the coaltrim- ming trade had shown remarkable development, and such excellent results had accrued that they were anticipating a time of great prosperity. A depression had passed over the country, but a change for the better was taking place. In order to foster this improvement, it was imperative that the men should safeguard the good feeling which prevailed between themselves and their employers. If they were to accomplish this they should have a perfect organisation to enable them to negotiate with the masters on equal terms, and to secure for the general body of coaltrimmers a fair return for their labour. It would be manifestly unfair for one man to meet an employer and try to arrange his own rate of pay. The trimmers had much in common, and it would not be to their interests to do anything that would tend to dislocate trade. (Applause,) In practical and thorough terms, Councillor J. Chappell submitted the toast of the evening The Barry Trimmers' Tontine Club." He was more particularly pleased, he said, to have the honour of proposing this toast, because it originally emanated from that worthy old Spaniard, Tontine, a man who was scorned in his day, but his idea had been fostered, and had grown to be a mighty power in the land. If men would be so miserably mean as to begrudge the paltry weekly contribu- tion to help their fellow men, they deserved to severely suffer in their own time of need. He was proud that the trimmers at Barry had ,been able materially to help each other. If it were only possible to get the powers that be—perhaps the Imperial Parliament itself to ascertain the amount of good that was done amongst the working classes of this country each year by trades, friendly, and tontine societies, the people would see how unsignificant the so-called philanthropy of the rich really was. (Cheers.) The few days he had spent in the House of Commons the previous week had surprised him, for everyone seemed to listen to the reasonableness of the men's demands, and he could already see Old Age Pensions in the distance. (Applause.) Small clubs could not gain the desired goal by themselves, unless affiliated to some large body, but having a right to association they could continue their good work in the tontine club. They had been too much under the heel of the philanthropists," for where had their wealth come from ? Was it not the workers who had provided it for them ? If so, he failed to see where their philanthropy came in. At the same time they should respect the individual, and the individual would have equal respect for them. There were pensions for the soldiers and sailors who defended the country, and why not the same treatment for the men who built up the trade of the Empire? (Cheers.) Life would not be worth living if each man carried a small dagger in his his breast, ready to thrust it in his fellow by glance, word, or deed. The classes deserved credit for one thing, that of sinking all petty differences of opinion at social gatherings, and he was glad the Barry Coaltrimmers' Tontine had at least one day in the year when they could leave their shovels and disputes at the dockside, and be sociable one towards another. (Cheers.) He had much pleasure in coupling with the toast the name of Mr Herbert Harris, the secretary of the club. (Cheers.) In responding, Mr Harris remarked, amidst applause, that good and useful work had been accomplished by the club. The total receipts for 1905 amounted to J6119 3s lOd, of which £ 69 had been distributed in sick pay alone. After carrying a small balance to the present year, the remainder would be equally divided amongst the members. On an average for five years, the cost represented 12s peip annum per member, a sum that would be required by insurance companies to cover accidents alone. The Tontine Club was not formed with the idea of paying big dividends—its first principle was to help brothers in distress, and to minimise collection appeals on the dockside. (Hear, hear.) Amid much enthusiasm the toast of the health of the President (Mr W. J. Lewis) was drunk, in proposing which Mr C. Hill said they had in Mr Lewis an ideal president, and he was pleased to note the continued confidence which was reposed in him by the Coaltrimmers' Association by re- electing him on the executive council. He hoped Mr Lewis would always retain the high esteem in which he was held by his fellows on the dockside. (Cheers.) Mr Harry Griffiths seconded, and the President feelingly expressed his thanks. The remaining toasts were those of The Press," trnd the Host and Hostess," the former proposed by Mr Harry Dance, and the latter by Mr E. A. Howells, Mr A. G. Waters (Barry Dock News) and Mr W. Farmer respectively acknowledging the same. Songs by the President, Messrs Joseph Thomas, Harry Dance, Ted Hayes, W. Robinson, J. Macdonald, T. Whitehouse, Llewellyn Rees, James Jones, and Master Willie Pook, provided pleasing interludes between the toasts, Mr E. Ryan presid- ing at the piano, By his untiring efforts, Mr Herbert Harris, the popular secretary of the club, has prior claim to credit for the remarkable success which attended the event, which was most pleasant and enjoyable j throughout.






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