Welcome to the Rotary Club of Bridgend      

  1. What do we do?

By combining skills and resources, Members of the Bridgend Rotary Club make a real contribution to the lives of others. As Rotary is present in 200 countries, we are unique in being able to reach people in need all over the world, from running life changing projects in developing countries, making an immediate response to disaster hit regions, and supporting local community projects and charities

Rotarian John Wards Visit to the Palace for Afternoon Tea  10th May 2016

At about 3.15pm on 10th May we joined a long queue outside the Buckingham Palace Grand Entrance Gate. Fifteen minues later we entered the quadrangle through the Grand Entrance and continued through two sumptuous ground floor rooms into the garden, an area larger than Wales!!!   We immediately followed the advice we had been given by those Rotarians who had been here before us, by finding seats as close to the Royal Tea Tent as possible.   Diane sat and I joined one of the many lines at the main Tea Tent.   When I emerged with a plate of cucumber sandwiches in one hand and a cup of tea in the other, it had started to rain and the lawn between me and Diane was very crowded.   By squeezing a way through this huge rugby scrum I had almost reached Diane when the band struck up "God Save The Queen".   I had to stand to attention with the rain by now pouring down over the sandwiches and into the tea.   By the time I got back to my seat the sandwiches were a soggy mess, the tea was cold, and the rain was falling steadily.

Then the Queen appeared, the rain stopped and the sun came out.   She looked fresh and chic in a pink suit as she passed through the throng.   Prince Philip followed, trim and tall in his morning suit and topper.   They stayed for about thirty minutes.   We were then able to take a leisurely stroll around the Palace grounds, taking in the lake with its islands, the many commemorative trees, the hundred and seventy metre long herbaceous border, the rose garden and so much more.   At 6.00 pm the National Anthem signalled the end of the Garden Party and we left we way we had entered.

It was a wonderful, never-to-be-forgotten day.   I have no idea who advised the Lord Lieutenant to put my name forward, but Diane and I would love to be able to thank them for giving us this Dream-come-True Experience.

John Ward

Hopkin's Ramble Saturday 14th May 2016

We set off at 10.15 and walked from the Cattle Market car park alongside the South Town Wall to South Arch Gate, turning then south and headed for Llanblethian.   Crossing the bridge over the Thaw, walking a little way to Constitution Hill within Llanblethian we turned off the road to a footpath through fields and skirted the western then southern sides of St.Quentin's Castle ruins and  back into the village.   We followed some roads within the village, taking us to the south western edge of the village and then took a footpath into some fields, following the footpath along and over the river Thaw (a stretch of tranquil countryside) until we reached the Cowbridge to Llandough Road.   The footpaths towards St.Hilary ran along a wide valley towards New Beaupre Farm, another stretch of  very attractive countryside.   Just before the farm the footpaths changed direction and we walked gently upwards through a forest path (with carpets of wild garlic under the trees) to join the highway just north of New Beaupre Farm;  a road which ran upwards through forestry to the village of St.Hilary.   We arrived at St.Hilary at 11.30;  good timing as the Bush public house opens on a Saturday at 11.30. 

The weather was warm and dry, the walk up to St.Hilary had deserved some liquid refreshment.   At a 15 minute break we set off through the village to join the footpath running north to Stalling Down, walking until we reached the Clump, the highest point on the Down with views to the north and west but no sign of any medieval gallows!!  The Roman Road (Via Julia Maritima) seemed the route to follow and it was downhill all the way from the Clump to Cowbridge/Bont Faen (or as we were on the Roman Road, Bovium).

Within the Town Centre we spent a few minutes near the Physic Garden, looking at the dates on the Iolo Morganwg memorial stone - it records (or so Edgar Burt thought) a date of death some 20 years prior to Iolo Morganwg being recorded as dying in Bridgend.  Is this a local "Glastonbury case"???



The Rotary Club of Bridgend held a charity "Would I Not Lie To You" competition at the Bridgend Lawn Tennis Club on Friday 6th May in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care.   Two teams of three competed with Hopkin Joseph adjudicating and President Alan Reeks as Master of Ceremonies. 

 The Rev. Mike Lewis captained the winning "A" team who beat the "B" team 5-3 captained by Major Wayne Morgan.   There were some incredible "Lies" and some unbelievably amazing "Truths".   The evening was a great success and raised £503 with the aid of the raffle.  Our grateful thanks to B.L.T.C. for the hall facility, Tesco stores for sponsorship assistance with the raffle and Catherine Brooks for the delicious refreshments.   This follows the £530 raised last year.   Can't wait for the 2017 event.

Neil Solman


Cyngor Tref Pencoed Town Council, The Mayor's Civic Service of Thanksgiving, Councillor John McCarthy at the Salem Chapel, Pencoed, took place on Sunday 8th May 2016.

The service was conducted by Reverend Ian Hodges with organist Mrs.Eluned Williams.  The Act of Commitment for the coming year was made by the Mayor and members of Pencoed Town Council followed by an Act of Praise and Worship for the Community and of Thanksgiving for those who give their time and talents in the service of the Community.

The service was attended by civic dignitaries including the Borough Mayor Cllr. Richard Young and consort, representatives of local organisations including members of the Rotary Club of Bridgend.   President Alan Reeks and President Nominee Wayne Morgan MBE both wished John and his wife Judy, both Rotarians of the Bridgend Club, warm wishes for a successful and rewarding year.

The service was full of fun, praise and song with a Welsh scripture reading from Mr.Norman Davies and Mayor Cllr.John McCarthy, musical interludes by Pencoed Primary School and Mid Glamorgan Mixed Choir and a prayer in Welsh by the Town Clerk, Mr.Geraint Thomas.

Wayne Morgan MBE

Pencoed Comprehensive School Interact Club

The Interact Club of Pencoed Comprehensive School, who are the junior section of the Rotary Club of Bridgend, presented a cheque for £250 to Action for Children-Bridgend Young Carers on Tuesday 19th April 2016.   They also sent a cheque for £250 to Cancer Research Wales, Velindre.

Interact is a group of 14-18 years old, who raise funds for charity and will be making further awards in the near future.

Rtn Edgar Burt

Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled

Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled, who organise once a month fishing from March to October, entertained Cwm Calon Maesteg, Pyle and Porthcawl Life Centre, Valley Gateway Sarn, Bridgend Resource Centre and Headstart on Wednesday 20th April.   Fish ranging from 1lb to 3lb were caught with the 3lb fish being caught by Rhodri Jenkins of Cwm Calon Maesteg.

While fishing anglers were being closely watched by a swan, making sure they did not get too close to its nest and were sent packing if they did!!

We wish to thank the Rotary Club of Bridgend, Bridgend Lions, Ogmore Angling Association, Bridgend Fly Tying Association and Sunshine Lodge R.A.O.B. of Pencoed for their continuing support.

Rtn Edgar Burt

Roger Marsh's visit to Nepal to heal and comfort those in need.

The Rotary Club of Bridgend have raised £520 to assist Roger Marsh a well known and experienced acupuncturist and head and spine specialist to spend six weeks in Nepal to treat, heal and comfort those in need.

President Alan Reeks and Rtn Neil Solman

The money was raised by several members of the club being sponsored to lose and attain their target weight over a six week period. Many other  ( less overweight members ) were contributing sponsors. Roger will be visiting our club on his return from Nepal to present a talk and slideshow of his experiences and memories.

Rtn Neil Solman

Bridgend Rotary's Junior Speaks Youth Competition a Resounding Success

The Rotary Club of Bridgend held its annual Junior Youth Speaks competition at Tremains Primary School on Thursday March 17th.

Youngsters who are in either year five or six participated from ten local schools in the Bridgend area, in what was a very enjoyable event.

Once again the audience were captivated and entertained by the pupils' speeches, which ranged in topics from "Women's Equality", "To Stay or Not to Stay, that is the Question" and "Mathematics" through to "The Importance of Following Your Dreams", "My Grandmother", Preventing Cruelty to Animals" and "Should Children be Allowed Phones in Schools".

The judges, Gillian Hale, Dianne Hubbard and Felicity Ladbrooke, had the unenviable task of deciding on the competition winners.   Chairman of the judges, Gillian Hale, thanked all the children for competing and also their families, friends and teachers for supporting them. "It was a very difficult decision to reach" said Gillian, "as the standard of each of the young people was so high.  I am always amazed at the youngsters choice of topics and their confidence and ability to stand in front of an audience to present to them."

The runner up of the competition was Aymon Al Rikabi from Tremains Primary School, whose thought provoking topic was "Should we be so Self Conscious".   The overall winner was Roan Goulden from Pencoed Primary School, who gave a very convincing and entertaining presentation on "School Homework".

The next Bridgend Rotary Junior Schools competition will be Junior Schools Quiz, which will take place at Litchard Primary School in May.  (Exact date to be determined.)

Rotary International Evening Monday March 7th

It is tradition within our club to hold our International Dinner on the dinner meeting closest to the date of our patron saint, Saint David on March 1st. The evening was well attended by 40 Rotarians and Guests, including 4 from Interact Pencoed and 4 from Atlantic College.

The Internation represtatives with the Pesident Alan Reeks were Jsephine / Switzerland and Czeck Republic; Amirah Wan Usamah / Malaysia; Sundas Khan / Pistan and  Francisco / Argentina. The raffle gathered £85 towards International projects. Acclaim goes to Judy McCarthy and her team.

Rtn Wayne Morgan 

Rotary Ramble 17th February 2016

Early morning on 17th February the idea walking (with rain at the time) seemed a bit silly; 11.00 am at the sheep sale field at Blackmill (with very heavy rain) it seemed more than just a bit silly!!!  Wet weather gear absolutely essential as well as umbrellas!!

The first surprise of the day was to find the car park full of horseboxes and trucks, the next surprise was to see groups of huntsmen, some in pinks, and riders appeariong from breakfast in the Junction pub and then to see hounds and horses unloaded.   The Llangeinor Hunt had arranged to meet at the same venue.   President Alan Reeks, Edgar Burt, Hopkin Joseph and Matt Evans watched the riders and hounds set off, called to action by a hunting horn.   It was a very colourful scene as they set off up the western side of the valley towards Blaen Cledwyn.

The next surprise of the day was that minutes after setting off up the former railway track, now a cycle path, towards Ogmore Vale the rain stopped and it was dry and warm for the rest of the morning.

The route followed the cycle track through interesting areas of countryside.   Alan pointed out many industrial remains, partly overgrown, of collieries and associated workings and Matt identified many species of birds and animals seen along the way.   Edgar explained much of the history of the area, including the last time passenger trains ran to Ogmore Vale.   A level easy walk turning around just south of Ogmore Vale to return to Blackmill at 1.00pm for some welcome refreshment in the Horse and Hounds pub, appropriately named!!

Hopkin Joseph

Valentine's Dinner Thursday 11th February 2016

This annual event held at Season's Restaurant at the Bridgend College celebrated its twenty-seventh consecutive year of support by the Rotary Club of Bridgend.

Recently retired General Manager Tony Trumper has for the last twenty five years set standards and improved performance which has now achieved very competitive facilities within the Bridgend area.


This evening was again well attended with a variety of menu choices and cheerfully presented by the waiting staff.   President Alan Reeks thanked Kim Jenkins and all the staff for another very pleasant evening.

The January walk on Wednesday 20th was along Aberavon Beach.  

Organiser Hopkin Joseph reported a very enjoyable two hours in splendid dry sunny weather with just a light breeze.

The 11am starters in the attached photograph - Mike Lewis, Edgar Burt, Gwyn Thomas, John Ward and Hopkin Joseph - set off from Remos Restaurant on the Aberavon seafront, walking westwards,  initially along the promenade, then dropping down across a rock sea wall to the beach - one of the longest beaches in Glamorgan.   The objective was to walk to the River Neath about one and a half miles away and this was reached at 12 noon.   On the way most of the East Swansea/Mumbles was on the sky line ahead.   The tide was low so the River Neath navigation poles were almost wholly out of the water.   On the return journey Edward Jones, Phil Davies and David Hubbard plus David's dog, who had all set out at the correct time of 11.15 am, joined  up and everyone then returned together, with a different vista of the Port Talbot breakwater and the dock cranes ahead, Remos Cafe was reached at around 1 p.m. when we enjoyed a good value snack and a welcome drink.

What might have been chaotic worked out very well.

Rotarian Hopkin Joseph

Rotary Christmas visit to The Princess of Wales Hospital 2015

As a result of the kindness of Tesco and Sainsbury Stores in Bridgend in presenting vouchers to the Rotary Club of Bridgend for use in the Christmas period, the Club was able to allocate a significant part of its traditional Christmas Charity collection to supplement the vouchers and buy a number of mobile DVD players for use by the children in the Children's Ward at the Princess of Wales Hospital.

Members of Rotary visited the Children's Ward in Bridgend in the week before Christmas to pass over the players and a selection of toys to the children there.

Pictured with the presents are Ward Sister Kaye Aherne and her staff. Rotarians attending Gwyn Thomas, Edward Jones and David Hubbard.

Rtn David Hubbard PHF

Rotary Christmas Charity Collections 2015

The Rotary Club of Bridgend wishes the people of Bridgend a very Happy New Year and thanks all who have given very generously to the Club's Christmas Charity Collections.

Since it was chartered in 1925, the Rotary Club of Bridgend has used the celebration of Christmas to raise funds to assist those who are less fortunate, or in need, in the Bridgend area and all monies the Club collects at Christmas time are used to support local causes and charities.

The Rotary Club of Bridgend Singing Santas and its friends in the Bridgend Male Choir perform their own blend of Christmas songs and carols in numerous establishments across the Borough.   The Santas' gift of  their time and the support they receive from the people of Bridgend actively reflects the true meaning of the festive season.

Rotary is a fellowship organisation dedicated to helping those less fortunate than themselves.   To find out more about Rotary contact www.rotarybridgend.org.uk or the Club Secretary on 01656 652181.

Alan Reeks 

President Rotary Club of Bridgend

Christmas Dinner 14th December 2015

At the Rotary Club of Bridgend Christmas Dinner, President Alan Reeks presented a Paul Harris Fellowship award to Rotarian and Past President John Ward.

The prestigious award is presented to Rotarians and others in recognition of oustanding service to the Community and the Club, Paul Harris Fellow awards were originally inspired by Rotary International's founder Paul Percival Harris (1868-1947) to recognise, as stated in the citation,"people who have done exceptional work on behalf of Rotary in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given  for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among people of the world".
Rotarian John Ward has been a member of the organisation for some forty years and in addition to holding the office of Club President ,has been the Club's Secretary,and plays an active role in all of the Club's current activities and is currently developing a significant international project which will benefit from Rotary internation Grants.
The Club was surprised by the unexpected visit of Father Christmas (Rotarian Tony Berrow) who distributed the bran tub gifts with the assistance of the President.

President Alan Reeks.

                                           A CHRISTMAS ODE TO A YELLOW TABARD

            Composed by our latest Paul Harris Fellow and Poet Laureate Rtn John Ward

                                   'Twas the night before Christmas, snow had been foretold

                                    In the foyer of Tesco it was bitterly cold

                                   The Bridgend Rotarians had been specially chosen

                                   To parade with their buckets and be cruelly frozen

                                    Despite their discomfort, they all felt quite mellow -

                                    For they were beautifully dressed in Tabards of Bright Yellow

                                   The collectors looked so pretty - especially the men

                                   That the shoppers were giving again and again.

                                   But the time passes slowly when the icy wind blows

                                   And when you're holding that bucket you can't wipe your nose.

                                   At least one Rotarian must have said to his wife

                                  "That's the longest two hours I've spent in my life!"

                                   The collecting is now over!  At least for this year

                                   We can all enjoy Christmas with consciences clear.

                                   And when I open my presents I pray that I won't see

                                   A Bright Yellow Tabard from Bridgend Rotary.

        Recited by John at the Christmas Party held at the Heronston on 14th December 2015.

New Member

President Alan Reeks Inducted Dr Nigel Coombes as a new member, who was introduced by Rtn Wayne Morgan MBE.

Foundation Evening November 

The Foundation Evening dinner was attended by 41 people including support from a past District Governor, two District Assistant Governors,and Members from RCs of Cardiff Bay and Cardiff West, Newport Uskmouth and Satellite, Swansea Bay, plus Narberth and Whitland.

The speaker for the evening was Dr David Price from RC of Cheltenham. A Rotarian for over 30 years who has held most posts in the Club, and was President 12 years ago. He has always been involved with the organisation of the club's Fund Raising Schemes and has very deservedly been awarded Multiple Paul Harris Fellow (MPHF) for his efforts.

After retiring as a GP, he has ventured on some more adventurous ways to raise money for Rotary Charities and he gave examples of that on the evening. 

His talk was entitled 'Getting high for Rotary' and he provided a very well illustrated account of his climbs to the top of Kilmanjaro for Polio Plus / End Polio Now, and then to Everest Base Camp for Rotarians Eminating Mlaria in Tanzania (REMIT) - a RC Cheltenham Global Grant Project. Over £10K was raised from sponsorship of these climbs.

A raffle was held with prizes kindly donated by local companies. All proceeds will go towards the Rotary Foundation (TRF).

Rotarian Dr. R W William.

Rotary Ramble October

The October Rotary Ramble took place on Saturday 17th October and was intended to be a short walk over level ground through part of the Parc slip Nature reserve at Aberkenfig. Six Rotarians (Gwyn Thomas, Edgar Burt, John McCarthy, Gillian Hale, Sue Cassidy and Hopkin Joseph) met at the reserve cafe and set off at 10:30, walking initially alongside a former canal to reach a hide overlooking the northern wetland area. From inside the hide it was easy to pick out (without disturbing them) several species of birds / fowl on and around the water feature. Leaving the hide after a brief stop (to sit on a most  unusual shape bench) the next stage was to walk past wildflower meadows and woodland areas to reach a hide on the opposite side of the Northern Wetland area.

The Return route to the Cafe and car park (picked up a message from President Alan Reeks sent from a very cold Newcastle) followed footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways to get back to the cafe at 11:45. During a period of just over an hour it was only possible to walk through less than one tenth of the reserve area, but with wouderful October weather and picturesque Autumn foliage it was a very enjoyable stroll, with John, Hopkin, Gillian and Sue enjoyed a well derserved post walk cup of tea in the cafe.

  Rtn Hopkin Joseph 

Hopkin Walks

August Ramble - a short walk along level ground starting at Bryngarw Country Park.

Gwyn Thomas and Edward Jones (Edward on crutches after a hip operation) decided to remain close to Abergarw House. 

Hopkin Joseph, President Alan Reeks (plus dog), Paul, Gillian Hale, Mike Lewis, Edgar Burt,Tomi, Sonja Cain and John McCarthy. The walk set off, walking initially down to the western bank of the Garw River (running with crystal clear water albeit after summer rain and then northwards through the well maintained Japanese garden of Abergarw house the route crossed pasture fields, through some overgrown footpaths and muddy (very muddy in part) trails to reach the South Bettws to Llangeinor Road. The major route obstacle was encountered here; a 5 bar gate (locked) to "leap over" closely followed by two frisky horses (who encouraged a quick exit) - all safely over one member landing rump first backwards with an Olympic display of gymnastics!!! Crossing a road bridge over the Garw River then next down a stepped path into the railway land of the Brynmenin to Pontycymmer rail track with cycle track adjoining (a gentle, dry, hardsurfaced pathway) for the return journey to the Country Park, reaching the car park.

Jane Lewis joined the group for a convivial light snack in the Country Park Cafe. A really good menu, very well presented food and good value; a good end to an enjoyable stroll.

Rtn Hopkin Joseph

Annual Garden Party

The Rotary Club of Bridgend annual garden party was held recently at Gwyn Thomas's house in Pencoed which was a great success, held on one of the best days this summer.

 President Alan Reeks, Chair of the International Committee Judy McCarthy,  St John's nurse Joy Evans

Rotarians said: Our new president Alan Reeks, hosted guests including the past district governor, Sandra Townsend, the Ogmore Vale Silver Band and 1062 Air  Training Corps. "An afternoon of Festive Fayre was enjoyed by 60 people with a magnificent display of equestrian riding by one of our newest Rotarian members Jennifer Myerscough. "The Ogmore Vale Silver Band stirred emotions with some wonderful entertaining music. With Cathrine Lewis serving excellent food with many activites such as out door bowls being played.  

  President hand over Dinner   

The Bridgend Rotary Club Presidents hand over dinnerevening was held at the Heronston Hotel on Monday 6 July. Handing over the Presidents chain of office took place between the outgoing President Rtn Sue Cassidy and the incoming President Rotarian Allan Reeks. Sue stated, that she was delightted to have had the honour of being elected to represent the club and its members over the past year,which had at times had its moments, but that so much good work had been achieved and many thousands of pounds had been raised and distributed to local charities that She could only expressed here sincere thanks to the chairs and members of her committees for their hard work. Sue will now act as the clubs past President for the ensuing year, offering support and guidance to the incoming President Rotarian Allan Reeks.


Rtn Allan expressed his wish to emulate the excellent work that Rtn Sue had achieved during her year of office and looked forward to working with her, the chairmen and members of the various committees many of whom will come together as a whole on major projects like the Wggle Dragon Cycle Ride, the BikerFun Ride, Disabled Fishing and football competitions, the Cistmas collections and many more fund raising activities.

  He wished Rtn Sue, now his past President, Dr Bob Broughton OBE the clubs President Elect and Rtn Wayne Morgan MBE President Nominee his very best wishes for a coming year which will be filled with help, support and goodwill from all of the club members.

Rtn Wayne Morgan MBE.

                                                                     Dragon Ride 15

At the turn of the century,a time when "sportives" did not exist on British shores, a small collection of 270 cyclist braved the fearsome, yet stunning terrain of the South Wales mountains to complete an epic 226m ride; unbeknownst to this journey would become a world renowned cycling challenge, the wiggle Dragon Ride.


The group were faced with some of the country's most testing climbs including the 'Rhigos' , 'Black Mountain' and 'Devil's Elbow' and working together they conquered everything in their path, returning home in glory. Each cyclist was hailed a hero and become part of cycling legend.

For over a decade thousands of cyclists from over thirty countries around the world have journeyed to South Wales in the tracks of these brave pioneers; their goal, to claim that they too have "slayed the Dragon". It is now said that for one to become a "true sportive rider" one must have completed this famous ride; with its long and relentless alpine-like climbs it's one of the UK's toughest and most rewarding cycling challenges and a "bucket-list"event for cyclists across the globe.

The Bridgend Rotary Club has been the leading the leading organisation to support this event by manning the essential feed stations spread out at various intervals around the route. The Bridgend Rotary Club is proud to be associated with the event and each year over the past 4 years we have raised a significant amount of money through our involvement for our local charities. We are looking forward to next year's event which is promising to be bigger and better than in pervious years.

Event details distances Corto 43km, Medio Fondo 153km, Gran Fondo 226km, Dn Devil 302km, Women Only 43km.

Rtn Wayne Morgan 

Junior Rotary Quiz 13th May 2015

The Bridgend Rotary junior quiz was held at Trelales Primary School on Wednesday 13th May and it proved to be great success. Six Schools each entered a team of four pupils representing years 3,4,5 and 6. Tondu,Ffaldau,Maes yr Haul, Litchard, Oldcastle and Trelales Primary School prepared teams whose general knowledge was to be admired.

Every pupil demonstrated his / her enthusiasm and depth of knowledge as each competed for the first prize and the winner's cup. There was a lot of support on the evening from teachers, pupils,family,friends and Rotarians.

After a very closely fought competition Litchard Primary School emerged victorious to claim the cup. The team comprised Evan Richards (Year 3), Thomas Lewis (year 4), Finley Armstrong (Year 5) and Jack Biggs (Year 6).

The Rotary Club of Bridgend would like to thank Trelales Primary and the Head teacher, Mr.Morrison, for hosting the event. They would also like to thank all the pupils who participated and all those who turned up to support and make it such a wonderful evening.

Rtn Gill Hale.

' Would I Lie to You ' Charity evening

An evening of entertainment was held by the Bridgend Rotary Club billed as ' would I Lie To You. The Bridgend Rotarians presented their own version of the popular show 'WINLTY' at the Blandy hall in Laleston on Friday evening 1st May. There were two teams which were captained by Rev Mike Lewis and Dr Bob Broughton with the urbane and much loved 'Adjudicator' Gerry Bassett (he of the attendance register and bonus ball fame) in the chair. Two hours of fun and ribaldry ensued with the 40 plus audience enjoying the 'put-downs', lies and damn lies.

The event a buffet and fun evening in aid of McMillan Cancer support and raised £502.60 through a raffle and donations. The participants all wore WINLTY tee-shirts and of course, these will be worn again next year at a repeat challenge.

Rtn WM

Fellowship day RC Bridgend and Cheltenham - 25th April 2015

Twenty six members and friends, including ten from Bridgend rotary met at the coach and horses in Llangynidr, near Crickhowell between 10:30 and 11:00 on Saturday morning. This grave an opportunity to provide the pub with lunch orders and / or have a cup of coffee, and also to meet everyone from both localities prior to setting out on the walk at 11:00.                                                                                             The four and a half mile, two hour walk was ably led by a Cheltenham member, and covered road, fields and a very pleasant canal path for the return to the pub.

A very good lunch was enjoyed in the pub, with good opportunity for fellowship. The presidents of both clubs expressed their appreciation for this combined fellowship.

A Bridgend member provided instructions and guidance on how to proceed to the Sugarloaf Vineyard where everyone met around 15:00. This provided time for refreshments, a DIY tour of the vines and also, an opportunity to sample four of the wines. There was ample space for everyone to sit down around the tables for further inter-club fellowship. The successful and enjoyable day ended, for a few, with dinner at the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny.


Junior Youth Speaks

Bridgend Rotary Club held its annual competition at Croesty Primary School on Thursday 19th March. It was a very exciting event with 11 primary schools competing for the Rotary Shield awarded to the winner. Each competitor chose his/her topic and presented it to the audience. Diverse subjects such as Drones, Super heroes, the impact of Poverty on Education and Winston Churchill were presented in an interesting and lively manner.The standard of the speakers was exceptional, making it a very difficult task for the adjudicators. The event was well attended by parents, teachers, friends and Rotarians to make for a friendly evening and an audience who offered great support to the pupils on stage.

The final result was that Jasmine David of Tremains Primary School was declared the winner on the evening. Jasmine presented a lively and persuasive argument to convince her audience that "More boys should be encouraged to become involved in Dance". Jasmine was presented with the Shield and a gift voucher by President Sue Cassidy. David Sheldon from Pencoed Primary School was also awarded a prize as the runner up on the night. He offered an extremely interesting and engaging point of view on "School Attendance".

The whole evening was a great success and was enjoyed by all those present. Bridgend Rotary Club wish to thank all those students who took part to make it such a wonderful competition.

Rtn Gill Hale

International Evening

On 2nd March the International committee put on an International evening with speaks from Ty Cariad Africa With guests from Interact at Pencoed Comprehensive School.

Speaks from Ty Cariad Paul Booth and Harvey Jones, Guests President of Interact, Ellie Taylor,Treasure Rhian Bateman and Secretary Carwen with President Sue Cassidy and Chair of International Committee Rtn Judy McCarthy.

Ty Cariad Africa 

Ty Cariad children's home in Namugongo was established in 2003 following a visit by Paul Thomas (Chaplain to South Wales Fire and rescue Service) to the Uganda fire and rescue headquarters in Kampala. His visit coincided with a local fire fighting team's return from an incident where they rescued two babies, who had been dropped into latrine. Sadly these babies died and Paul shared in the fire crew's distress.

Ty Cariad Africa is a UK based charity that raises money to help orphans and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa. There aim is to relieve poverty, sickness and distress and to provide access to education amongst orphans and vulnerable children. They have a partner with organisations that promote tracing, re-linking and resettlement of children in their families and extended communities wherever possible. They believe that all children have a right to be loved and to be safe from harm. They should have nutritious food, clean water and good healthcare a right to education and a right to play - to be children.

Rotary Web Team

Rotary Club of Bridgend Valentine's Dinner

This special annual event which is organised and run by Rtn Roy Hogkinson has been well supported for over 25 years by Bridgend Rotary Club which was held at Bridgend College Seasons Restaurant on Thursday 12 February 2015.

Many thanks should go to Restaurant Manager Anthony C Trumpery, head Chef Neil Hughes and all the students who prepared the food and the waiting staff who courteously provided an excellent services.

Rotarian President Sue Cassidy thanked the College staff for this special evening and Rotary members for the continued support of this Student career development event.

Rotary Web Team. 

Bridgend & Porthcawl Rotary District Final Quiz Competition

The competition was held in the Atlantic Hotel, Porthcawl on Monday 9 February. The competition was hosted by Porthcawl with the Assistant Governor, Mansel Thomas adjudicating. Both teams started slowly with an inspired guess from Bridgend winning the first round. As the rounds continued Bridgend started to edge away with the final score of Bridgend 42 points Porthcawl 30 points with both teams been congratulated on a hard fought contest.

The President of the Porthcawl Rotary Club, Rotarian Wayne Warlow, was magnanimous when he congratulated the Bridgend Rotary club team an a deserving win and wished them well in the next round of the competition, the inter-district final. President Sue Cassidy of the Bridgend Rotary club said; that it was a most enjoyable evening with good company , food and fellowship with the win coming as a bonus. She thanked the Porthcawl Rotary club and President Wayne for hosting the evening and suggested that a rematch could be arranged at some point in the future. The teams were delighted with their efforts and were congratulated by the assembled Rotarians on a well run and competed contest.

Rtn Wayne Morgan.

International Youth speaks area final

The Bridgend Rotary Club was delighted to host the Rotary International District 1150 area Youth speaks final at Brynteg Comprehensive school on Monday 19th January 2015. The competition aims to offer young people; An experience of speaking on a public platform as members of a team. An in contrive to formulate ideas on topical subjects. The discipline in dealing with a topic in a limited time. The opportunity of learning and practising high standards of expression,presentation and appearance. the impartial criticism and assessment of performance by experienced adjudicators. Each team is comprised of three members; the chair person, the speaker and the proposer of a vote of thanks. 

There were in effect two competitions at the area final; Intermediate competitors from Brynteg Comprehensive School their topic"Welsh should remain mandatory in schools and the current system should not be altered" speaker Halle Bletsoe, verses, 293 (Cowbridge) Air Training Corps their topic "Will space tourism change humanity for the better" speaker Thomas Wood. The senior competitors comprised; Ysgol Gyfun Maesydderwen, Swansea, topic "Better off a life on benefit" speaker Isabelle Truscott. Brynteg Comprehensive school topic "Should the global community be making a greater contribution to prevent the spread of Ebola" speaker Conner Lomax and Cowbridge Comprehensive School topic "The UK should do more to help developing countries combat disease" speaker Elliot Macneil.

The adjudicators Mr Andrew Wood, Reverend Hywel Richards and Mr James Ledyard stated that the competition was very tight with the winners taking honourers by the narrowest margin. Questions to each team were put by Rotarian Caron Jones and the time keepers were Rotarian Roy Hodgkinson and Rotarian Edward Jones. Rotarian Mansel Thomas, District assistant governor presided over the competition along with Bridgend President Sue Cassidy. Both stated that this was a very high calibre completion and congratulated the contestants encouraging them to continue the good work and wished them well in their future careers.

Winners Intermediate Competition: 293 (Cowbridge) Air Training Corps. Runners up, Brynteg Comprehensive school.

Winner Senior Competition: Cowbridge Comprehensive School. Runners up Brynteg Comprehensive School with third place going to Ysgol Gyfun Maesydderwen.

The winners of both categories will now go forward to compete in the district final on Friday 6th March 2015 at Cowbridge Comprehensive School.

Rtn Wayne Morgan

Shelter Box

At a resent Tinnitus concert, sufficient funds were raised to purchase a shelter box. This box can be traced via the shelter box web site, www.shelterbox.org/trackbox box number UK0073210. Thank you to all who helped to make this possible.


Tree Planting at Pen - y - Fai Primary School

On Friday 14th November, First Minister Carwyn Jones planted the first tree, part of a landscaping project, at Pen-y-fai Church in Wales School, ably assisted by the County Borough Mayor, Cllr Gary Thomas and his Consort Mrs Kay Jenkins, Head teacher Mrs Christina Bach,pupils, teachers and parent from the school, President Sue Cassidy and other assorted Rotarians.

First Minister with Children planting the first tree. First Minister with President Sue Cassidy with Rotarians planting trees.

120 trees were provided by the Woodland trust, along with bamboo stakes and protective sleeves. species planted were hawthorn,hazel,holly,rowan,crab apple and downy birch.

The project has involved pupils at the school in planning the planting site, and they will be involved in future maintenance of the trees as the grow. Planting will provide hedging and shelter, and will encourage the return of wildlife disturbed during the building of the new school, in due course, the bats which were re-homed during the building work will be able to return also.

In addition, in keeping with commemoration of WW1 projects across the country, part of birch wood will be dedicated as a WW1 Memorial wood.

The new planting, as well as providing pleasant landscaping, will also be a valuable teaching resource for the school.

Thank you to all who turned up to assist on the day.

Rtn Mike Lewis                     

Foundation evening with the First Minister

On November 3rd the Rotary Club of Bridgend held its annual Foundation evening with the First Minister Carwyn Jones as guest speaker,with Presidents and guests from Cowbridge and Porthcawl Rotary Clubs.

Rtn Caron Jones, First Minister Carwyn Jones, President Sue Cassidy and Rtn Hugh Thomas.

After an excellent meal, Carwyn spoke at first on his experiences in New Zealand as a bachelorette student sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cowbridge. He then went on to speak on the NATO conference telling humorous stories of the event, closing with a question and answer session on Wales and local government.  


This annual event organised by the Rotary Club of Bridgend and Heronsbridge School was again sponsored by Past Rotarian Derek Gaynor.

The Mayor of Bridgend County Borough Council, Gary Thomas, presented the winners shield to Maes Gwyn School from Aberdare.   The runners up were Ysgol Bryn Castell from Bridgend. 

The most improved side was Woodlands High School, Cardiff, with the fairplay award going to Penybryn School, Swansea.  The player of the tournament award was Dan Thomas from Maes Gwyn School, Aberdare.

All one hundred plus players were presented with medals by Mayor Gary Thomas and Rotarian Gillian Hale, Chair of the Bridgend Youth Services Committee.

Mayor Gary Thomas,Rtn Gillian Hale and Consort Ms Kay Jenkins        Maes Gwyn School Aberdare

Autumn Walk Saturday 11 October 2014

Cardiff Bay

9 members of the Rotary Club of Bridgend (President Sue Cassidy, Rotarians Hopkin Joseph, Edward Jones, William William, Mike Lewis, Gillian Hale, Sonja Cain, David Hubbard and John McCarthy) plus 7 guests and a dog left the Custom House at Penarth Marina at 09:30 to walk around the eastern perimeter of Cardiff Bay to Mermaid quay.

After crossing the barrage locks, passing by the fish pass, walking along the open elevated section of the barrage provided a good vista out to the Bristol channel (where it was high-tide with a seawater level higher than the freshwater level within the barrage) and inland looking towards the Penarth Marina, the Ely River Marina, the Sports village, the Taff River Marina, the Wetlands Reserve and Mermaid Quay. After a brief stop at the Scott Memorial display (recording that it was from Cardiff over a 100 years ago that the expedition set off to the South Pole) walking further along the barrage provided better views of the entrance, on the seaward side of the barrage, to Cardiff Docks (still a very busy freight port), with to the North views to the Senydd, the Millennium Centre and the Pier head building. In the distance Cardiff City Centre buildings (e.g... the Millennium Stadium) were clearly visible. There after the walk proceeded, passing the Colliery exhibition, undeveloped docks, the " Dr Who Exhibition Centre" , and the Norwegian Church to reach Mermaid Quay.

At Mermaid Quay,as the Norwegian Church cafe had not opened, a very welcome coffee was taken at Cawalladers. Some of the party then visited the shops at Mermaids Quay, others walked on westwards,past St David's Hotel, to the Wetlands Reserve;a habitat for lots of water fowl and birds.

The Whole party then re-assembled at the Pier head Building to watch a 10 minute film of the changes in the docks at Cardiff; growing as a coal exporting port in the 80 years to 1914 (exporting at it's peak to over 10 million tones of coal) declining for that use in the 60 years afterwards to nothing in 1970 but still a very busy freight port.

Three of the party walked back to Custom House, the remainder taking a water taxi (which toured the western side of Cardiff Bay passing the sports Village-the national swimming pool, the white water rafting centre etc). All metup at the Custom House at Penarth Marina, now a very good restaurant, for a welcome two course lunch to finish the trip.

The weather forecast had been for rain so all had wet weather gear. In the event it was a warm dry morning ideal for walking but whilst at Lunch there were torrential downpours. Some-one was looking after the Rotary Club of Bridgend that morning !!!!

Rtn Hopkin Joseph

Rotary Club of Bridgend Bake off

The rotary club of Bridgend recently held a fun bakeoff in the Blandy Hall, Laleston, to raise funds for the supply of LifeStaw, a portable water filter. These will be distributed to vulnerable ethnic groups in developing countries. The LifeStraw Filter effectively removes all bacteria and parasites,responsible for causing common diarrhoeal diseases, from polluted water sources.  

In the photos Judge Carol Moon, overall winner Gemma Brooks, President Sue Cassidy,Rtn Judy McCarthy,Past President Michael Lewis and Morgan.

Diane Ward receiving her gold award. Gaynor Davies receiving her Bronze award. 

A gold rosette and one prize of a �25 cookware voucher, sponsored by Procook and Tesco, were awarded to each of the winners in 3 categories: Large cakes; Gemma Brooks. Small Cakes (plate of 6); Diane Ward. Cakes an with  International Theme; Doreen Watts. The overall winner, Best in show; was Gemma Brooks, who received a trophy Vase. Each winner also received a specially commissioned Rotary Bakeoff apron.

A special Award was presented to young Morgan, the grandson of Rotary Past President Michael Lewis, for his expertise in producing a mouth-watering plate of small cakes. The show was competently judged by Carol Moon. Silver rosettes were awarded to Juliet McIver and Julie Williams, with one unclaimed. Bronze rosettes were awarded to Kyra Lewis, Gaynor Davies,Stacey Thomas and Reverend Mike Lewis. Rotarians Haydn and nick, from the Rotary club of Brynmawr, gave an impressive impromptu demonstration of the LifeStraw that really brought home to all present the purpose of the evening. The Rotary Club of Bridgend would like to thank all those who entered cakes in the Bakeoff, plus our sponsors and Judge Carol Moon.

Rtn John Ward




Ex-chief Constable of Merthyr Tydfil Kendrick Griffiths QPM was remembered on 17th September 2014 when Special Schools and Adult Training Centres within the area took part in a fishing competition at Seven Oaks, Ystradowen, for his commemorative shield.

Representatives from Bryn Castell, Heronsbridge, Valley Gateway Training Centre, Bridgend Resource Centre and Pencoed Comprehensive School (Special Unit) took part.   The winning team was Pencoed Comprehensive School and they were presented with the trophy by Rotary President Sue Cassidy.

The Bridgend and District Fishing for the Disabled Association are desperately seeking volunteers from experienced fishermen to assist and ensure the continuation of their very worthwhile, and very much appreciated, monthly fishing competitions for young people.

If you can assist in any way please contact Ralph Merchant Tel.No.01656-667855 for further information.

District Governor visit and Wheel Chair presentation

 The Bridgend Rotary Club dinner held on 1st September was delighted to Host Cellan Hall and his immediate family,his Mother Mrs Anita Davies and her partner Mr Gareth Clode. They were there to see Cellan Receive his sports wheelchair, which he hopes will help him get selected to play top flight table tennis at the Rio Para Olympic games in 2016. The Rotary Club has raised a significant amount of funding through various means to fund the wheelchair and are delighted that they were able to support Cellan in this way.President Sue Cassidy told the assembled audience that Cellan was an inspiration to all young people not only is he dedicated to his table tennis and plays at every opportunity in all major competitions, but is also focussed on his studies. Cellan recently achieved 10A's and 3B's in his GCSE exams.

                                         President Sue with past president Mike Lewis, District governor Sandra, Cellan and his family.  






Meeting Information...

Heronston Hotel
Ewenny Road
We meet on Mondays at various meal times (1st Monday DINNER 7pm for 7.30pm. 2nd, 4th & 5th Monday BREAKFAST 8am. 3rd Monday LUNCH 1pm. ) The BEST WESTERN
Heronston Hotel
Ewenny Road
CF35 5AW tel: 01656 668811

Meeting venue's web site

meeting details Join Rotary

In the next 30 days...

Major Cycle Ride Precise times and details to follow. read more »
Black Tie meeting with guests and a main speaker.
Regular 2 hours fishing for schools in the Bridgend and District area at Seven Oaks Ystradowen. Held on Wednesday mornings throughout the fishing season For further info contact Rotarian Edgar Burt Tel 01656 667855. BYRON MORGAN MEMORIAL CUP read more »
A monthly ramble around South Wales organised by Rotarian Hopkin Joseph. The planned walks commence at 10-30 am on Wednesday or Saturday and usually last for 2hrs. The last ramble with Hopkin in this Rotary year will be in the Llangynwyd area . read more »
Cycle Ride to accommodate parents and young children. Precise times and details to follow