Best International Project 2008

Best International Project 2008 goes to the Rotary Club of Pwllheli for the Tsunami village in Sri Lanka

Stuutiyi (thank you) to Pwllheli from the new Tsunami village in Sri Lanka.

'Pwllheli House' in the new Tsunami village with its new occupants

A meeting took place in Pwllheli Council Chambers on Thursday, 7th May 2009 attended by Rotary members, the Mayor and Councillors of Pwllheli Town Council and members of the public.

Rotarian Colin James from the Southport Links Club who has visited and monitored the project on the ground in Sri Lanka gave an illustrated talk which followed the construction of a new Tsunami village called Panadura complete with No. 27B"Pwllheli House", so named because it was built with the money raised in the Pwllheli area. We saw the grateful residents now happily living in their new village situated in a coconut grove in a new safe location a short way inland from the coast.

The new residents of the Sri Lankan 'Pwllheli House' asked Rotarian Colin James to pass on their heartfelt thanks to the people of Pwllheli for their generosity in their own language, 'stuutiyi'.

As a result of the success of the completed project, the Rotary Club of Pwllheli has been awarded the International Shield for the best International project in their rotary district. Rotary President, Betty Wood, also passed on the thanks of Rotary to the local council and community of Pwllheli.


The Tsunami approaches the shore

The destructive Tsunami hits the Sri Lankan Coast on 26 December 2004

Destruction after the Tsunami

On Boxing Day 2004 a new word entered into common usage, TSUNAMI - literally meaning TSU Harbour - NAMI Wave. At 0059 GMT (08.59 local time) a Tsunami hit the Island of Sri Lanka. The tsunami happened without any warning, only the elephants sensed the danger and retreated to the centre of the Island. Many countries in this part of the Indian Ocean were also hit and thousands of people were killed, villages devastated and infrastructure destroyed.

All around the world communities responded and began collecting money to help the relief effort. In the United Kingdom a huge number of activities were undertaken.

Here in Pwllheli, the then Mayor, Mr Elfed Griffiths started his appeal for money. The Rotary Clubs of Britain and Ireland also were hard at work to support the rescue effort. Elfed asked if the Rotary Club of Pwllheli could help with the loan of collecting tins. We of course responded to this request and the Rotarian's activities in the relief operation were explained.

In January 2005 a group of Rotarians who had had associations with Sri Lanka, got together and proposed to co-operate in a project to build a completely new village in the country so that villagers could restart their life together as a complete community.


In a chance meeting with Elfed, my wife and I were able to explain the Rotary Project to him and inform him that all the money we could raise would be used directly in the construction of the new village and the project would be controlled and monitored by Rotarians, so that we could hopefully reduce wastage and ensure that the project would come to a satisfactory conclusion. A large amount of money had been donated by the people of the UK, but much of it appeared to be in bank accounts, rather than being used for the purpose for which it had been donated. In response to this Elfed generously decided to donate the balance of his fund to the Rotary Club of Pwllheli, for passing on to the Tsunami Village Project.

In the early part of 2009 the construction was completed and the community was able to take possession of their new village.

The New Village - Panadura in Sri Lanka

Panadura. The new Tsunami Village

The new Tsunami Village ORRANNAGODAWATTA at Panadura, Sri Lanka

Plan of the New Houses

Plans of the new houses

Sri Lanka's Pwllheli House gets its new occupants

The new family take posession of No 27B 'Pwllheli House'

The village comes to life

The Village comes to life

Thank you from Urasha

Stuutiyi (Thank You) from Urasha

Was it Worthwhile?

Was it Worthwhile?

The District Governor Vernon Schwarz presents the International Shield

The Mayor of Pwllheli, Evan Hughes, Pwllheli President, Betty Wood and Rtn Colin James of Southport Links Club show the shield.










The Rotary Club of Pwllheli is awarded the District International Shield for the Best International Project of 2008

Thanks are extended to Colin James of the Rotary Club of Southport Links who supervised the project on the ground in Sri Lanka and who supplied most of the pictures for this feature.