GULF COAST WELSH SOCIETY
NEWSLETTER
SCROLL DOWN FOR WELSH AND ENGLISH LYRICS TO LLWYN ONN (THE ASH GROVE)
Performed by Thomas L. Thomas
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       Llwyn Onn

Efe oedd ysgweiar ac arglwydd y wlad;
Ac iddo un eneth a anwyd yn unig,
A hi nôl yr hanes oedd aeres ei thad.
Aeth cariad i'w gweled yn lân a phur lencyn,
Ond codai'r ysgweiar yn araf ac erch,
I aethu'r bachgennyn, ond gwyrodd ei linyn,
A'i ergyd yn wyrgam i fynwes ei ferch.

Rhy hwyr ydoedd galw y saeth at y llinyn
 'r llances yn marw yn welw a gwan;
Bygythiodd ei gleddyf trwy galon y llencyn,
Ond ni redai cariad un fodfedd o'r fan.
Roedd golud, ei "darpar", yn hen ac anynad,
A geiriau diweddaf yr aeres hardd hon,
Oedd, 'Gwell gennyf farw trwy ergyd fy Nghariad
Na byw gyda golud ym mhalas Llwyn Onn.'

The ash grove, how graceful, how plainly 'tis speaking,
The wind through it playing has language for me.
When over its branches the sunlight is breaking,
A host of kind faces is gazing on me.
The friends of my childhood again are before me,
Each step wakes a memory as freely I roam.
With soft whispers laden its leaves rustle o'er me,
The ash grove, the ash grove again alone is my home.

My lips smile no more, my heart loses its lightness,
No dream of the future my spirit can cheer,
I only would brood on the past and its brightness,
The dead I have mourn'd are again living here.
From every dark nook, they press forward to meet me.
I lift up my eyes to the board leafy dome,
And others are there looking downwards to greet me,
The ash grove, the ash grove alone is my home.
100 guests enjoying a delightful evening at the Heritage Oaks Country Club in Sarasota.

the banqueting hall for a Social Hour.  Here they were able to socialise with friends,
new and old, before being invited to take their seats for dinner.

Alan Clarke performed an amazing job as Master of Ceremonies, orchestrating the
evening to ensure everything flowed seamlessly throughout the night.  Pam Edmunds,
President, gave the welcoming speech followed by David Rees, Trustee, giving his
speech in the Welsh language.  The singing of three national anthems began the
festivities, followed by the Invocation which was given by Bob Griffiths who is Chaplain
of The Pines, Sarasota.

Dinner comprised of four courses then coffee and the Catering Staff at the Heritage
Oaks ought to be complimented on an outstanding menu and service.

After dinner, formalities continued by giving thanks to the outgoing Board Members and
introductions and congratulations to the 2011 Board - a full list and bio can be seen on
our Board Members page.

Dr James Fountaine (Jim) presented a cheque and beautiful handmade certificate for the
Scholarship Award to the 2011 recipient, Marilyn Parry.  Next we had the inimitable Don
Hughes, Choir Master and Past President, rousing us in joyful song which was
competently accompanied on the piano by Mary Vaughan.  As always, Don's enthusiasm
lifts our spirits and was a fitting prologue for the main entertainment, Bryn Yemm.

Bryn Yemm, aka The Welsh Wizard, was raised in Abergavenny, his parents being
staunch members of the Salvation Army.  During his prestigious career as a singer and
entertainer, he has been fortunate to meet people from all walks of life including
politicians and heads of state.

His performance at our  Banquet charmed us with songs and stories relating to his
upbringing in Wales and his wide repertoire of songs ensured that everyone's tastes
were catered for.  We clapped and cheered with his version of Ton Jones' Delilah and
was moved by his rendering of The Old Rugged Cross.  He attended the Banquet with
his wife Anne and was fortunate to meet up with two old school friends from his days in
Abergavenny whom he hadn't seen for over 40 years.  Amazing!

The evening came to a close with a short Remembrance ceremony when our thoughts
were turned to those loved ones who had passed before us but left us with a wonderful
legacy of Welsh Heritage.  Bob Griffiths led the Benediction.

Everyone agreed it had been a tremendous night.

The evening ended in song but, as each guest made their way home with the strains of
We'll Keep a Welcome still ringing in their ears, one cannot help but wonder if a tear or
two was shed, with the HIRAETH that only the Welsh know, when their thoughts linger
back to the beautiful and spiritual place we know as Cymru/Wales.

Submitted by Meryl Fell