We'll Keep a Welcome
Far away a voice is calling,
Bells from memory chime
Come home again, come home again,
They call through the oceans of time.
We'll keep a welcome in the hillside.
We'll keep a welcome in the Vales
This land you knew will still be singing
When you come home again to Wales.
This land of song will keep a welcome
And with a love that never fails,
Well kiss away each hour of hiraeth
When you come home again to Wales.
|SCROLL DOWN FOR LYRICS TO 'WE'LL KEEP A WELCOME'
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PO Box 19343
Gulf Gate Post Office
Sarasota, FL 34276
JANUARY - IONAWR
|Click on the link below to see
all previous events:
The Garrison Family
|Click on the link below to view the
slideshow of our luncheon and
meeting, then scroll down to see
all the photographs.
GYMANFA GANU &
took place on
January 20, 2018
11.00 am Gymanfa Ganu
Directed by Dr John Garrison
1.00 pm Catered Luncheon
Following the luncheon, the
held its Annual Meeting
|Our Welsh Society Annual luncheon meeting
today was preceded by over an hour of singing
beautiful Welsh hymns and songs.
Our group ranged in age from 9 to 98, and we
had a lovely time. Most of us don't speak Welsh
but John Garrison is a patient teacher and he
keeps trying to teach us the pronunciation, but
we sing far more lustily when we switch to
Amy took a photo of our group singing today, Bob
in front, has learned all the Welsh music and
Lunch at Glenridge was delicious, too. Let's hope
that more of you in the Sarasota area will join us
next year, or even earlier when we celebrate St.
David's Day on March 1!
Bob (Centre Front)
FEBRUARY - CHWEFROR
|Even with a short Annual Meeting we
accomplished a lot. We welcomed new
officers Maureen and Phil Jones as
Corresponding Secretaries while expressing
thanks to David J Rees for his years of
secretarial service. Meg succeeds him
We heard beautiful memorials for Eudora,
Martha, and Clara by Bob Griffiths, our
Chaplain, and passed the by-laws changes we
submitted to the membership which Don
Hughes and Amy Ferrell worked on.
We had a great time singing, thanks to John
and Mona, as well as socializing and eating.
February 1, 2018
Bay Village, Vamo Road
MARCH - MAWRTH
|ST DAVID'S DAY
MARCH 1, 2018
This year's St David's Day Banquet, which took place at the Laurel Oaks
Country Club, Sarasota, was a resounding success. We began the festivities
with a Social Hour, giving everyone a chance to chat and meet up with friends
before settling down for the meal.
It was an early start for all the volunteers who came along to help set up by
hanging the banner and flags, organising the projector for the slideshow,
distributing programmes and arranging the table decorations. The serving
staff entered into the spirit of things by wearing Welsh costumes, even if worn
in an unconventional way! I think Rico has done this before!!
Amy Ferrell, our President, opened the evening with a welcome to
everyone in English, followed by Meryl Fell in the Welsh language.
We sang the Welsh, American and Canadian national anthems with
Susan Lewis at the Piano and John Garrison leading the singing.
Our Master of Ceremonies was David Rees who, as always, did a
grand job of coordinating the evening with his usual humour.
After the Invocation by Bob Griffiths, our Chaplain, and the reading
of the Memorials, we commenced dinner. This was our first year at
Laurel Oaks and everyone agreed the venue and the food was
exemplary. We hope we can make this a regular location for
ensuing events with our Society.
After dinner the new Board of Officers was announced. Most have
previously served in various capacities but we welcomed Maureen &
Philip Jones as new members to the Board as corresponding
secretaries, taking over from Meg Larrabee who became Secretary on
David J Rees' retirement from that position. We thanked David J for
his conscientious commitment to the task over the last few years.
David Rees, Scholarship Fund Chair, then announced the 2018
recipient for the Scholarship Award, Hannah Kate Yeo, who will be
studying Medical Engineering. David gave a glowing account of
Hannah's application describing it as a 'model' for what is expected
from future applicants when considering applying for this
Much to the delight of Don Hughes, who has been an avid fan of
Prince Madog for as long as we've all known him, our speaker for the
evening was Barrie Doyle, author of a trilogy of books about Prince
Madog and the ?myth of the Welsh speaking Indians. He was
introduced by Mary Lou Guy who recommended him after hearing
him speak at another event.
The evening was rounded off by some Welsh singing finishing with
'We'll Keep a Welcome'. The benediction was delivered by Bob
Griffiths before everyone departed for home.
It is fair to say that the entire evening was a success - an evening of
fun, fellowship and song which only the Welsh can do and the
feeling of hiraeth and hwyl that will live in our hearts for as long as
Vice President and, most importantly,
celebrating her birthday on
St David's Day.
|Roy & Kathy Deakin
Kathy said she wore yellow to represent
the daffodil, the national flower of Wales.
We think she looks blooming beautiful!
|Hannah Kate Yeo
2018 Recipient Scholarship Award
Look how much we've done over the years!
Barrie Doyle speaking about Prince Madog
From Left to Right the new Board of Officers:
Meryl Fell, Sandra Rees, Meg Larrabee, Amy Ferrell, Renny Prhys,
John Garrison, Maureen Jones, Philip Jones, Don Hughes, David Rees.
Pam Edmunds, Susan Lewis and Bob Griffiths.
|Richard and Marge exchanging
pleasantries with David and
Amy in the background.
|We have many more photographs of the Banquet from various people so
we are preparing a slideshow which we'll publish under our Photos page.
Keep a look out, coming shortly .....
Don, engrossed in the story of Prince Madog
April 6, 2018
|The beautiful auditorium at Booker High School
Visual and Performing Arts Acadamy
Prince William and Kate on the birth of
your baby boy, a brother to Prince
George and Princess Charlotte and
born, no less, on St George's Day.
|Pat & Rhianon's
Wedding Day 1961
Rhianon, Y Bardd
Rhianon (right) with her cousin
|Rhian, aged 4, with
Mother & Father
Rhianon, 2nd from left, front row
We arranged a surprise party for
Rhianon's in the private room at Red
Lobster. About 25 people attended
and it was wonderful to see the look on
their faces as they walked into the
room and saw us all as we sang Happy
|Photographs of Harry and
Meghan visiting Cardiff
Photos courtesy of Town & Country
It's a Royal Engagement
MAY - MAI
Wow! What talent we have with these
students at Booker High School. They
delivered a phenomenal performance of Hello
Dolly with superb singing and dancing and
entertained the entire theatre with their
Prior to the performance we enjoyed a meal
prepared by the restaurant Pier 22. These
shows by students in the Sarasota area are
always a delight and we are continually in
awe of their first rate performances, often
every bit as good as Broadway, NY or the West
End in London.
On May 19th, twenty two members enjoyed celebrating the marriage of Prince Harry to
Meghan Markle at the beautiful home of Susan Eltonhead who kindly offered to host
the event. The ladies looked splendid dressing up for the occasion wearing hats and
fascinators. Richard Capes wore a top hat and Bill Fell a Welsh 'Dai' cap.
We enjoyed tea out of dainty little cups and a feast of delicious food which everyone
made a contribution towards. We toasted the newlyweds with some bubbly and all
agreed it was a wonderful afternoon in celebration of a beautiful couple and we wish
them a lifetime of happiness.
|Ria Prowling. Sue, our Host, in the
background making tea
Roy & Kathy Deakins
|Richard wearing Top Hat, Bill in
'Dai' cap and John in the
|Sue, our Hostess with the
Ken, Pat & Bonny
|Don, Bill, The Queen
& Prince Philip!
Dorothy & Muriel
Bob & Dor
Pat, Bonny & Al
APRIL - EBRILL
|First, it's the Engagement in November then,
the Marriage ...
|WEDDING OF HRH PRINCE HENRY (HARRY)
AND RACHEL MEGHAN MARKLE
MAY 19, 2018
ST GEORGE'S CHAPEL AT WINDSOR CASTLE
Mary Margaret's Tea & Biscuit Restaurant
Our Welsh Society Wreath
Renny, Linda & Carol
Foreground: (L-R) Meg & Her, Anne's back!
Background: (L-R) Judy, Muriel, Bob, Dor
Rear: (L-R) Roy & Kathy
Foreground: (L-R) John & Sue
Left:: John & Sue
Right: Jackie & Jim
Our first Sunday Brunch was, again, a resounding success
with a large crowd attending. As usual, the food was good and
members and guests enjoyed the camaraderie of meeting
friends old and new.
This may be a quieter time of year, but we intent to continue
these popular brunches throughout the Summer. So, look
out for future dates when we hope to see you to share with us
Left: Rhianon, Pat, Amy
Right: Grace, Dorothy, Bob
Front to Back:
L: Georgette, Ann, Herb (taking photo), Meg
R: Dor, Bob, Muriel, Judy
Wilda & Bill
|MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE
May 28, 2018
Oak Ridge Cemetery (British Section)
This service honours the British airmen
who lost their lives while training in
South Florida during World War II
Storm Alberto, predicted to hit Sarasota over Memorial Day weekend, disrupted many
events planned for Memorial Day, but it didn't stop the commemorative service from
going ahead in Arcadia. Five members of our Society attended and placed two wreaths,
one from our Society and the other representing the Suncoast Welsh Society of St
Members of the various British/Celtic organizations and some family members from
abroad attended to pay respects to the memory of the young British men who came to
southwest Florida to learn to fly for the RAF (with violent war going on at home they
could not train in Britain). Those who died during training, and their instructor, were
buried at Arcadia. At least three were Welsh, others Scots but most came from England.
Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious meal at Mary Margaret's quaint Victorian Tea Room in
the antique district of Arcadia.
|The British Flag, the Union Jack
at half mast
Muriel and Pam inspecting one of the
old planes retrieved from the wreckage
Photographs of the wrecked planes
At Mary Margaret's Tea Room
From left to right:
Pam, Bob, Amy, Sue (standing), Muriel
Presenting the Wreaths:
Bob & Amy (St Pete wreath, left)
Muriel & Pam (our Society's wreath, right)
|FIRST OF THE SUMMER
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Pat & Rhianon
Dorothy & Grace
|Our Dragon Mascot
Isn't he a funny little
Pam with Wilda & Bill
Front to Back:
L: Norma, Linda, Mike
R: Donna, Kate, Ann
|Nothing better than a nice
glass of good Irish Guinness
In addition to enjoying the food and fellowship, 30 of us were treated
to a talk on the life and careers of our special guest, Welsh artist
John Allinson from Anna Maria Island, who came with his wife, Mair,
and brought some of his paintings to show us. John is a renowned
muralist, whose talent is in demand for walls and posters for festivals
and corporations and decoration. The longest mural in the world was
authenticated to be his, but he said it's now been surpassed in
China. We look forward to seeing more of the Allinsons at future
Welsh Society events. Locally, see his manatee painting at South
This report courtesy of Amy Ferrell
July 22, 2018
|Known especially for their delicious fish and chips,
Beckhams not only welcomes our Welsh Society to
come and eat, but they are happy to have us sing,
which of course we Welsh love to do. If you would
like to request a special Welsh song a;ways let us
know in advance to be sure we bring the words for
everyone to sing along, unless you want to sing a
solo! Also bring any pictures or experiences you'd
like to share regarding your Welsh heritage or
travels. You may bring Welsh memorabilia you
would like to donate for drawings.
Your ideas and suggestions for future events and
gatherings will be welcome, as will your assistance
June 24, 2018
Beckham's on the Trail
|Renny, Dianne, Rhianon & Cathie singing the
National Anthem in the Welsh Language
Carefully watched by Pat (left) and Meg (right)
Amy and John sporting our playful dragon
Sue, Richard, John (our speaker) with his wife Mair
Cathie and Friends
Maureen, Philip, Al and Bonny
A little glimpse of John in the background
Judy, Don, Don's niece, Ronnie, Madge, Meg and Herb
|Renny. Muriel, Bob and Dor intently listening to
John as he addresses the group about his artwork.
Rhianon, Pat, Al, Bonny, Maureen & Philip
Jackie, Renny, Muriel, Bob, Dor, Bob, Jim (Amy missing,
John at work
August 9, 2018
||Bay Village, Vamo Road, Sarasota,
generously hosted by Muriel Patram
|Although fewer people than usual attended the meeting it was, nonetheless, very
productive. Topics discussed included the updating of the criteria for the Scholarship
Fund which will be posted once finalised.
| Other topics comprised of plans for our 2018-2019 year, including:
- October 21 Annual Picnic at Turtle Beach Pavilion
- Participation in the October 27-28 Celtic Music Festival
- A Christmas Holiday activity
- January 26 Annual Meeting at Glen Ridge
- Our Signature Event - March 1 St. David's Day Celebration at Laurel Oaks.
||As mentioned, we discussed our scholarship program and Board of Directors' changes.
Your ideas and suggestions for future events and gatherings and your assistance in
planning are very welcome. Please contact Amy to volunteer: 941-349-6069.
August 19, 2018
Little Sarasota Bay
Thirty people attended Sunday's brunch at Turtles. As the photographs show, we
enjoyed another delightful afternoon, meeting and greeting friends. The tables were
beautifully decorated with daffodil centerpieces sporting both the Welsh and
An unexpected bonus to the afternoon was a young lady, Susan, on spotting the
Welsh flags and decorations, approached and informed us she was from North
Wales but now living in Florida. She was very interested in knowing more about our
Society and we look forward to her and her family joining us at future events
Linda & Renny
Annie & Kate
Herb & Meg
Anne looking after the dragon.
Whose turn will it be next?
Bonny & Al
Sue, Kathy & Roy
Pat, Rhianon & Anne with Dragon
Muriel & Judy
Bob, Michael & Anne
Sue, John & Amy
|Meryl (standing) chatting to
Muriel, Judy and Madge
|Phil & Maureen
A Happy Couple
Anne (foreground) and Ronny
|Present but not pictured (yet)
was Bill Fell
|Everyone is welcome to attend any of our Committee Meetings as members or guests of members. We
need your thoughts on activities you may enjoy so we can arrange events and future activities.
Today's meeting was focusing on the St David's Day Banquet regarding menu and entertainment. The
venue for the Banquet is The Laurel Oaks, Sarasota. A recent article in the Herald Tribute featured
the chefs there. Please read their article, you'll be impressed:
Chefs at Laurel Oaks
|Last Summer Lunch
Early Bird Dinner
September 27, 2018
4001 South Tamiami Trail
|Fifty one people attended the final Lunch of
the Summer Season with a fabulous meal at
A highlight of the event was the honouring of
Muriel Patram's 98th birthday along with her
family who flew into Sarasota especially to
celebrate the occasion. We all sang 'Happy
Birthday' and Muriel was touched by all the
good wishes she received from everyone.
Still youthful in her ways and unstoppable in
her zest for life, Muriel is an inspiration to us
|The North American Festival of Wales
The tradition began in 1929 when over 4,000 people gathered at Niagara Falls for the first National Gymanfa
Ganu. It became the largest gathering of the Welsh, descendants, and friends in North America. While the
gymanfa and Welsh singing tradition remain at the heart of the weekend, in 2002 the National Gymanfa
Ganu became the North American Festival of Wales, reflecting the many aspects of Welsh culture, past and
present. The festival is held in a different location each year, in either the U.S. or Canada, and celebrated
over the shared Labor Day holiday weekend. Prepare yourself for four full days of song, merriment, and
camaraderie with old and new friends, celebrating the life, heritage, and culture of Wales in Washington, D.C.
ESCHOIR Grand Concert. Mostly comprising of young singers.
One of two with grey hair is the son-in-law of Dylan Thomas!
Amy and Bob representing our Society
Meryl Williams Falconer with Amy.
The story behind this is that Meryl grew up in
Treorchy, Rhondda, South Wales in the same street
as Meryl Fell (of this Society) and they knew each
other well when growing up.
Meryl Williams has lived in Canada for many years but
always attends the Festival of Wales.
Meryl Fell lives between Treorchy and Sarasota so it
was a joyful coincidence that Amy got to meet Meryl W
and now is acquainted with both Meryls !!
Amy and Bob with Anna and Gerry Bedford
|THE CELTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL, 'CELTOBERFEST'
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Benderson Park, Sarasota County.
We were excited to have a Welsh Society table at this event for the first
time. Many people stopped by and said hello and several showed
interest in joining our Society. We enjoyed the music, dancing and
bands playing bagpipes. There were many vendors displaying items
relevant to their Celtic origin. Hopefully, this is the first of many!
|We saw some great
Pam: Welsh National Anthem
Renny: Why me God?
Sandra & David cooking up a storm!
Meryl, David & Cathie Counting Goats
|Amy (centre) with Penny (left) and
David & Sharon
Don, Tom, Clipper & Barbara
David with Ria and Kathy looking glamorous as usual
Glenys & Tom, our newest couple
|Saying a Fond Farewell to
John & Sue
Pam's turn manning the booth
Bands and Bagpipes
Even Scottie Dog had fun
Meg & Meryl at our Booth
Pavilion at Turtle Beach
October 21, 2018
Again, this year, we had great attendance at the Picnic with an
abundance of food to suit all tastes. Several couples joined us for the
first time and we welcomed them to our Welsh 'family'. Sandra and
David did a first-rate job cooking the burgers and sausages to
perfection, especially whilst working over the BBQ on such a hot day!
After lunch, Amy made several announcements informing us of up and
coming events including the Celtic Festival the following weekend.
Don Hughes led us with the singing which included his favourite
'Counting the Goats'. He roped in Cathie, David and Meryl to sing
along and encourage others to join in this fun folk tune.
A raffle was held and two of the winners won medals with the Society's
emblem and two others won cash from the 50/50 draw. Y Siop Fach
was active and able to make a donation to the Scholarship Fund.
The only sad announcement was to learn that Sue and John Donahue
will be returning permanently to their home in the northern states but
we will certainly keep in touch them in the future and include them in
All in all, it was a wonderful, friendly event with all the Hwyl one would
expect from a gathering of kindred spirits celebrating Wales.
|The museums and mansion are open at
no charge to all who donate a new toy
for the Marines' annual drive.
|Thursday, December 6, 2018
The Ringling, Sarasota
TOYS for TOTS
|Welsh Society participants
|Welsh Society participants
|Admission is FREE with one
unwrapped toy per guest
$15 Adults / $5 Children 6-17
|Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holiday season and help support the US
Marine Corps Reserves’ “Toys for Tots”, serving Sarasota and Manatee counties.
Visit The Ringling during extended evening hours and enjoy holiday music and
performances by local elementary, middle and high schools. School performances
will be on the Museum of Art Courtyard and Bolger Campiello.
All Museum venues will be open for self-touring including the Ca'd’Zan mansion,
Museum of Art, and the Circus Museums.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Meet your Welsh Society friends by joining us by 5.30 pm for the annual photo in
front of the Circus Museum and enjoy a lovely evening while supporting a fine cause.
|RED LOBSTER RESTAURANT
(Private Room at rear of Dining Room)
Saturday, December 29, 2018
|Our final event of the year was a warm and friendly affair with many
people sharing memories of family traditions from their youth in Wales.
Amy Ferrell, Renny Prhys and Don Hughes added Welsh customs typical
in our American families.
David Triggle and David Lynn-Jones gave interesting remembrances of
their childhood in England and Wales regarding the war and bombings.
Amy had prepared a holiday song sheet so, as is our tradition, we sang a
selection of songs, lead by Renny. This was such an enjoyable event to
'wrap up' this year and prepare to welcome in 2019.
'Wrap up the Christmas Holiday' Party
Photographs to follow.