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Min-Y-Mor Hotel
Min-Y-Mor Hotel
It is amazing to think that since I started to trace former 'inmates' of Tonfanau in 2004, those enjoying the halcyon days in Merioneth between 1959 and 1966, fifteen years have passed. It is on record that, accidentally discovering Ken Hart's comprehensive and brilliant website I started a process - assisted as the years progressed by other former Junior Leaders - which lead to the formation of the AAJLR Comrades Association and now to our sixteenth annual reunion.
For a number of reasons the attendees were down in number this year but, with the ladies, we totalled forty plus which made it more than worthwhile and - as far as I'm aware from the feedback received thus far - the weekend was much enjoyed by all. It was a pleasure too to welcome new members to their first reunion, John Toothill and Ken Baines.
Some arrived earlier in the week though most came on Friday with a few turning up on Saturday. The Min-Y-Mor provided their usual excellent Carvery on Friday, and - as usual - a first rate buffet on Saturday. Helen, Faith and their staff say that they look forward to our reunions and look after us very well; the welcome and catering at Min-Y-Mor is always to a high standard.
The Annual General meeting was opened by the President, Larry Smith who then handed over to Jim Sherville, and then to me. The meeting was well attended with input from members, and covered that deemed important for the ongoing 'work' of the Association. In truth it has always pretty much looked after itself with input from Mike Owsley, Larry, Jim and me; necessary with a Chairman who lives in Canada!
With an organisation comprising a membership of our 'vintage' it is inevitable that we shall lose friends and former colleagues every year, though that said the only one we are aware of since the 2018 reunion is Rick Wise. With his wife Ruth, Rick was 'R&R Disco' who provided not just specifically chosen music but always a slide show of photographs from the AAJLR website, for ten years. Rick was a delightful man, who became our friend (and an Honorary Member of the Association) and whom we miss dreadfully. The Association was represented at Rick's funeral last year by Geoff Brown, and by June and me. This year Jim wrote to Ruth inviting her to the reunion as our guest but, quite understandably, she declined. Ruth did write us a lovely card which Jim read out on Friday evening, and Larry at the AGM.
Not wishing to be 'doom and gloom' but we have also - again unsurprisingly - been made aware of quite a lot of illness amongst our members, some of a very serious nature, so Jim and I will try to keep in touch and offer moral support if wanted, updating the membership where possible and if appropriate.
To lighter stuff. At the AGM our charity - for many years Combat Stress (who have received almost £5,000.00 from the Association since 2007) - has now changed to the "ABF The Soldiers' Charity", formerly The Army Benevolent Fund. On Saturday evening a raffle of a considerable number of marvellous prizes - generously donated by attendees - took place and raised £162.00; an impressive sum given the smaller number 'on parade' this year. Pauline Sherville and Trish Owsley did a grand job selling the tickets and the proceeds will go to our new charity. Added to that sum will be those individual generous donations received from some members over the weekend, plus some I had hitherto been sent.
Our new Disco man, Paul, played exactly the type of music which we wanted (as Jim told him, "Nay headbangin' stuff!"), mostly from the sixties and seventies. In discussion with him afterwards he offered to produce a slideshow or similar next year so Jim and I will provide him with the relevant information, and possibly even DVDs produced by Rick.
Whilst up for the reunion and away from the Min-Y-Mor, members visited the old camp, Portmeirion, Dolgellau, Harlech, Fairbourne, Towyn, took train rides in both directions - one culminating in Porthmadog (and "The Australia", the much recommended Purple Moose Brewery Tap pub) plus sedate drives around this beautiful part of the world - and for the most part the sun shone. In addition - and to keep up the tradition - the intrepid trio of David Hughes, his sister Angela and Brian Marjoram took a walk to the summit of Cadair Idris.
All in all, and despite the smaller number of those attending, the sixteenth annual Association reunion was a great success. So, thank you from the Committee for all who made it so.

Richard J Abraham
Vice Chairman & Hon. Treasurer

31 March 2019


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If you have any reunion photos I would love to show them.

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