Journal 140 - December 2020

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Notice of our Annual General Meeting on Saturday 6 March together with Society Officer/Executive Committee Nomination Forms and Membership Renewal forms also included.  Nominations forms to be returned by 1 January 2021.  

This year has brought into prominence Black and Mixed-Race People’s fight for equality and against prejudice in all walks of life and in all countries, and at the time of preparing this journal it is October, which has been designated Black History Month. Therefore we felt it appropriate to have some articles that can show how Black people have been living and working in Glamorgan. Jamie Baker has written of his mixed-race upbringing in Wales, Gerald Jarvis of the mixed-race brother he didn’t know he had, and Jeff Coleman writes of his Headmaster father’s school in Bute Town, Cardiff. Rhian Diggins tells of the infamous 1919 Cardiff Race Riots, and Sue Hamer has found some diary entries of William Thomas, an 18th century country schoolmaster, who relates the lives of his neighbours including a number who are overseas in the West Indies and off the coast of Guinea involved in the slave trade. Diane Brook gives us some of the situations encountered by Black people who have been living and working in Wales over the last hundred years, and there is a brief outline of where some of the famed Welsh industrialists obtained their wealth, with a very useful section on where to find out more. A linked subject has been Kath Rees’s submission about her Irish GreatGreat-Grandfather, and she gives a quote from an Irish Times article of 1997 urging the British Government to treat the Irish as an ethnic minority, and to ensure no discrimination. (I have never forgotten how, when I left the Rhondda Valley in 1961 as a teenager to seek my fortune in London, the notices I saw on the boarding houses and flats to rent - “No dogs, no Blacks, no Irish”). 2020 as we all know has been a horrendous year for many with the virus still at large and much fear for our families and friends and livelihoods. As has happened throughout the year, the various lockdowns seem to have inspired many to put fingers to keyboard and we have had some excellent articles, too many for this journal, so several are being held over. We could not miss, however, the last chance to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the ending of World War II, and Barrie Jones writes part 1 of the exciting exploits of his father, and there is also a fascinating insight, little-known, into what the town of Barry was preparing to do should there have been an invasion. In addition an article on the Gronow family. The next Journal, due in March, and because it is the month of our patron saint, is being edited by Anna Brueton of the London Welsh Society, and we have some really interesting material from her members with excellent old photos. Until then, let us all join in wishing each other a brighter year for 2021, a healthier year, and a move into a more tolerant and understanding society for us all, regardless of race, creed, colour and gender.

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