Posted on Friday 4th May 2012
A centuries-old tradition has evolved into a ceremony of thanks and commendation for those who have made a difference in their communities.
Ten people from the Cynon Valley and Ynysybwl have received symbolic coins to mark their actions to help others.
They were commended in a service at St Gwynno’s Church, which has evolved from a tradition that began in 1678 when Edward Thomas of Llanwonno gifted his farm to his nephews and heirs, on the condition they give money to the poor each year.
That work continued until 1927 when local authorities took over the charitable role and now, every St Thomas Day (December 21), the trustees of the Edward Thomas charity select people from the parish to receive awards for their work and dedication.
The 2012 recipients are:
Paul is a very special person who genuinely cares for others less fortunate then himself. A family man, who with the support of his wife, takes his many charity events very seriously and is a role model for his peers.
Gillian is a life long member of the Norton Bridge Baptist Church. She is the Church Steward, Treasurer and also Circuit Steward for Mid Glam Methodist Mission. She is Chairperson of Pontypridd Women’s World Day of Prayer and a founder member of the Community Choir.
Ken started voluntary work in Miskin Continuing Education Centre in 1992 and was instrumental in setting up Neighbourhood watch in Miskin, rolling out the scheme to other areas. He set up the Miskin Rejuvenation Project in 1998 which then became the Miskin Trust. This trust continues to nurture and support groups within the community of Miskin and Penrhiwceiber.
David has been the organist at St Luke’s Church for over ten years, also playing a very integral part in the annual remembrance service in the Church and the village service organised by the primary school. He is also a lay pastor in the Evangelical Church.
Jeff has been involved with Welsh League football for 51 years with Abercynon, Aberaman and Penrhiwceiber as both a player and secretary. It is his genuine love of football that inspires others to emulate his skill and to remain loyal to team and players. He has won the admiration of the local community for more than fifty years.
Jessica was born in Cilfynydd and attended St Luke’s from an early age. She was educated at Cilfynydd Primary School where she has been a committed governor for the past 25 years. She has been treasurer at St Luke’s for over 35 years and has joint responsibility for the savings scheme. She organises the annual Christmas Tree Festival which donates all its profits to Charity. This year Jessica was appointed as Vicar’s Benefice Warden.
Mary was born in Robert Street, Ynysybwl 86 years ago. She started her working life in a gents outfitter in Pontypridd during which time she married her husband Brian who she had know all her life through their connection with the Chapel. She was Treasurer of Zion Baptist Chapel for 15 years and for a long time was a Sunday School teacher at the Chapel. She is a long serving Deacon and takes part in services in the Chapel. She also served on the Ynysybwl welfare committee for many years.
D Leighton James MBE
Leighton has served the community of Ynysybwl and further afield for many years in differing capacities. For almost ten years he has been the key player in the local branch of the Royal British Legion raising its profile in the village of Ynysybwl and also instigating and producing an annual concert and Remembrance Service. He also supports the local Poppy Appeal organiser in accumulating funds for the annual Poppy Appeal. He was president of the Ynysybwl Male Voice choir until its disbandment and is an active president of the Ynysybwl Ladies Choir.
Dr Gopi Menon
Dr Menon was born in India and came to Britain in 1972. He worked in hospitals in England, where he met his wife Sheila and came to Wales in 1975. He became a GP in Ynysybwl in 1977 working with the late Dr Prosser. After Dr Prosser’s death in 1979 he ran the surgery on his own 24/7.
He built a new surgery in 1986 which was extended in 2000.The practice was presented with the area’s first Investors in People Award which would not have been possible without his contribution and dedication to serving the people of Ynysybwl.
Dr Sanghani originally came from India and he and his family moved to Abercynon some 30 years ago to become a GP in the Abercynon practice. He has been part of the fabric of Abercynon ever since and is extremely popular with the residents of Abercynon. The nomination is in recognition of his hard work and dedication to the health and wellbeing of the residents and patients of Abercynon who wish him all the best as he takes to the golf course in his well earned retirement.