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Gorffannef/Awst 2005 July/August


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* Editorial Wellies and Wheelbarrows Glebe Land
Anna Culshaw Carrog School Three Peaks
Three Peaks ‘Quotes’ Obituary * The Manx
Congratulations Millennium Falcon Diary
For Sale * Weddings Village Hall Lottery
  Letters  

* Editorial

If you have missed “Y Bont” for July this is because there was not one! All the editors being involved in the Eisteddfod and then in Village business (including, with Dick Cottage, repainting the inside of the Village Hall - so please notice) meant our deadline slipped so far we decided to do a bumper July/August edition. It has nothing to do with the fact that there was not one response to our appeal last month for ideas for “Y Bont” - we assume we are doing the right things!

The three peaks challenge has now been successfully completed with some dramatic times for the Carrogites and a respectable improvement on the time for the older team. Hope House, children’s hospice, will receive the benefit of the sponsorship and lottery with a presentation being made at the “Y Bont” Bash in September. The fund is still open and is held by “Y Bont” if anyone still wishes to contribute.

We are not sure if we dare ask this, especially after the response to our appeal for ideas last month, but would anyone like to suggest the sort of entertainment they would like to see at the Bash this year?

Finally, the Manx have been staying in the Village and participating in the Eisteddfod. This is the first time in 59 years a Manx Dance Group has taken part and they reached a very respectable third place ensuring they will return next year. The musicians, also gained a fourth place, playing with one member of the group absent.

This month we have chosen a photograph showing an older Manx/Carrog link with several Carrogites at the TT Races in the IOM in the early 1950s - £5 for the first person to successfully name all five. (This excludes any person actually in the photograph).

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Wellies And Wheelbarrows

Shearing is a hard, back breaking job, which I tend to postpone for as long as possible in the vain hope that the later I leave it the better the sheep will shear.

With most of my neighbours sheep sporting crew cuts, I decided I’d better make an effort and start, so Gareth Blondie and myself spent a reasonably stress free afternoon shearing a small bunch in Cae Pwll. To tell the truth - what actually happened was Blondie had gathered the field and pretty much finished before I’d arrived on the scene, but as I helped him pack up I thought I deserved a mention.

Most years I have to shear outside in my pens in Erw Seion and manage to get myself sunburnt, so this year with more room available, I decided to shear indoors. I spent a bit of time setting up a pen in the shed, made a spring loaded door to get the ewes out through. I got the base of an old garden shed to shear on and even put wood shavings (courtesy of Brian Tawelfa) down on the floor to keep the ewes clean. All in all it looked quite a professional set up and I was quietly confident that things would go well.

Having parted 50 ewes from their lambs I brought them from their pens to the gadlas with extreme difficulty as they were not too pleased at leaving their babies behind and kept trying to break back to them. By the time I actually got them into the shed and was ready to start, both my dogs and myself had suffered from an acute case of sense of humour failure.

Once I’d got my second wind, I put on my best moccasins and shearing vest (you’ve got to look the part) tightened my belt a couple of notches, dived in the pen and grabbed a ewe. I sat her down, picked up the shearing hand piece, pulled the cord to start the machine and nothing happened - I’d forgotten to switch the electric on! I find that once I get into the doing of things, shearing isn’t too bad, it’s just a matter of routine.

Grab a sheep, shear it, pitch it, let it go, wrap the wool and repeat the exercise until (a) the whole pen has been sheared or (b) you’ve collapsed out of sheer exhaustion.

The only real problem occurs after you’ve cleared a few from the pen, then the routine alters slightly. Hobble around the pen as fast as your aching back will allow and try to catch a sheep, dragging it from the farthest corner of the pen where you eventually managed to catch it. Shear it, pitch it, let it go, wrap the wool, say a quick prayer and start all over again (crying is optional). I’m glad to say the shearing is now over and barring a couple of cut fingers and a new ventilation hole in my trousers, everything went quite well.

I took my first bunch of lambs to Corwen last week and was reasonably satisfied with the price they made - that is until I was told that if I had taken them the previous week they would have made £6 a head more!

When I look around at what my neighbours are up to, it does seem that I am always last to do everything, a fact that has been pointed out to me by my so called friends. When I am tailing, everyone else is shearing, when I’m shearing everyone else is dipping and when I’m dipping everyone else is in the harvest. There is a simple explanation for this. Whereas everyone else works on British Summertime I work on Llan Farm time. It may be a bit slower than British Summer Time but we always get there in the end!

Gareth Llan
(Copyright Robert Gareth Bryan)

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Planning Application - Glebe Land

Notices were sent out this week notifying residents and organisations in the village that the planning application for six houses on the Glebe Land had been withdrawn. We believe this is a temporary withdrawal whilst the applicants seek advice regarding environmental issues related to possible flooding to some of the area.

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Welcome Home Anna

Following a remarkable amount of progress due to her positive attitude Anna Culshaw returned home on Saturday 16th July to a village and house decorated with balloons by her family and friends. This remarkable and brave young lady even found time to think of the plight of other children whilst in hospital by making a contribution to the 3 Peaks Hope House fund.

We all wish her a speedy road to full recovery.

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Carrog School

All the children took part in a skipping activity organised by Geraldine and David Liddy and £55 was raised for the British Heart Foundation.

Kate Burgess, the Denbighshire Bio-Diversity officer gave a talk to the children, followed by a visit to the local Eucalyptus nursery where the children had a tour with Marthe Whitehall. All the children were given a small tree to take home. Samanthe Williams, a Denbighshire Environmental officer and a past pupil of the school gave a talk about footpaths and the Country Code and the children went for a nature walk around the village.

Members of the Corwen Woodwind Band performed in a Concert in the Rhyl pavilion with other children from local schools.

The children enjoyed their annual visit to Llangollen Eisteddfod going on the canal boat beforehand. On the Friday the dance group from the Isle of Man visited the school, and danced with the children. On Wednesday Bethany Smith put on her best frock and went on stage at the Eisteddfod to present flowers to Leslie Garret, the President of the day.

Rachel, Hollie, Jack and Charlotte passed their cycling proficiency test All the children and parents enjoyed the sun at the annual sports day with the “Coch” team winning this year. At the swimming Gala at Corwen many of the children gained certificates and Harry Pooler gained a medal for winning in the year 6 boys race.

Pupils from Key Stage 2 enjoyed an activity day at the Youth Hostel in Llangollen when they had a chance to take part in abseiling, wall climbing, archery, B.M.X. cycling and problem solving team games.

The Early years children went to Ewephoria and enjoyed watching the sheepdog at work and the different breeds of sheep on the stage. As usual the School concert was well attended when the pupils took the audience down memory lane. At the end of the concert Mr. Huw Griffiths , the newly appointed Director of Education presented dictionaries to the 9 pupils from year 6 and the Basic Skills award to Bronwen Lebbon, the headteacher which the school have gained for the second time. At the end of term the children enjoyed a Disco and party which was organised by the parents of year 6 pupils.

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Three Peaks - The Carrogites

We reached the Pen-y-Pass car park at Snowdon by 9.30 a.m. Iwan Edwards and Barry Wilson (both allocated drivers) decided they wanted to do the climb. Glad of the support we started up the Pyg Track at 10.00 a.m. leaving the other drivers to have breakfast at the café. We had practised this route a number of times and our first target, the Style at the top of the first hard climb, was reached in 20 minutes, the second, where the Miners and Pyg tracks meet - in 55 minutes. We struggled a bit to get to the summit, but with team moral fairly high we hit the summit at 11.18 a.m. (1 hour 18 minutes)

A quick break and we started the descent at 11.28 a.m. making up time by gentle jogging down at a pace to avoid injury. On our way down we passed Team A coming up.

We completed the first peak in 2 hours 17 minutes and set off for Scafell at 12.30 p.m., starting our climb at 4.55 p.m. Iwan and Barry came with us, making the climb for the first time. However, they were forced to turn back to assist Daz and Hywel when we got news that Hywel had crashed the hire car! It turned out he had backed into a ditch whilst making room for an oncoming vehicle. Fortunately it turned out the car was undamaged.

The rest of us carried on under some strain. Even though we had done a pre-run we had not anticipated the heat and the fact that we had already walked one mountain. However, our motivation was high and we soon started climbing at a better pace.

At 6.45 p.m. (1 hour 50 minutes) we reached the summit, in slightly longer than planned, but only stopped long enough to take in the scenery and catch our breath before heading down. The terrain was very difficult to run on and needed care but the sight of the finish quickened our pace and we reached the base at 7.40 p.m., completing the second peak in 2 hours 45 minutes.

Huw had a little turn in the final descent probably due to dehydration and the lack of salt/sugar in his system. Andy had a few problems with cramp. Other than that, the team were still in good spirits.

Left the base of Scafell at 7.45 p.m. - next stop Ben Nevis.

The approach to Ben Nevis made us realise how big this peak is! We started hoping we had the stamina and reserves to get up and down.

Starting from the youth hostel at 12.25 p.m., Iwan and Barry decided once again to put their bodies through the pain barrier and walk the highest mountain in the British Isles. As it was dark and pretty cold, we had for the first time coats, and Andy and Chris put on their head torches (to look the part whilst walking in the dark). Starting at 12.37 a.m. we left the drivers Hywel and Daz to get some sleep. Considering the time it was surprisingly light, allowing us to see the route in the moonlight.

Climbing fairly quickly, we reached our first target where Huw and Barry decided on a steeper but shorter route, which went up close to the lake and back on itself. However, those of us on the longer route looked less exhausted when we met up.

We now had to start up the dreaded zig-zag’s, probably the worst part of the whole challenge. You gain false hope you are near the top but actually have a fair climb to go.

The summit was conquered at around 3.20 a.m. (2 hours 43 minutes). Because it was clear the views were spectacular, but had we been in low cloud it would have been very dangerous and you need to be aware of your bearings in case this should happen. It was very cold and after a short stay we headed down, having learned throughout the day - the longer you stop the harder it is to start again.

Chris and Barry decided to go for personal times down the mountain and ran off on their own. Andy, Dan, Iwan and Huw started making the long walk down at their own pace until Dan picked up his pace and went on ahead. For mutual encouragement the other three decided to finish the challenge together as a group. On the way down, we passed Team A ascending on the zig-zags.

It took Chris and Barry an hour to reach the bottom giving Chris a time of 18 hours 12 minutes to complete all 3 Peaks. Dan completed the challenge in 18 hours 58 minutes

As a group, it is only right we base the final time of all crossing the finishing line. This was 19 hours 40 minutes.

Team A finished a couple of hours after us but in a respectable time of 20 hours 58 minutes, down by 1 hour 15 minutes from 5 years ago.

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Quotes From The 3 Peaks Challenge

Ian Lebbon, “Bloody Mountains!”
Peter Roberts, “No, BEAUTIFUL mountains”
(This was at around 0500 hrs. on the final mountain Ben Nevis)

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Eric Lee, “What’s that scraping noise?”
Colin Roberts, “The brakes”.
Eric Lee, “What brakes?”
Colin Roberts, “Exactly!”
(Whilst Colin was driving down a steep pass in Scotland)

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Paul Fisher, “I’ve got the frying pan, whose got the cooking utensils?”
The answer was - nobody. With the result that breakfast was cooked for sixteen using a pen knife.

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Colin Roberts, “I’m looking for the cow where we turn left”.
Colin’s unique navigational skills which did get us to Scafell.

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Steve Davies, “*$%*#hell we took too long on that one.”
Repeated at the bottom of every mountain.

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Anthony Davies, “All my kits in the house and I’m locked out”.
Anthony proving it is better to have a key than a sister who goes out.

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Dick Sheasby, “Your average speed is ...,
your average fuel consumption is ...,
our estimated time of arrival is ...,
we have ... miles to run”.

Dick proving throughout the journey why he is the best navigator in Carrog if not the world!

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Captains Log, Stardate 10.06.2005 0900 hrs.

The Millennium Falcon came along side at the Grouse Inn at the beginning of the second epic mission this century to conquer the 3 highest peaks in the country. The twist in the mission was that another team of intrepid explorers was also trying to conquer the same peaks in a shorter time, how would they do it? The Falcon, crewed by Captain Lee, Co Pilot Roberts JR and Explorers Roberts and Davies waited in anticipation for the cargo vessel Mercedes to join along side while the crew gratefully enjoyed a complementary breakfast.

The Captain of the Cargo vessel, Capt. Fisher, late due to ablution difficulties, arrived at the Grouse Inn without the vessel. The crew of the Falcon chuckled deeply, if the captain had forgotten his vessel, would he ever remember to collect all the cargo in order to complete the mission?

Post breakfast, the Crew of the Falcon embarked, as the crew of the cargo vessel stood by while the captain of the Mercedes embarked on his own personal mission to retrieve his vessel from its docking station.

On cue, the fully crewed Falcon got away to a blistering start at 0945 hrs., while the cargo vessel Mercedes, crewed by Capt. Fisher, Navigator Sheasby, and Explorers Lebbon and Davies, continued to take on provisions, fuel and equipment. Crew member Davies had been earlier locked out of his living pod and had subsequently had his own mission to search out the keys to get at his own expedition equipment. Finally at 1000 hrs. the cargo vessel Mercedes cast off and made haste to catch up with the Millennium Falcon.

Meanwhile the Millennium Falcon had gone along-side ground station HSBC Corwen as Explorer Roberts found himself short of the vital tokens needed to purchase liquid refreshment at the ultimate destination. Captain Lee was eager to get away from this hostile un-welcoming station, so much so that cast off was made with Explorer Roberts still at the HSBC, The remaining crew members protested, Captain Lee engaged reverse thrust, retrieved the marooned explorer, applied full power to the forward transmission and jumped to warp factor 70.

The Millennium Falcon came alongside base station Wyddfa at 1045 hrs., cargo vessel Mercedes pulled in 60 seconds later. Capt. Fisher had engaged full forward thrust reaching warp 90 to catch up with the Millennium Falcon, but had compromised the fuel cell on the way to the tune of 40 beer tokens.

The explorers were deployed, engaged mission equipment and departed for the summit. The ground crew tracked down the opposition, but failed in their attempt to sabotage and infiltrate their mission plan.

To be continued. . . .

(* Both teams enjoying hard earned glasses of leminade in Fort William.)

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* The Manx Were Here!

This year there were no Bretons but the Manx came instead.

Our picture shows Ian Lebbon congratulating the Peree Bane (White Jackets) dance group and accompanying musicians, King Chiaulee, who came third in the Choreographed Dance Section at the Eisteddfod. King Chiaulee, a well known Manx folk group in their own right, achieved fourth in the Celtic Music Small Groups section. Both groups enjoyed their experience immensely but all agreed staying in Carrog was the best experience of all! One of the dancers was Quintin Gill, a member of the Isle of Man Parliament (the House of Keys), who was extremely grateful to the Eisteddfod organisers and particularly to the people of Carrog for a memorable visit.

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Congratulations

Julie Powell of Groes Faen on achieving a BSc (Hons) in Nursing Studies from Stafford University.

Samantha Scott who passed her grade 4 singing exam in March. With love from Mum and Dad. We are so proud of you. X

Jayne Davies on her appointment as head of Ysgol Caer Drewyn

David and Iris Jones on the birth of their grandson

Welcome

To Michael and Susan Lawley who have moved into Bryn Afon.

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Obituary

It is with sadness we report the death of Nesta Karen Williams on 28th May 2005 aged 77 years. She leaves husband Idris and children Nia and Iwan and families

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* Weddings

David and Renate who were married (at long last) at Ruthin Registry Office with a large proportion of the Village present!

Ben and Sarah were married on the 4th of June 2005 in St Bridget’s Church, Wirral. The reception was held at Carrog Village hall. The couple honeymooned in Cyprus.

Paul McGrath and Claire Ventre who were married at Llansantffraid on Saturday 23rd July. The reception was held at Rhuthun Castle.

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Diary

Saturday 6th August - Carrog Summer Fayre with Carnival Queen, games and stalls. Parade leaves Station at 1.30 p.m. If anyone has toys for the Ysgol Carrog stand please contact Jayne on 430350.

Also if anyone has bric-a-brac for the Church stall could they telephone 430325

Saturday 17th September - “Y Bont” Bash

Thursday 22nd September - Llansantffraid Flower arranging evening in the Village Hall entry £4 inc. complimentary glass of wine.

Saturday 12th November - 40s night to celebrate 60th Anniversary of VE and VJ day.

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Village Hall Lottery

1st £20 David Jones (Prof)
2nd £10 Ian Lebbon

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For Sale - Disabled carriage

This vehicle is 12 months old used only once - Cost New £1500 but now for sale at £600

Narrow width - ideal for indoors - 54 cm (21") - Extreme Comfort - Captain’s Seat with headrest and sliding adjustment. Lift-up armrests with adjustable width - Easy to Use - one finger tip control lever Front and Rear Lights - 5 position adjustable tiller - Lift up tiller head support and easy access - Battery Charging point - Easy to read Battery Guage. Easy to dismantle for storage and car.

Technical Specifications - Length: 125 cm (49") - Width: 544 cm (21") - Height: 94 cm (37") - Seat Height: 58-65 cm (23" - 25.5") - Safe Climb Angle: 12°- Max. User Weight: 110 Kg. (250 Lb.) 01490 430558

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Letters

All letters must be accompanied by the full name and address of the writer.

Opinions expressed in letters submitted for publication in “Y Bont” are purely those of the authors but the editors reserve the right to edit or not to publish letters submitted.

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Dear Editor - Carrog: An Appreciation

It‘s my belief we make our own luck, but that belief is constantly challenged by those annoying ifs and buts of happenstance. However it is made what brought me here is not important and any detailing of the facts could never express my own sense of good fortune of finding myself in Carrog. From the first view over the bridge toward the town I wanted to reflect nothing and only absorb. Breathing in as if it were possible the age of the stones, to record every detail from the movement of sheep to the bend in the river, and so by some elusive measure to transform them into a nugget of never loosing luster. But none of this is possible and so as we all are I was reduced to quietly walking in a beautiful place. But why I stay is because I wasn’t hounded or chased, ridiculed or ignored. I am here because people in Carrog have been kind to me.

Karl Young

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By Carrog Town

The careless bull and the breeding cow
the bleating sheep and the suckling sow
of this green grass and mud earth
everyone for us a sense of worth.

Yet I as I walk by
can only breath an escaping sigh
with the lacking of the day
and the moon that begins its stay.

It’s then that I do despair
for the asking in a prayer
that I could preserve a part of me
forever in the green of thee.

Karl Young.

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Dear Editor,

On 31st May I set off nervously for Cardiff with my mum, sister and cousin and after catching the 6.40 train from Chirk arrived in Cardiff at about 10.15.

Tired but excited we walked through the busy streets and finally found our bed and breakfast which was opposite the magnificent Millennium Stadium.

That evening we walked to the Bay where the Urdd was being held - this was a lot further than we thought. Exhausted we got a bus back.

So far Cardiff was great and I had noticed the massive shopping centre. That night we relaxed, but I was slowly getting nervous. I couldn’t sleep because I was excited and anxious. When, at 5.30 it was time to get up my stomach was full of butterflies.

Everyone was quiet - in my sister Susie’s case because she never usually gets up before 12 noon, but for mum and I it was nerves.

We got a taxi to Cardiff Bay at 6.30 a.m. and ran for the prelims. I was quite pleased with my performance but I was up against a lot of strong competition and unfortunately didn’t get stage.

We went round the Eisteddfod and went into one of the most beautiful and interesting building I have ever seen, the Millennium Centre. It was overwhelming to see and I was proud to be inside it and to be Welsh.

We then decided we needed retail therapy and went to one of the biggest shopping centres ever. We all bought loads of clothes and really enjoyed ourselves.

On Thursday it was sadly time to go home, but one thing that cheered me up was we accidentally bumped into the one and only Big Dave.

One person I definitely could not have done without was my teacher Miss Owen Edwards. She guided me all the way and helped me with my recitation “Bwyd Od”.

I also found out she is related to me and her mother taught my mother thousands of moons ago.

Cardiff is a great city and a great capital for Wales, I can’t wait to return there.

Charlotte Davies.

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Dear Editor

And now for the good news - an update on the school situation

The good news is that Ysgol Carrog (alongside all of the other small rural schools) is no longer under threat of closure in the near future. Denbighshire County Council has announced that it is going back to the drawing board to look again at the best way forward for local schools. A ‘fresh approach’ to consulting on the future of local education has been promised -a holistic approach which sees schools in the context of their local communities.

Ysgol Carrog - along with its passionate parents and supportive community - played an important part in raising awareness among DCC Councillors and Officers of the importance of schools within the community. The feedback from our Education Link Officer is that our presentation to DCC on 24th May and our response to the challenge of closure were being held up as a positive example of how a school and community might work together. So all the meetings, petitions, demonstrations, e-mails and letters were worth it!!!

To ‘future-proof’ our school and community from such challenges that will, no doubt, come around again, we will be working to maintain and grow the links between the two. Keep an eye open for school-community events and activities in the Autumn - and let us know if you have any ideas or comments. But it is often the simplest things that are the most effective, and one thing that everyone can do any time and anywhere is talk to other people about just how good we are - blow the trumpet for Carrog and its little school and help to keep both alive!

Dr. Sarah Smith.

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Sri Lanka Rebuild - South Powys
Ysgol Gynradd Carrog

Dear Bronwen,

I write on behalf of Sri Lanka Rebuild to thank you and everyone involved in raising the wonderful sum of £750 which you sent to us.

I enclose the flier we were handing out at the Hay Festival of Art and Literature this week. It gives details of our web site so that you can access us and gain up to date information of progress. So far we have funded two schools and we hope to do two more but Kumari Dias and myself are going over to Sri Lanka at the end of July to see what has been achieved and what more we can continue to support. Local school children have been putting together shoe boxes and writing letters etc., and if your children would like to send out messages with us we can provide the link. Children have written little notes and drawn pictures to illustrate what life and school is like for them here. Please feel free to ring me or e-mail. We do appreciate your support and interest.

We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our friends and this is so much appreciated by the Sri Lankan people. We hope to get film and photographs so that you can all share our journey.

Yours sincerely,

Jean Moseley - Treasurer

Sri Lanka Rebuild is a newly formed organisation that has applied for charitable status. It was started at Bronllys Hospital in the immediate aftermath of the Tsunami.

A group of four Sri Lankan hospital staff and their colleagues and friends with the support and help of local people were able to send a 40 foot container of essential aid on the 5th January 2005 to stricken parts of Sri Lanka. Following this they decided to continue support to the damaged areas in Sri Lanka.

With the generosity of local people, the group has since been able to fund the building of two pre-schools in Hambantota district and hope to be able to build a further school and pay for the teachers’ salary and other small projects to help in rebuilding lives damaged by the Tsunami. Hambantota is a desperately poor area where people now have even less than the nothing that they started with.

The first school building was started on 3rd April 2005 and the second on 13th May 2005 and they should be completed within 8 weeks. These will provide free nursery education for children who were affected by the destructive power of the waves.

With the children in school, surviving parents or guardians will be able to start to help to rebuild a future for their families. With your help SRI LANKA REBUILD will be able to continue its support of projects in Sri Lanka to help in the struggle for a sustainable self-sufficient future for this recently devastated country.

Thank you for your support it will make a difference!

For more details please see our website at:

http://nww.powyslhb.wales.nhs.uk/ (fundraising section)
or contact kumaridias@ukgatewav.net
or phone 01874 624771 (evenings).

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© All material is Copyright of “Y Bont” unless otherwise indicated at the end of the article.