07777683637 rlloydpr@btinternet.com

South Wales Evening Post column, March 01, 2024

Robert Lloyd PR, Media and Marketing Consultancy News, Newspaper columns South Wales Evening Post column, March 01, 2024

News Newspaper columns

South Wales Evening Post column, March 01, 2024

Posted By RobertLloyd58

IT was an evening with more surprises than a primetime Cilla Black TV show.

There were a ‘lorra, lorra laughs’ and a few tears along the way.

The surprise elements weren’t obvious when people arrived for Llanelli Rotary Club’s annual St David’s Day dinner at The Diplomat Hotel.

They unfolded during an evening which left plenty of food for thought.

The Rotarians had planned special entertainment, with guest appearances by Glynneath soprano Lauren Williams and the two winners of the Llanelli Young Musician of the Year competition – Mariia-Anastasiia Mikulska from Bishop Vaughan Catholic School in Swansea and Jasper Caradoc Hollett, from Bishopston Comprehensive.

It was vocalist Jasper who uncovered the first surprise of the evening – a malfunction in The Diplomat’s sound system. Without batting an eyelid, he proceeded to perform his two numbers unaccompanied.

Rising to the challenge, guitarist Mariia-Anastasiia (resplendent in the traditional dress of her native Ukraine) took the platform to perform without any backing.

And to complete the hat-trick, soprano Lauren provided acapella performances of Calon Lan and Anfonaf Angel.

All three richly deserved their standing ovations for battling through the technical surprises.

Given just a few minutes to draw breath, the Rotarians and their guests were then surprised to see the lights dimmed and a cowled monk enter the dining room.

When the monk’s hood was thrown back, it revealed the Rev Eldon Phillips, a familiar figure to many in the parish of Llanelli – and beyond.

Rev Eldon’s surprise was to take on the role of Dewi Sant (St David) for the evening, taking the audience on a journey from Machynys (monk’s island) in Llanelli to the scene of his most famous miracle in Llanddewi Brefi and on to a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Rev Eldon sat down for a deserved rest after his time-travelling Dewi Sant talk, but there was a further surprise to come as Llanelli Rotary vice-president Cerith Owens outlined an extra item on the evening’s agenda.

Very occasionally, Rotary clubs give out Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF) awards – the highest honour that Rotary can bestow on an individual.

The award is given by The Rotary Foundation in recognition of substantial and exemplary community service in support of Rotary ideals.

Mr Owens surprised the Rev Eldon with the news he had been chosen to receive a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Mr Owens added: “This former Rotarian has left a lasting impact on the local community. Demonstrating the Rotary Objective of ‘Service Above Self’, he willingly engages in a variety of activities to provide help and support wherever needed.

“He has a penchant for dressing up, not only as Llanelli’s Town Crier, but as the historic characters William Chambers and John Wesley for Llanelly House.

“He holds roles such as chaplain of the Scarlets rugby region, chaplain to Ffos Las racecourse and he is a Trustee of Llanelly House and The Links Workshop. He is dedicated to numerous organisations, assisting underprivileged members of the community.

“He has contributed to preserving the town’s industrial heritage through volunteer efforts. He was involved in the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust project and currently chair of the Parc Howard Association.

“His positive outlook on life and encouragement for others to overcome personal challenges make him a beacon of optimism.”

Mr Owens concluded by joking: “There’s a belief that there must be clones of him, as he seems to be present everywhere!”

There was a tear in the Rev Eldon’s eye as he accepted the award.

Those watching were reminded of Dewi Sant’s famous maxim – ‘Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd’ – ‘Do the little things in life.’

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus, Happy St David’s Day one and all.


BY any standards of concert touring, it is an impressive list of 40-plus locations, taking in Munich, Frankfurt, Rotterdam, Mannheim, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Zurich, Innsbruck and Florence.

Oh, and I nearly forgot . . . this particular concert tour will also be headlining at The Welfare in Ystradgynlais in the Swansea Valley!

The Welfare might be miles away from the status of the Kammerspiele in Munich, but I sure the Swansea Valley welcome will be just as warm for the famous BCUC: Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness.

For those of you without an extensive knowledge of South African music, BCUC is an award-winning group that performs indigenous music with a big twist from the rainbow nation.

The 2023 Womex Artist Award Winners will bring their mix of funk, hiphop consciousness and punk rock energy from Soweto to The Welfare.

From humble beginnings, rehearsing in a shipping container a stone’s throw from the church where Desmond Tutu organised the escape of the most wanted anti-Apartheid activists of Soweto, BCUC have grown to become one of the world’s most celebrated bands, playing the biggest stages at some of the most important festivals in the world.

Artistic heirs to Philip “Malombo” Tabane and Batsumi, BCUC give contemporary voice to the ancestral traditions of South African people. Jazz sounds of 1970s and ’80s productions are replaced by hip-hop influences and punk-rock energy, taking the listener on an intriguing journey, while sharing their controversial yet interesting views on modern Africa.

Singing in all 11 official languages of South Africa, they tackle the harsh realities of the voiceless, especially the plight of the uneducated workers at the bottom of the social food chain. The Africa portrayed by BCUC is not poor, but rich in tradition, rituals and beliefs.

Vocalist Kgomotso Mokone explains: “We bring fun and emo-indigenous Afro psychedelic fire from the hood.”

Friday, March 15, is the date; 8pm the time. It promises to be an amazing night for Ystradgynlais.

Tickets for the performance at The Welfare are now available from the venue website at https://thewelfare.co.uk, in person at the hall or by calling 01639 843163.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Written by RobertLloyd58

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!