During its first 50 years the Pendyrus Choir boasted an annual membership of well over 100 choristers (the highest number recorded was 161 in 1939). The total fell to below 100 in 1974, and currently there are just over one hundred choristers on the Register. Life Membership is awarded to choristers who complete 21 years’ service; those “still on the Register” are marked* The exclusive “50 Plus Club” comprises those choristers who have achieved 50 years’ service; these members are marked**
Liam Butler; Jordan Davies; Owen Davies; **Stanley Davies; Tal Evan-Jones; Anthony Evans; *Barrie Evans; Graham Giles; Jack Harries; Jabob Hope; Daniel Jones; *Gareth Jones; Phillip Jones; Sidney Jones; Keith Loveday; David Madge; Gwilym Powell; Gareth Rees; Ashley Richards; William Richards; *Glenville Roberts; Robert Smith; Michael Thomas; *Robert Williams; Steven Williams.
**Alun Davies; Colin Dudson; Steven Edmunds; Frank Evans; Ian Eve; *Edward Griffiths; Stephen Groves; *Malcolm Hobbs; **Malcolm James; Dewi Jones; Stephen Jones; *John Leat; *Mal Long; John Lowes; **Rhydfen Morgan; John Owen; *Paul Richards; David Roberts; *David J Smith; *Howard Stephens; *Alan S Thomas; David Thomas; John Wathan; Brian West; **David Williams; Gareth Williams.
*Paul Adams; *Carl Bowen; Michael Chapman; Allan Coomber; Emlyn Davies; *Edmund Duffy; Rob Forester; Richard Gardiner; Denzil Gough; Keith Griffiths; Roger Griffiths; Terry Hale; Alan Jones; **David Jury; John Lang; Morgan Lang; *Creighton Lewis OBE; **John Llewellyn; Kevan Lloyd; Owen MccCarthy; Justin Silezin; *David Smith; Morgan Thomas; Neil Thorneycroft; *John Wiggam; John Wilkins; *Bryn Williams.
Mike Bostic; Anthony Cartwight; *Graham Clarke; Brian Davies; Raymond Davies; Simon Davies; Clive Drakeford; *Allen Edwards; Barrie Edwards; John Evans; Ronald Eveleigh; Brian Fry; Bill Hodgson; Michel Hopkins; Jeffrey Hunt; Keryl Jones; *Vivian Jones; Matthew Leon; Thomas Morgan; Peter Murphy; *Allan Parry; Ryan Rees; *Walter Southcombe; Jeffrey Thomas; Hywel Williams.
President and Former Presidents
Choir President Since 2008
His Honour Sir Wyn Williams Kt QC
Wyn Williams was born in Ferndale in 1951, the son of Mr Ronald Williams, who for many years was Chairman of Côr Meibion Morlais.
He was educated at Rhondda County Grammar School for boys, Corpus Christi College, Oxford and Inns of Court Law School. He was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1974, and has practiced as a barrister in Cardiff and London, was appointed QC in 1992, a specialist Chancery Circuit Judge for Wales in 2004, and High Court Judge in January 2007.
Wyn was knighted by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in April 2007. Sir Wyn Williams lives in Porth, Rhondda, and has been closely involved in Tylorstown RFC for many years – he played in the 1st XV between 1969 and 1985 served on the committee 1985-1998, and as Chairman 1991-1995, he has been a trustee of the club since 1998. The Choir were delighted when he accepted their invitation to become only the fourth President in the choirs history.
Choir President 1966-2008
Dr. Ieuan Gwynne
My connection with Pendyrus goes back to their first tour of the USA and Canada way back in 1965. I had not been interested in the ‘Male Voice sound’, but their new conductor, a brash man called Glynne Jones was turning the repertoire upside down, what with 16th and 17th century church music, and songs sung in many strange languages, not to mention pieces by contemporary composers.
They were planning something almost unheard of, a tour of Canada and the States, depending on local Welsh societies, and paying their way by ‘singing for their supper’. As GP to a lot of the choir, I offered to do their (then necessary) smallpox vaccinations free of charge. Believe me, the best ‘loss-leader’ ever! Iwas invited to join them on their 1971 tour of the States (San Francisco to New York via Vancouver and the States/Canadian border: a tour memorable for many mishaps!) It soon became clear to the choir that I was no orator, so my duties were confined to providing some medical advice when needed. Also, I think I perhaps helped by taking the side of the ‘ordinary’ chorister as opposed to the committee’! I even had the temerity at times to criticise the choir’s repertoire when, I thought their use of dissonant modern pieces impaired their ability to sing ‘sweetly’. Anyway, they have put up with me, and it was with sadness that I didn’t join them on their latest tours, to California and Canada. So now its God bless Pendyrus under the baton of John Samuel.
Extracted from notes in Dr. Gwynn’s Diary. He was the longest serving president of the choir
Choir President 1943-1966
William H Mainwaring MP Rhondda West Constituency
William Mainwaring who became an active member of the South Wales Miners Federation at an early age, and was part of the Cambrian Combine, miners lodge. Pre 1914 he was a member of the Unofficial Reform Committee who’s programme was outlined in a famous, militant, explosive pamphlet called The Miners Next Step. In this, the authors not only advocated a minimum wage of eight shillings for a seven-hour day, but also aimed at getting into the hands of the workers, the control and ultimately the ownership of the mines. Ironically, although in a different form, the mines were eventually Nationalised in 1947 with its slogan, managed on behalf of the people.
William went on to be elected an MP. representing the Rhondda East constituency in 1933 and served the people for a further 26 years until his retirement in 1959. He was invited to become the choir’s second recorded president in 1943 and continued in that role until 1966 when he eventually stood down because of failing health. During his term of office he always made an effort to attend the final rehearsal prior to the choir competing at an important Eisteddfod at which, he delivered an encouraging and inspirational speech.
Choir President 1934-1943
Thomas John, MA. JP.
It seems that Thomas John was the first person to be appointed President.
Other than the dates of his office 1934-1943 no further background information on him is readily available, other than, he was the miners agent for Rhondda, and later became a Justice of the Peace.
Vice Presidents / Past Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, General & Asst. Secretaries
The Choir currently enjoys the support of over 50 Vice-Presidents. They include many friends who have long-standing personal connections with Pendyrus, and distinguished representatives of the civic, cultural, professional, and commercial life of the UK, and of Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. They all make a valuable contribution to the life and work of the choir, whether through advice, assistance or sponsorship, and this is greatly appreciated.
TREASURERS (to 4.6.1967)
1933 Thomas J HUGHES (d 1940/41)
1941 Thomas R WILLIAMS (see Vice-Chairmen)
1949 Morris THOMAS (B1; Choir Rep 1935-37 & 1939-40; Contributions Sec 1967-70; LM
4. 6.1967 (office abolished)
1933 Levi PHILLIPS
1938 William PRICE (B2; Choir Rep 1936-37; d 1956)
1956 Mervyn Handel MORGAN (T1; LM 1974;
[Assistant 1973-79: Rhys JONES (B2) (resigned 3.12.1979)
[Assistant 1980-81: Glyn BREWER (B2)
[Assistant 1981-85: Leonard NEILL (T2)
24. 3.1985 Leonard NEILL (T2; b 30.6.1938; Asst Financial Sec 1981-85; LM 1984; d 29.9.1996)
[Assistant 1985-86: Malcolm HOBBS (T2) (elected 31.3.1985)
[Assistant 1986-96: Howard STEPHENS (T2)
16.10.1996 Meirion Wyn HARRIES (B2; b 25.5.1955; LM 2000;
[Assistant 1996-2002: Howard STEPHENS (T2)
24. 2.2002 Alun Gwyn DAVIES (T2; b 21.3.1942; LM 1982;
[Assistant 2002è: Howard STEPHENS (T2)
2013 Anthony Evans:
(Assistant Howard STEPHENS; (T2) LM 1982
2015 Phillip JONES (T2)
(Assistant David Prior (B2)
Life Members (Retired)
Garfield Bendrey 1976-2000
Glyn Brewer 1962-09 [Chairman 1981-87; VP 1987]
Leslie Cutter 1978-2011
Eben Davies 1958-2009
Idwal Davies 1969-2000
Ivor Davies 1959-2011
Meirion Harries 1978-2004 [Financial Secretary 1996-2002]
Michael Hawkins 1966-2002
**A. Gwyndaf Jones (1961-2011)
D. Gwynfryn Jones 1962-68 & 1974-2009
Dennis Lawley 1978-2000
**Edward Lewis (1956-2011)
John Lewis (1965-2011; General Secretary since 1966)
Ian Macleod 1962-2006 [Chairman 1980-81]
Neil Macleod 1966-2002
Ivor Mainwaring 1960-66 & 1978-2000
Edward Morgan 1962-2006 [Stage Manager 1973 -2003]
Trevor Parcel 1969-90
Ivor Phillips (1985-2011)
**Byron Seldon 1959-92 & 1997-2000 [Librarian since 2001]
Peter Walker (1988-2004 & 2009-2011)
Douglas Williams 1972-2003
Russell Willis 1956-78
The Pendyrus Choir also runs a “400 Club”, which is an important source of regular income. It comprises of members and friends of the choir, and their support is very welcome and much appreciated.
If anyone is interested in joining, for a contribution of £1 per month, you will have a chance of winning £500 in the Xmas and Summer draws and numerous other prizes from £50 down to £6 in each of our monthly draws.
Please see any chorister or contact Phil Jones, Creighton Lewis, Howard Stevens, David Pryor or the Secretary for details, and to join the “Club”.