Author: Bethan Marsh

Martina, Italy (former UNA volunteer) – Global Perspectives: Stories of Solidarity during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. In uncertain times like these, it is heartwarming to see communities uniting in solidarity, and even song in some cases.We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share the positive stories emerging from the situation as a source of inspiration for people in these challenging times.

Click here to view the Map of our Global Perspectives : solidarity stories 

 

Martina Gargari is a former EVS/ESC volunteer with UNA Exchange. She is from Rome but lives in Madrid.

“I have been living in Madrid since February this year. A state of Emergency was declared here on march 13th and therefore, most people have been staying in their homes since then.

“We are allowed to go out just in order to shop food (one person per family), to go to pharmacies and to walk our dogs. Police patrol the neighbourhood, verifying the reason why you are walking down the street. You have to queue to enter the supermarket, respect the distance to buy a medicinal. The freedom of movement is suspended, for the common good. All the shops, bars, pubs, restaurants are closed.

“Police patrol the neighbourhood, verifying the reason why you are walking down the street”

“Public transport is reduced (but not suspended), as a few categories of workers are still “regularly” working: doctors and nurses, “in primis”, but also supermarket employees, pharmacists and couriers, as we recently discovered.

“Where available, people are “smart-working” from home but that is not always possible.The main challenge we are facing is maintaining a healthy mind and, possibly, body.

“Spend

ing the whole day at home gives you far more opportunities to think about your life, your family, your friends. But this gives you way less opportunities to exercise. You need a strong will.

“The main challenge we are facing is maintaining a healthy mind and, possibly, body”

“I think it’s difficult to realise all the chaos and problems we are facing. People dying in a blink of an eye. Yet, the only thing we can do is, simply as it seems, stay at home. Relax. Watch movies. Read books.

“First in Italy, then in Spain, a tradition has been started: at a given time, decided on social media (8 p.m. here in Madrid) we are stepping out on the balcony to clap, in honour of doctors and nurses and their huge work. Even if it lasts only a few minutes, it gives you a sense of community.

We are not alone in this “confinement”. We are not fighting alone this virus. We are altogether. We are one. And, even if it seems barely impossible to see the end of this period, it will come.”

hi

Gemma, Hong Kong : Stories of Solidarity during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. In uncertain times like these, it is heartwarming to see communities uniting in solidarity, and even song in some cases.We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share the positive stories emerging from the situation as a source of inspiration for people in these challenging times.

 

Click here to view our Global Perspectives map sharing solidarity stories from all over the world 

 

Gemma in Hong Kong shares her experiences

“So in Hong Kong we have been dealing with the virus for quite a while now. It really started to affect people at Chinese New Year (24th Jan). All universities, schools and learning centres have been closed since then. Offices went straight into work from home and were opened a few weeks later once visitor numbers had been slowed by shutting certain entry points to HK.

“There was one week of panic buying which kind of coincided with the end of CNY. The shelves were a bit empty already, it’s kinda of like the Christmas panic in the UK because it’s the one time of the year everything closes over CNY.

“Some positives are the community spirit here is strong.”

 

“Given that HK was hit hard and was the epicentre of SARS in 2003 I think this has helped to be very prepared. There was a new government department, the CHP, set up after SARS and they had plans ready to put in place should something similar happen again, hence being ready for this corona virus.

“There is a level of normality that has been reached now. Shops are open, restaurants too. Pretty much 99% of people wear masks in the streets. It’s more of social convention than actual protection. All lift buttons, hand rails and train carriages are disinfected every few hours. Your temperature is taken in most places you enter.

 

“Pretty much 99% of people wear masks in the streets”

 

“Some positives are the community spirit here is strong. When panic buying started there was a big drive to get supplies to charities. Lots of small businesses are being supported with some companies offering free advertising for them. The outlying islands, parks, beaches and hiking trails are busy! The air feels fresher and less polluted too!”

hi

Beluil, Eritrea: Global perspectives – Stories of solidarity during COVID-19

Global perspectives: Stories of solidarity during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. In uncertain times like these, it is heartwarming to see communities uniting in solidarity, and even song in some cases.We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share the positive stories emerging from the situation as a source of inspiration for people in these challenging times.

Click here to view our Global Perspectives map sharing solidarity stories from all over the world 

 

Beluil from Asmara in Eritrea

“There are no cases identified but way before when people first heard about it, everyone who came through the airport had their temperatures tested.

“People who had temperatures were quarantined for two weeks. The government are telling people to travel as little as possible. People are worried and praying for the whole world. People are scared but they have faith in God.

“There is also faith in the government because they have had success in other health measures (reduction in malaria, lower child deaths).”

 

 

 

hi

Emma, New Zealand: Stories of solidarity during COVID-19

Global perspectives: Stories of solidarity during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. In uncertain times like these, it is heartwarming to see communities uniting in solidarity, and even song in some cases.We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-1, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share the positive stories emerging from the situation as a source of inspiration for people in these challenging times.

Click here to view our Global Perspectives map sharing solidarity stories from all over the world 

 

Emma from New Zealand

“As of 19 March, there are 28 confirmed cases in New Zealand. All cases are in people who have just come from overseas or a couple of cases have been immediate family members of these people.

“There is no ‘community transmission’ of the virus here yet, though it likely only a matter of time before that occurs. The plan is to try and ‘flatten the curve’ to reduce the impact on the health system to a level it can handle. All travellers arriving to NZ from overseas, with the exception of the few of the Pacific Islands where there are no cases yet, are required to self-isolate for two weeks.

“The plan is to try and ‘flatten the curve’ to reduce the impact on the health system”

But, what if people don’t? The government is being quite hard line on this. Yesterday two tourists were actually arrested and I believe they will be deported as they arrived in the country and just intended to carry on their travels and had no plans for self-isolation.

“Everyone here is generally quite calm, but getting a bit worried about the prospect of everyone being in lockdown. There has been a run on supplies with some supermarkets experiencing shortages, however there were buying limits on some items (e.g. toilet paper, baby formula)

“If people are well, they are out and about, but a lot hand sanitiser is being used and with the limited contact, people are greeting each other with elbow bumps or the ‘east coast wave’. Here is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern demonstrating the wave 

“Everyone here is generally quite calm, but getting a bit worried about the prospect of everyone being in lockdown”

“At the moment I feel like everything is being handled well. If we can all rely on each other to think of others, I think we will be ok.

“My take on this is that when people start to think purely of themselves, that’s when things turn to pot.”

 

 

Would you like to share your story of the situation/ challenges facing your country?

We are asking anyone willing to share to answer the following questions and send to – bethanmarsh@wcia.org.uk 

  • What is the situation like in your country?
  • What are some of the main challenges for people?
  • Are there any positive stories coming out of this situation that can be inspiration for others?  
hi

Jim, Andalusia (Spain) -Global Perspectives: Stories of Solidarity during COVID-19

Global perspectives: Stories of solidarity during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. In uncertain times like these, it is heartwarming to see communities uniting in solidarity, and even song in some cases. We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-1, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share the positive stories emerging from the situation as a source of inspiration for people in these challenging times.

Click here to view our Global Perspectives map sharing solidarity stories from all over the world 

 

First, this is Jim:

Jim Blythe is from the UK, but is currently staying in Andalusia, Spain until it is safe to return.

“I am still locked down in Andalusia, sunny today but a bit of a breeze so not sunbathing weather but better than the UK, which helps. However, that’s not what I really wanted to say.

“People here are staying very calm, and just getting on with whatever they can do. My neighbour Miguel is continuing to tunnel through the rock so they can convert their stable to a living room, I hope he doesn’t undermine the foundations. Lute and Gines continue going out to their fields. The fishmonger still comes round in his van (food deliveries are allowed). The village Tannoy system played its lively tune yesterday for an announcement from the Town Hall, but it was only wishing everybody good luck on the lockdown, try to be patient.

“People here are staying very calm, and just getting on with whatever they can do”

“I baked some bread for my neighbours Gines and Moni, and also for our elderly neighbour Aurelia. They brought me some fresh eggs from their chickens, and some lettuce and home-made goats cheese. And a bottle of wine, again home-made (Gines owes me, I went harvesting the grapes with him last year, and Sue trod them).

“We’re allowed to go to the shop, so I went today and got a few bits and pieces and some whisky (hurrah, I was running low). No panic buying at all. The staff in our little village shop were wearing gloves and face masks, and they were only allowing six people in at a time. The atmosphere was a bit serious – usually it’s all gossip in there, but not today, so I cracked a couple of jokes with the young lady on the till which broke the tension a bit. I asked Aurelia if she needed anything, but she was fine – Moni has been doing some shopping for her.

“Not normal, but also not at all panicky. Blitz spirit”

“On the way back I had a brief chat with another neighbour (Carmen) who was standing in her doorway getting a bit of fresh air. Otherwise the village is dead – no cars, no old blokes hanging around for the bar to open, nobody on the plaza, nobody standing around yakking. So not normal, but also not at all panicky. Blitz spirit.”

 

 

Would you like to share your story of the situation/ challenges facing your country?

We are asking anyone willing to share to answer the following questions and send to – bethanmarsh@wcia.org.uk 

  • What is the situation like in your country?
  • What are some of the main challenges for people?
  • Are there any positive stories coming out of this situation that can be inspiration for others?  

 

 

hi

Newyddion diweddaraf: Gwybodaeth bwysig am ddigwyddiadau yn y Deml Heddwch

Rydym yn dilyn canllawiau Llywodraeth Cymru ac Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru a gan fod nhw wedi argymell cyswllt nad yw’n hanfodol, mae’r tîm wedi penderfynu gweithio o gartref.

Felly, os ydych yn dymuno cynnal digwyddiad nad yw’n hanfodol, gofynnwn i chi gysylltu â’r Tîm Lleoliad er mwyn gohirio.

Mae gennym bolisi diddymu ond rydym yn cydnabod fod y rhain yn amgylchiadau eithriadol, felly byddwn yn ceisio bod yn hyblyg lle gallwn.

 

Darllenwch safbwynt Cyfnewid UNA am wirfoddoli yn rhyngwladol yma 

Mae ein gweithwyr yn Hub Cymru Africa wedi rhannu gwybodaeth ar COVID-19 ac sut mae’n effeithio ar Affrica i’r de o’r Sahara.

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma  

hi

Stori Minnie James a ‘Mamau Heddwch’ y Deml

 

Ymchwil gwreiddiol gan Wirfoddolwr WCIA, Peter Garwood, ar gyfer yr arddangosfa ‘Menywod, Rhyfel a Heddwch’ yn y Senedd, Awst-Medi 2017; ymchwiliwyd i ddeunyddiau ychwanegol gan Archifydd y Deml, Mari Lowe, Ffion Fielding, Gwirfoddolwr Teithiau Tywys y Deml, Frank Holloway, a Dr. Emma West, Prifysgol Birmingham; a gwirfoddolwyr yn Amgueddfa Castell Cyfarthfa  ar gyfer ein harddangosfa Hyd 2017 ‘Cymru dros Heddwch’. Golygwyd a datblygwyd y darn terfynol gan Craig Owen ar gyfer cyfres ‘Peacemakers Features’ WCIA.

 

LAWRLWYTHWCH FERSIWN PDF SY’N HWYLUS I’W HARGRAFFU

 

 

Ym mis Tachwedd 1938, cafodd Minnie James o Ddowlais, Merthyr Tudful, ei gwthio i lygad y cyhoedd, pan benderfynodd yr Arglwydd David Davies, sylfaenydd y Deml Heddwch yng Nghymru, y byddai’n hoffi cael mam o Gymru a oedd wedi colli meibion yn y Rhyfel Mawr i agor Teml Heddwch ac Iechyd Cymru – ar ran yr holl famau a oedd wedi colli meibion.

Hi oedd y prif ffigwr ymhlith 24 o famau oedd wedi colli plant yn y rhyfel, o bob cwr o’r DU a’r ymerodraeth, a gafodd eu gwahodd yn dilyn ymgyrch gyhoeddusrwydd drwy ganghennau’r Lleng Brydeinig, a orliwiwyd gan y wasg fel ‘ymgyrch i chwilio am ein mamau mwyaf trasig’ – ond a fagodd gydnabyddiaeth ryngwladol, er gwaetha’r ffocws ar ‘ddynion a milwyr’ a gysylltir yn draddodiadol â chofio, bod menywod wedi dwyn baich effeithiau’r rhyfel yn fwy anghymesur na’r dynion, ac fel arweinwyr mewn creu heddwch.

 

Pwy oedd Minnie James? 

Ganwyd Minnie James fel Minnie Annie Elizabeth Watkins ar 3 Hydref 1866 ym Merthyr Tydfil.

Priododd Minnie Watkins â William James, dyn sengl, 23 oed ar 1 Ionawr 1891, yn Eglwys y Plwyf ym Mhlwyf Merthyr Tudful, Morgannwg. Mae cyfrifiad 1911 yn dangos bod y teulu yn byw mewn tŷ saith ystafell wely, 8 Cross Francis Street, Dowlais. Mae William yn gweithio fel Clerc, does dim swydd wedi’i restru i Minnie.

Mae’r rhieni wedi bod yn briod ers 20 mlynedd ac wedi cael wyth o blant, chwech ohonynt yn dal yn fyw. Mae David yn 19 oed ac yn gweithio fel drafftsmon, mae John yn 16 oed, yn sengl ac yn gweithio fel Gosodwr Prentis, mae Thomas yn dal yn yr ysgol. Mae dau o blant newydd: Winifred James 7 oed, a anwyd ym Merthyr a William James, 1 oed a anwyd yn Dowlais. Mae’r teulu’n ddigon cefnog i gael Gwas Cyffredinol – Elizabeth A. Murphy, 22 oed, menyw sengl, a anwyd yn Dowlais.

Roedd dau blentyn wedi marw:

  • Elizabeth, 2 fis oed, a fu farw ac a gladdwyd ar 28 Medi 1901 yn Adran Mynwent Cyngor Merthyr Tudful.
  • Gwladys, 7 oed, a fu farw ac a gladdwyd ar 6 Mawrth 1907 yn Adran Mynwent Cyngor Merthyr Tudful

 

Effaith y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf ar y teulu James

Ym 1914, dechreuodd y Rhyfel Mawr, ac roedd y dynion yn gyflym i ymrestru.  Ymunodd David James, mab cyntaf Minnie, â’r Gwarchodlu Cymreig, gan ymrestru ym Merthyr. Aeth i faes y gad ar 17 Awst 1915 yn Ffrainc.

Roedd wedi gwasanaethu yn Adran y Gwarchodlu fel rhan o 3ydd Brigâd y Gwarchodlu, a oedd yn cynnwys Bataliwn 1af, Cyffinwyr De Cymru, 4ydd Bataliwn, Gwarchodlu’r Grenadwyr, 2il Fataliwn, Gwarchodlu’r Alban a Bataliwn 1af y Gwarchodlu Cymreig. Cymerodd ran ym Mrwydr Flers – Courcelette – rhan o frwydr 5 mis y Somme – ond cafodd ei ladd ar 25 Medi 1916, yn 24 oed.

Erthygl y Western Mail ar farwolaeth y Preifat David James o Ddowlais; a’i gofnod yn Llyfr Cofio Cymru o’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf.

Fel llawer o ddynion a fu farw yn y gwrthdaro rhwng 1914-1918, ni chafodd ei gorff erioed ei adnabod, ac fe’i enwir ar Gofeb Thiepval. Dyfarnwyd medal Buddugoliaeth a Rhyfel Prydain iddo, ynghyd â Seren 1915. Adroddwyd am ei farwolaeth yn y Western Mail ar 13 Hydref 1916 (gweler ar yr ochr).

Daeth y rhyfel i ben ym mis Tachwedd 1918, ond roedd ei hail fab. Thomas James, wedi ymuno â’r 13eg Gatrawd Gymreig ac wedi cael ei glwyfo yn Ffrainc – a bu farw o’i glwyfau, yn 21 oed, ar ddydd Nadolig 1918. Enillodd fedal Buddugoliaeth a Rhyfel Prydain hefyd.

Roedd ei thrydydd mab, James, (oedd yn cael ei adnabod fel Jack James) wedi ymuno â’r Ffiwsilwyr Brenhinol Cymreig, ac aeth i faes y gad ar 1 Rhagfyr 1915. Cafodd ei glwyfo yn ystod y rhyfel, a dyfarnwyd medal Buddugoliaeth a Rhyfel Prydain iddo, ynghyd â medal Seren 1915 a’r Bathodyn Rhyfel Arian am glwyfau. Cafodd ei ryddhau ar 28 Ionawr 1919.

Fodd bynnag, bu farw ar 23 Mehefin 1920 yn 8 Cross Francis Street, yn 24 oed, gyda’i dad yn bresennol, deunaw mis ar ôl ei frawd Thomas. Mae ei dystysgrif marwolaeth yn cofnodi’r ffaith ei fod yn “Gyn-Ffiwsilwr Brenhinol Cymreig (Disgybl Peirianwyr Mwyngloddio)”, ac mai “Twbercwlosis Cyffredinol” oedd achos y farwolaeth. Claddwyd ef ar 26 Mehefin 1920 ym mynwent Cyngor Merthyr Tudful, Pant.

Mae pob un o’r tri mab a fu farw yn y Rhyfel Mawr yn cael eu rhestru yn Llyfr Cofio Cymru o’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, sydd yn cael ei gadw yn y Gell yn Nheml Heddwch Cymru hyd heddiw; ac sydd yn cael ei goffáu gan Gomisiwn Beddau Rhyfel y Gymanwlad.

Bu farw gŵr Minnie, William James, yn 68 oed; roedd wedi gwasanaethu fel Cwnstabl Arbennig yn y Rhyfel Mawr, a chafodd ei gladdu ar 20 Tachwedd 1936 ym Mynwent Cyngor Merthyr Tudful, Pant.

 

Minnie fel ‘Mam Cymru’

Ym mis Tachwedd 1938, cafodd Minnie ei gwthio i lygad y byd, pan benderfynodd yr Arglwydd David Davies y byddai’n hoffi cael mam o Gymru a oedd wedi colli meibion yn y Rhyfel Mawr i agor Teml Heddwch ac Iechyd Cymru – ar ran yr holl famau a oedd wedi colli meibion.

Yn ei chyfweliad gan y wasg, eglurodd fod ganddi “drôr o gyfrinachau” gartref, lle’r oedd yn cadw mementos o’i thri mab a gollodd eu bywydau dros eu gwlad. Dyma oedd eu tystysgrifau ysgol, hen lythyrau o’r rheng flaen, anrhegion bach a roddwyd iddi gan y bechgyn pan roeddent adref ar wyliau, a’u medalau. Dywedodd y byddai’r eitemau hyn yn cael eu claddu gyda hi pan fydd hi’n marw – mai hi a neb arall oedd piau nhw.

Yna, aethpwyd â hi i lawr i’r gell, lle byddai llyfr y cofio Cymru yn cael ei osod. Dywedodd wrth y wasg ei bod yn credu ei bod yn hyfryd. Roedd hi’n meddwl y byddai ei meibion: “mor falch ohonof i – dwi’n hapus i gael fy newis er eu mwyn nhw.” Eglurodd sut roedd ei bechgyn wedi gwasanaethu a marw. Eglurodd ei bod, ar bob Dydd y Cadoediad, yn aros gartref ac yn ystod y ddau funud o dawelwch, y bydd yn mynd i ystafell wely ei meibion ar ei phen ei hun, ond er mwyn cofio. Dywedodd wrth y wasg:

“All who come into this building must feel strongly for peace. It will be lovely for the young people to come here. They will be so impressed. And the mothers and fathers, too, for the sake of their children must come here.”

Eglurodd bod ei thri mab wedi gweithio yng Ngwaith Haearn Dowlais, lle cofnododd tabled eu haberth.

Wrth iddi adael y Deml, trodd am ennyd i edrych arni eto, ac meddai:

“I feel so happy for my sons. I shall feel them near me when I come back to open this beautiful building.”

 

 

Calon a Meddyliau: ‘Mamau Trasig’ a ‘Breninesau Heddwch’

Deilliodd y syniad i ofyn i fam gyffredin fod yn ‘Frenhines Heddwch’ Cymru yn sgil math hollol wahanol o Frenhines yn gwrthod y gwahoddiad. Ym 1937, tra’r oedd y Deml Heddwch yn cael ei hadeiladu, roedd yr Arglwydd Davies wedi ysgrifennu i Balas Buckingham yn gofyn a fyddai’r Dywysoges Elizabeth ifanc, brenhines y dyfodol, yn agor yr adeilad yn symbolaidd. Atebodd Ysgrifenyddes y Frenhines Elizabeth, sef y Fam Frenhines trwy ddweud bod y Dywysoges Elizabeth yn rhy ifanc; a bod y teulu eisoes wedi mynd ar daith Frenhinol o amgylch de Cymru (ym mis Gorffennaf 1937), ac y gellid ystyried dychwelyd mor fuan fel ffafriaeth.

Nid oedd yr Arglwydd Davies yn hapus iawn â’r sarhad amlwg hwn, gan ddatgan yn swta mewn memo … “I am minded to ask the oldest and poorest wife of an Ocean (Colliery) workman” to perform the task in their (majesties’) place.

Ymatebodd ei gydweithwyr i ddweud eu bod yn credu bod y syniad yn “hollol wych” … Pe bai hyn yn ‘ Deml y Bobl ‘, yna byddai “cynrychiolydd o’r Cymry – a’r colledion a ddioddefwyd ganddynt drwy ryfel – yn lansio menter er budd y bobl” yn llawer mwy apelgar (er yn yr un ddogfen,  mae yna sylw lletchwith o ddoniol hefyd mai “a workman’s wife could hardly be expected to make sonorous speeches – sy’n adlewyrchu agweddau’r oes, ac sy’n dangos pa mor bell mae’r mudiad cydraddoldeb wedi newid agweddau! Gol.). Dewiswyd y cwmni PR, Andrew Reid of London, i redeg ymgyrch yn y wasg, a orliwiwyd yn y cyfryngau Prydeinig fel ‘ymgyrch i chwilio am famau mwyaf trasig y genedl’.

Llwyddodd i gipio dychymyg y cyhoedd, a bu’n llwyddiant ysgubol gyda’r wasg, gan gynhyrchu misoedd a misoedd o gyhoeddusrwydd, o’r Alban i Dde Affrica a Seland Newydd, ar gyfer agor adeilad cyhoeddus yng Nghaerdydd a fyddai fel arall, heb gael llawer mwy na darllediadau rhanbarthol. Roedd canghennau lleol a rhanbarthol y Lleng Brydeinig yn allweddol wrth ddod â’r stori i’r amlwg, sef effaith rhyfel ar fenywod a theuluoedd ar draws y byd.

Daeth y Deml Heddwch yn fwy na dim ond adeilad … yn driw i weledigaeth yr Arglwydd Davies, daeth i gynrychioli syniad, rhagolwg, yr awydd i ddod â phobl at ei gilydd i ganolbwyntio ar adeiladu gwell byd – hyd yn oed wrth i gymylau’r Ail Ryfel Byd ymgasglu ar y gorwel.

 

Mamau’r Byd

 

 

Gwahoddodd yr Arglwydd Davies gyfanswm o 24 o famau o bob rhan o’r Deyrnas Unedig a gwledydd cysylltiedig i’r agoriad, gan drefnu trên arbennig o Lundain.

  • Siaradodd Mrs R Struben, o Undeb De Affrica, ar ran mamau’r Gymanwlad Brydeinig.
  • Cynrychiolodd Mrs Cederlund o Sweden, famau gwledydd Scandinafia
  • Siaradodd Mrs Moller ar ran menywod Yr Unol Daleithiau 
  • Siaradodd Madame Dumontier o Ffrainc dros famau’r gwledydd Ewropeaidd.

 

 

 

Mamau Prydain Fawr

  • Yn cynrychioli Gogledd Iwerddon oedd Mrs Nixon o Portrush, Co. Antrim. Gwasanaethodd, a bu farw pedwar allan o bump o’i meibion yn y Rhyfel Mawr. Lladdwyd tri ohonynt ar faes y gad, bu farw un o glwyfau a dderbyniwyd yn gwasanaethu. Roedd ei gŵr wedi gwasanaethu gyda’r Arglwydd Roberts yn Kandahar. Gwisgodd Mrs Nixon 20 medal yn y seremoni agoriadol.
  • Yn cynrychioli Ucheldiroedd yr Alban oedd Mrs Mary Lamont o Pitlochry (cartref y Foneddiges Davies). Gwasanaethodd tri mab, cafodd un ei ladd, un ei ryddhau, un ei glwyfo, gydag un mab yn dal i wasanaethu yn India. Rwyf wedi enwi un fel Reifflwr 52268 John Henry Lamont, a wasanaethodd gydag 16eg Bataliwn y Reifflwyr Gwyddelig Brenhinol. Bu farw ar 24 Awst 1918, yn 19 oed, a chladdwyd ef yn Bertenacre Military, Flertre. Mynwent. Rhestrwyd ef yn fab i George a Mary Lunn Lamont, o Fonab stables, Pitlochry, Perthshire.
  • Yn cynrychioli Gogledd Ddwyrain Lloegr oedd Mrs R. Gibson, o Newcastle on Tyne. Gwasanaethodd dau fab, ac fe’u lladdwyd. Cafodd ei gŵr, gyda grym rhyddhad, ei ail-ymrestru yn y Rhyfel Mawr. Rwyf wedi adnabod un fel M2/104574 Rhingyll Charles Thomas Gibson, M.M. Corfflu Meddygol Brenhinol Gwasanaeth y Fyddin Frenhinol. Bu farw ar 10 Awst 1918 yn 35 oed, ac fe’i claddwyd yn Gosforth (St. Nicholas), Northumberland. Fe’i restrwyd yn fab i’r diweddar Robert a Jane Gibson o Brandling Village, Newcastle-on-Tyne; gŵr Isabell Gibson, o Siambrau’r Cyngor, High St., Gosforth.
  • Yn cynrychioli Gogledd Orllewin Lloegr oedd Mrs Rachael Houlgrave o Lerpwl. Fe gollodd bedwar mab yn y Rhyfel, bu farw un yn garcharor yn Twrci, a bu farw un arall ar ôl cael ei rhyddhau. Gwasanaethodd a goroesodd pumed mab. Rwyf wedi adnabod5364 Is-Ringyll Nathaniel Houlgrave, “C” Coy. 10fed Bataliwn, Ffiwsilwyr Sir GaerhirfrynBu farw ar 29 Mehefin 1916 yn 25 oed.  Cafodd ei gladdu ym Mynwent Brydeinig Rhif. 1 Morlancourt. Cafodd ei restru fel mab Francis a Rachel Houlgrave, o 424, Mill St., Dingle, Lerpwl.
  • 5484 Preifat Samuel Houlgrave, 10fed Bataliwn Ffiwsilwyr Sir Gaerhirfryn. Bu farw ar 7 Gorffennaf 1916, yn 23 oed. Cafodd ei gladdu yng Nghofeb Thiepval, gan nad oes dim bedd hysbys iddo. Rhestrwyd fel yr uchod.37051 Preifat W. Houlgrave, 3ydd Bataliwn Cyffinwyr De Cymru. Bu farw ar 23 Ebrill 1918, yn 24 oed.  Cafodd ei gladdu ym Mynwent Rhyfel Baghdad (Giât y Gogledd). Cafodd ei restru fel yr uchod.
  • Yn cynychioli’r Canolbarth oedd Mrs G. Henson, o Cotgrave, Notts. Collodd un o ddau o feibion. Gwasanaethodd ei merch yn W.A.A.C.
  • Yn cynrychioli East Anglia oedd Mrs E. Lewer o Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Bu farw ei hunig fab yn yr Uned Diriogaethol gyntaf i fynd i ryfel ym 1914.
  • Yn cynrychioli Llundain oedd Mrs Mary Sawyer o Battersea, merch i un o gyn-filwyr y Crimea. Gwasanaethodd ei thri mab, lladdwyd un, bu farw un wedyn, a gadawyd un yn analluog. 653491 Reifflwr Charles Louis Sawyer, “B” Coy, Catrawd Llundain (Reifflwyr Cyntaf Surrey).a fu farw 6ed Tachwedd 1917, yn 25 oed. Claddwyd ef ym Mynwent Naval Trench, Gavrelle.  Rhestrwyd ef yn fab i James a Mary Sawyer, o Battersea, Llundain; yn ŵr i Annie Caroline Dennington (Sawyer gynt, Nee Blake), o 62, Ford Mill RD., Bellingham, Catford, Llundain.

 

Mamau a Phentrefi Diolchgar

Ymunodd y mamau a ddioddefodd brofedigaeth â “mamau mwyaf diolchgar” Cymru – menywod yr oedd eu teuluoedd cyfan wedi dychwelyd o’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf heb eu hanafu – a chan gynrychiolwyr ‘pentrefi diolchgar ‘ Cymru – dim ond tair cymuned lle dychwelodd eu milwyr Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf i gyd yn ddianaf:

 

Gwyliwch raglen y BBC Thankful Villages of Wales 

 

Sylw yn y wasg i agoriad y Deml Heddwch, Tachwedd 1938 – gwyliwch ar Flickr

 

Diwrnod Agoriadol y Deml Heddwch, 23 Tach 1938

Teml Heddwch ac Iechyd Cymru oedd yr adeilad cyntaf i gael ei adeiladu ym Mhrydain i greu symbol o ymroddiad Cymru a’i phobl i’r ddau achos dyngarol mawr hwn.

Ar y diwrnod, roedd trên arbennig wedi gadael Paddington am 8.20 a.m. i gyrraedd Caerdydd am 11.20 a.m. Yna, defnyddiwyd y bysys i ddod â’r mamau a chynrychiolwyr eraill i Deml Heddwch ac Iechyd Cymru. Roedd y tywydd y diwrnod hwnnw yn ddiwrnod nodweddiadol o fis Tachwedd – gyda gwyntoedd cryfion a rwygodd ganghennau oddi ar goed ym Mharc Cathays.

 

Am 11.45, cafwyd anerchiad cyflwyniadol ar risiau’r Deml gan yr Henadur Syr Charles H. Bird C. B. E, Cadeirydd Bwrdd yr Ymddiriedolwyr.  Meddai yntau, “We are assembled here to day to take part in the solemn dedication of this building for the noble purposes for which it was erected.

“Much thought has been given to the question as to who should be asked to unlock the door on the occasion of to-day’s function, and it was felt that no better choice could be made than some representative Welsh mother, to represent not only the mothers of Wales and the Empire, who lost their sons in the Great War, but also to the mothers of other countries, the loss of whose sons has brought such poignant sorrow to them, whatever their nationality may be.

“So it is that we have with us today Mrs James of Dowlais who lost three of her sons, and we are all happy in the knowledge that she has been spared to join with us in this ceremony of dedication.

“It is, therefore , with great sense of the honourable position to which I have been appointed as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Welsh National Temple of peace and Health, that I now call upon Mr Percy Thomas, the architect of this building to present Mrs James with the key, and to request her to perform the opening ceremony.”

 

Yn y seremoni, roedd Mrs James yn gwisgo het ac yn dal tusw mawr o garnasiwns coch,  a roddwyd iddi gan yr Anrhydeddus Arglwyddes Davies, ac roedd yn gwisgo’r tair set o fedalau oedd yn perthyn i’w meibion. Cyflwynwyd Allwedd Aur iddi gan Mr Percy Thomas, y pensaer, i agor drysau’r Deml. Dywedodd: “Mrs James I have pleasure in presenting you with this key and asking you to accept it as a little token of this what I know must be a memorable occasion for you.” Meddai Mrs James “Thanks”.

Siaradodd Mrs James i’r meicroffon i roi ei haraith fer ond hanesyddol:

“We are assembled here today to take part in the solemn dedication of this building for the noble purposes for which it was erected. In the name of the women of Wales it is my privilege to open the building. I dedicate it to the memorial to those gallant men of all nations who gave their lives in the war that was to end war. I pray that it may come to be regarded by the people of my country both of our generation and of those that are to follow as a constant reminder of the debt we owe to the millions who sacrificed their all; in a great cause, and as a symbol of our determination to strive for justice and peace in the future.”

 

Am ei bod yn siarad mewn llais isel, ac er gwaetha’r meicroffon, dywedodd y papurau newydd nad oedd pob un o’r cannoedd o bobl a oedd yn bresennol yn gallu ei chlywed.

Yna, cymerodd yr allwedd aur o’r blwch cyflwyno ac yn symbolaidd, rhoddodd yr allwedd i mewn i glo’r drysau efydd mawr, gwthiodd y drws ar agor, a hi oedd y person cyntaf o’r rheiny a ymgynullodd y tu allan i fynd i mewn i’r Deml Heddwch newydd ei hagor. Daeth y gwesteion i mewn i’r Neuadd Fawr, ac eistedd i lawr.

Yna, aeth Mrs James a’r mamau oedd wedi dioddef profedigaethau i’r Neuadd Fawr, a safodd y dorf wrth i’r mamau llawn galar a chynrychiolwyr eraill ddod i mewn. Fe gerddont i lawr yr eil ganol i’r platfform. Safodd cannoedd o westeion o bob cwr o’r byd mewn teyrnged a pharch.

 

Y mamau wedi ymgasglu y tu allan; ac yn cerdded i mewn i’r Deml

 

Seremoni Agoriadol y Deml

 

Safodd y mamau a ddewiswyd i gynrychioli gwledydd o bob cwr o’r byd a siarad. Yn gyntaf, siaradodd Mrs E. Lewer o Aldeburgh ar ran mamau Prydain Fawr, yna, siaradodd Mrs R Struben o Undeb De Affrica, ar ran mamau’r Gymanwlad Brydeinig. Meddai Mrs Cederlund o Sweden, ar ran gwledydd Scandinafia:

“In the name of the women of Scandinavia I associate myself with the dedication of this building. May it be a constant reminder to the people of Wales of their duty to further the cause of progress, freedom, peace, and justice and of the debt they owe to those who fell in the defence of these ideals.”

 

Siaradodd Mrs Moller am yr U.D.A., a siaradodd Madame Dumontier o Ffrainc am wledydd Ewrop.

Darllenodd pump o’r mamau oedd yn cynrychioli bron y byd i gyd negeseuon o ewyllys da o’u rhanbarthau, gan siarad yn eu hieithoedd eu hunain.

Am 12.00 hanner dydd, dechreuodd yr Is-Iarll Cecil o Chelwood wasanaeth o gysegru, a rhoddodd anerchiad i’r rheiny oedd yn bresennol, ac yna, cafwyd areithiau helaeth gan nifer o ffigurau proffil uchel, a negeseuon gan arweinwyr y byd (a ffigurau o Gymru) a gafodd eu darllen gan yr Henadur Charles Bird – gan gynnwys Arlywydd yr UD, Roosevelt, Llysgennad yr UDA i Ewrop Mr. Joseph Davies, y Gwir Anrhydeddus William Hughes o Gabinet Awstralia, Mr Charles Evans Hughes, Prif Ustus Llys Goruchaf yr Unol Daleithiau, ac yn olaf, Mr David Lloyd George, y cyn-Brif Weinidog.

Yna, canodd y gwesteion anthem genedlaethol Cymru, gan gloi gyda’r Anthem Genedlaethol. Wrth i’r cyfan adael, chwaraeodd yr organydd “Occasional Overtures” gan Handel.

“In the name of the women of Scandinavia I associate myself with the dedication of this building. May it be a constant reminder to the people of Wales of their duty to further the cause of progress, freedom, peace, and justice and of the debt they owe to those who fell in the defence of these ideals.”

Am 1 p.m, cawsant eu croesawu yn Neuadd y Ddinas, lle cafwyd derbyniad dinesig gan yr Arglwydd Faer, yr Henadur W. G. Howell J.P, a’r Arglwyddes Faeres o Gaerdydd a Chorfforaeth Dinas Caerdydd. Am 1.15 p.m. cawsant ginio, gyda rhestr o areithiau a llwncdestunau a oedd bron mor helaeth â’r fwydlen flasus:

Temple of Peace Opening Luncheon

Grapefruit Cocktail
Crème Portugaise
Sole Bonne Femme
Roast turkey Chipolata
Croquette Potatoes
Brussel Sprouts Green Peas
Passion Fruit Ice Souffle
Fresh Fruit Salad and Cream
Cheese and Biscuits
Coffee

 

Ymysg y llwncdestunau a’r areithiau niferus, soniodd yr Arglwydd Faer, yr Henadur W.G. Howell, yn arbennig, am y mamau;

“And particularly, do we welcome within our borders the women of courage from all parts of the Kingdom and from other countries who gave their sons in the service of their countries in the Great War and who gave themselves, in reality, made the supreme sacrifice. Wee glad to have the opportunity of meeting with them within the precincts of this City and shall honour and revere them and their sons as long as memory lasts. It may be some solace for them to know that the heart of this City beats in sympathy and in admiration for them.”

 

Daeth y digwyddiad i ben yn ddiweddarach y prynhawn hwnnw, a gadawodd y trên arbennig Gaerdydd am Lundain am 4.20 p.m. Am 5 p.m, rhoddodd yr Arglwydd a’r Arglwyddes Davies dderbyniad yn Ystafelloedd Connaught i 500 o gynrychiolwyr o ganghennau Cyngor Cenedlaethol Cymru Undeb Cynghrair y Cenhedloedd.

Y noson honno, cynhaliwyd cyfarfod gan Undeb Cynghrair y Cenhedloedd yn Nheml Heddwch ac Iechyd Cymru, gyda chynrychiolwyr canghennau Cyngor Cymru Cynghrair y Cenhedloedd. Dechreuodd am 7 p.m. gyda dwy funud o dawelwch, ac yna emyn, anerchiad y Cadeirydd, ac anerchiad gan yr Arglwydd Davies.

Tybir bod Minnie James wedi mynd adref ar ôl trafodion y prynhawn. Yn ddiweddarach, dywedodd wrth ohebwyr ei bod wedi bod yn foment balch, ac meddai:

“I felt every moment of it; but I had a duty to perform in the names of my sons and the mothers of the world. That helped me.”

 

Bywyd Diweddarach Minnie James

Ymddengys nad yw Minnie wedi cael unrhyw gysylltiad pellach â’r Deml Heddwch, nac ychwaith, gydag unrhyw digwyddiadau eraill ar ôl yr agoriad. Ymddengys ei bod hi wedi tynnu’n ôl o gymdeithas yng Nghymru yn gyffredinol, gan ei bod yn berson eithaf preifat – ond ei bod yn amlwg yn adnabyddus yn yr ardal leol.

Ei theulu oedd un o’r rhai cyntaf i gael teledu, a byddent yn gwahodd y plant i gyd yn y stryd i wylio’r rhaglenni. Roedd Minnie James yn amlwg yn hoff iawn o’r plant yn y stryd ac yn mwynhau gwylio ymatebion y plant i’r digwyddiadau ar y teledu. Roedd hi bob amser yn cynnal parti Calan Gaeaf i’r plant ac yn gwahodd pawb i’r parti. Roedd hi yn y parti heddwch ym mis Mai 1945 a gynhaliwyd yn Cross Francis Street, i ddathlu diwedd yr ail ryfel byd. Tynnwyd ei llun yn edrych yn ysblennydd mewn het wych, yn eistedd gyda’r holl blant yn y parti ar y stryd.

Bu farw Minnie James yn 87 oed, a chafodd ei chladdu ar 3 Ebrill 1954 ym Mynwent Cyngor Merthyr Tudful, Pant. Rhoddwyd gwybod am ei marwolaeth yn y Merthyr Express ar 10 Ebrill 1954 (Tudalen 16.) Mae hyn yn sôn ei bod hi wedi agor y Deml Heddwch ym 1938, a’i bod hi wedi bod yn ysbrydegydd gweithgar am fwy na 71 o flynyddoedd.  Mae’n datgelu, ar adeg ei marwolaeth, bod ei mab ieuengaf, William, yn fyw, a bod ei merch, Winifred, yn fyw hefyd.

Nodwyd yn y papur:

“It is difficult for those who knew her to realise life without Mrs James. She had known great sorrow in World War 1, her three sons, David, Jack and Tom made the supreme sacrifice. This experience merely enriched her life and was responsible for her many ministrations of good. He home was a sanctuary to many and the obvious tributes paid reveal the esteem in which she was held by her close as well as by far distant friends.
“She will long be remembered for her gentleness, her immense triumph over personal sorrow and serenity of spirit. It was a privilege to have known her. Her home and wide circle of friends gaze sadly at the vacant chair but gratefully recall the lines:- “The memory of the just is blessed”. She will long be remembered as the heroine of the spirit who was so aptly chosen as official opener of the “The Temple of Peace”.

 

Ni phriododd ei merch a’i mab, Winifred, a oedd yn cael ei hadnabod fel “Winnie”, a William, oedd yn cael ei adnabod fel “Billy”, a symudont allan o 8 Cross Francis Street ym 1968. Nid yw’n ymddangos bod ei phlant a oroesodd wedi cael unrhyw blant eu hunain, ac yn dilyn eu marwolaethau, claddwyd y teulu James mewn hanes.

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Ein hymateb i Strategaeth Ryngwladol gyntaf Cymru

Ar ddydd Mawrth 14 Ionawr, lansiodd Eluned Morgan, Gweinidog y Gymraeg a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol, Strategaeth Ryngwladol gyntaf Cymru.

Nod y strategaeth yw hyrwyddo’r wlad fel cenedl sy’n edrych tuag allan yn barod i weithio a masnachu gyda gweddill y byd.

Mae ein Prif Swyddog Gweithredol Susie Ventris-Field wedi cyhoeddi’r datganiad canlynol:

“Yn Ganolfan Materion Rhyngwladol Cymru, rydym yn falch o weld ymrwymiad i Gymru gyfrifol ar lefel fyd-eang fel un o dair prif flaenoriaeth y strategaeth.

“Cryfder y strategaeth newydd yw ei negeseuon clir ynglŷn â Chymru fel cenedl groesawgar i bobl o bob cefndir, gwlad a diwylliant, gan gynnwys y rheiny sy’n ceisio noddfa.

“Mae’r ymrwymiad i Nodau Datblygiad Cynaliadwy y CU a hawliau dynol yn y gwerthoedd yn bwysig a gallwn weld hyn yn cael ei adlewyrchu mewn rhannau eraill o’r strategaeth. Er enghraifft, mewn perthynas â hyrwyddo Cymru fel Cenedl Masnach Deg a Chenedl Noddfa.

Calonogol hefyd yw gweld y cysylltiadau rhwng y Cwricwlwm newydd, arloesol i Gymru a darpariaeth y strategaeth hon.

“Y camau nesaf i ni fydd craffu’r strategaeth yn fwy manwl gyda’n partneriaid yn y sector i sicrhau bod yr ymrwymiad i gyfrifoldeb ar lefel fyd-eang yn cael ei adlewyrchu drwy’r strategaeth, a byddwn hefyd yn talu sylw agos at weithredu’r strategaeth hon.

“Er enghraifft, hoffwn weld ffocws ar y tri diwydiant a ddewiswyd yn cefnogi ein cyfrifoldebau i weddill y byd, er enghraifft, o ran lleihau ein hallyriadau, dileu arferion Llafur gwael o’n cadwyni cyflenwi, ac ymrwymiad i gydweithredu a heddwch.

“Yn ogystal, byddem eisiau deall mewn rhagor o fanylder sut fydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn adeiladu ar gryfderau cyfredol y rhaglen Cymru Affrica”

Ym mis Rhagfyr y llynedd, buom yn gweithio gyda phartneriaid ar draws y sector rhyngwladol i roi adborth am y drafft.

Gallwch ddarllen ein hymateb ar y cyd yma 

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Disgyblion y Barri yn ennill Bencampwriaeth Dadlau Ysgolion Cymru 2019

Bu disgyblion y Fro yn curo eu gwrthwynebwyr ym Mhencampwriaethau Dadlau Ysgolion Cymru 2019.

Ar ddydd Llun 16 Rhagfyr, disgyblion Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg Sara Jones a Rhys Griffiths oedd y tîm buddugol eleni.

Aeth enillydd gwobr Siaradwr Unigol eleni i Amelia Furlong o Ysgol Catholig Cardinal Newman, a oedd yn siarad ar y tŷ hwn yn gwahardd plastigion o 2025.

Aeth yr ail wobr eleni i Alice Kember o Ysgol Howells.

Dyma’r deunawfed tro a’r flwyddyn olaf i’r Bencampwriaeth Dadlau Ysgolion Cymru gael ei chynnal, ac mae hyd at 60 ysgol wedi cystadlu bob blwyddyn.

Roedd y pynciau a drafodwyd ar y diwrnod yn cynnwys democratiaeth, materion iechyd meddwl, democratiaeth a chyfiawnder.

Dywedod barnwr yn y rownd derfynol a Pennaeth BBC Radio Cymru, Colin Paterson: “Cymerais ran mewn ysgolion a oedd yn dadlau pan oeddwn i’n iau, ac mae wedi rhoi llawer o sgiliau i mi wneud y gwaith rwy’n ei wneud nawr, gan nad oeddwn wedi cymryd llwybr academaidd. Gallwch weld bod y gystadleuaeth hon yn rhoi’r hyder i bobl siarad, gwrthbrofi, sut mae llunio a mynegi dadleuon a a dwi’n meddwl bod defnyddio’r sgiliau hyn yn hynod o bwysig.”

Hoffai dîm WCIA ddiolch i Dŷ Dredegar am gynnal y digwyddiad ac i Sefydliad Hodge am eu cefnogaeth dros y blynyddoedd.

Dywedodd Susie Ventris –Field, barnwr yn y rownd derfynol a Phrif Weithredwr Ganolfan Materion Rhyngwladol Cymru : “Rwyf bob amser yn teimlo’n ysbrydoledig yn gwrando ar bobl ifanc yn y gystadleuaeth hon, gan eu bod yn cyflwyno dadleuon ar bynciau anodd ac yn aml yn gorfod dadlau barn nad yw’n ddadl eu hunain. Mae’n wych eu gweld yn datblygu cydymdeimlad, sgiliau siarad cyhoeddus a meddwl yn feirniadol.

“Mae’r rhain yn sgiliau bywyd mor hanfodol ac yr oedd yn ein penderfyniad i ddod o hyd i arian ar gyfer y dyfodol”

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Pontypridd General Election candidates Q&A continued

Earlier this month, we held a General Election hustings Q&A with candidates at St Catherine’s Church, Pontypridd.

The event was organised in partnership with Friends of the Earth (Pontypridd) and Cytun (Churches Together in Wales). All candidates running for election in this constituency were invited to participate.

The hustings was a success, however, not all questions were answered, so as promised, here is a lift of your questions answered by each candidate (in no particular order)

 

  1. Where do you stand on the Green New Deal?

 

Labour Cllr. Alexandra Davies-Jones representing Tonyrefail West ward: 

“I fully support the Green New Deal and am proud of Welsh Labour’s environmental record, which includes being amongst the first nations to declare a climate emergency and ban fracking. Labour’s has an ambitious strategy to tackle the climate emergency that we are all facing. Labour’s measures on climate change include” –

  •  a “windfall tax” on oil and gas companies
  • Nationalising the supply arms of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies
  • creating 1 million green jobs
  • creating 800,000 climate apprenticeship
  • A 250billion pound Green Transformation Fund

 

Independent Party Cllr. Sue Prior – Pontypridd Constituency : 
“I am fully supportive of any undertakings that can work towards neutralising our carbon footprint
Planting hectares of trees sounds like a very good step forward as well as the plans that have been shelved in the past regarding tidal lagoons.
“We really need people to be more innovative and to support them in producing viable solutions that could be exported to assist in making the world more sustainable, cleaning up the messes made by current less than stellar organisations.
“I am not au fait with American contracts from seeing current deals in place they work for America only.”

 Conservative party Cllr. Sam Trask – for Pontypridd: 

“The green new deal is a bold approach to tackling climate change that will require buy-in and support across parties in Parliament to ensure that when the bill is brought to parliament then it is delivered in a responsible way. I agree trhat we should end fracking and all new exploration for fossil fuels, and should instead concentrate investment and research on new clean fuels such as hydrogen. I disagree with the deals suggestion that aviation needs to be kurbed.

“Having working the industry for over 20 years, I can tell anyone that aircraft are getting more and more fuel efficient, flying longer and further using less fuel. Air travel is here to stay and like fossil fuels, we should seek to make it cleaner, not ban it.”

Plaid Cymru candidate Fflur Elin – for Pontypridd: 
“I believe that the climate crisis is the biggest challenge we face and that we have to act now to save our planet. This also presents Wales with an opportunity as we have the natural resources to become a world leader in renewable technology.
“Plaid Cymru’s aim is to make Wales a carbon and single-use plastic free nation by 2030 and to transition to 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy. These are ambitious targets but the scale of the challenge we face demands serious action.
“Plaid Cymru will implement a Green Jobs Revolution to create tens of thousands of new jobs throughout Wales by kick-starting a multi-billion investment programme in renewable energy, transport infrastructure and digital technology.”
Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd: 
“It is an excellent initiative and I fully support the ideas behind it.  We need to transition to clean energy, to improve public transport and produce low or no emission vehicles. I have long argued that all new buildings should be fitted with solar panels and be as energy efficient and carbon neutral as possible.  The transfer to green energy should provide a boost to the economy – let’s start making what we need for clean energy production here instead of importing it, However, without political will to make it happen then all the best intentions will come to nothing.
“Everyone needs to realise that this goes beyond political boundaries and party infighting.  Stop arguing about who will plant most trees or who has the best environmental targets and get on with the serious business of tackling the issues, cross party.
“There is also a need for more education on the subject. Far too many people are completely dismissive of any threat of climate change.  It is good to see that much of the drive towards positive environmental change in this area is coming from young people.”
Jonathan Bishop – Non party member: 

“Yes; I am already doing much of the things in the Green New Deal as a councillor and social entrepreneur.”

 

2.       Will you join Friday’s climate strike in Pontypridd to explain to my 8-year-old son why his dad should vote for you? 

 

Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd: 

“I did attend and am very pleased to see the groundswell of people, and especially young people, locally and nationally  determined to do their bit to combat climate change.”

 

Independent Party Cllr. Sue Prior – Pontypridd Constituency : 

“I will certainly see if I can attend, not being overly familiar with this area, I would certainly like to hear all of your views and ideas, I think it’s imperative that we gather the knowledge and utilise the experience of those in the know to come up with suitable suggestions to resolve issues and get something done.

“Hmm, your dad to vote for me! Tough one this – I am a woman of action, I too am tired with inaction and seeing people suffering here in this constituency and this country.

“We need to reduce the scope – How can we enhance Pontypridd first – throw me ideas, where can we plant the trees? Once we do something locally then we can upscale and branch outward.

“I totally agree with you all, you are all much more knowledgeable than myself on this topic, if you are willing to teach me, i am more than willing to learn.

“You must vote for who you believe in, someone that will get the job done. I like plans – not a list of dreams that won’t ever be got around to!

Conservative party Cllr. Sam Trask – for Pontypridd: 

“I was pleased to join the strike4youth event on Friday – the children were inspirational.”

 

Labour Cllr. Alexandra Davies-Jones representing Tonyrefail West ward: “I was there! I spoke to your son . He asked some really interesting questions. I hope he was interested in my answers.”

 

Jonathan Bishop – Non party member:  “Because of all the candidates standing I’m the most experienced and accomplished. I’m not trying to say I’m better than your dad, just better than my opponents who unlike me don’t have 6 degrees, 5 fellowships and over 100 publications with over 1500 citations.”

Plaid Cymru candidate Fflur Elin – for Pontypridd: 

“I joined the climate strike and was inspired by the young people leading the march. Their demand that we have to act now to save our plant is one that politicians and political parties have to take seriously. A big thank you to the climate strikers for everything they are doing to change the world for the better.”

 

3. In October, over 1800 Extinction Rebellion members were arrested with the aim of getting the Government to create and be led by a citizens assembly on climate change.

Does the panel agree that the climate crisis is a more important issue than Brexit and in fact any issue facing humanity right now? Would they press for the creation of a citizens assembly to address the issues?

 

 Conservative party Cllr. Sam Trask – for Pontypridd: 

“The climate crisis is more important but also a far more long term issue that will require long term solutions. Brexit can be delivered within the next year or so and the UK can move on as an independent Island nation.

“The government is elected by the people to govern, not to be ruled over by a further level of bureaucracy that is unelected and therefore not accountable to the people.  I could not in good conscience support an unaccountable assembly which removes the sovereignty loaned to parliament by the people of the United Kingdom.”

Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd: 

“Climate change is a vitally important issue and it is a huge shame that it, along with many other issues, has taken a back seat for so long whilst an incompetent Conservative government has blundered its way along without finding a way forward with regard to Brexit.

“Having said that, I believe continued membership of the European Union has a vital role to play in helping to tackle climate change.  It is the EU that has until now driven positive environmental change within the UK,  requiring us and other member countries to put in place policies and targets that it is unlikely  we would have seen enforced otherwise.”

 

Jonathan Bishop – Non party member: “See below answer on climate change and Brexit.”

 

Plaid Cymru candidate Fflur Elin – for Pontypridd: 

“The climate crisis and the global collapse of biodiversity is the defining challenge of our time. I would support the creation of a citizens assembly to address this issue as it enables citizens to engage in informed and considered debate which will improve decision-making.”

Labour Cllr. Alexandra Davies-Jones representing Tonyrefail West ward:

“I completely agree that the climate crisis is the most critical issue facing us. However, the decisions we make on Brexit will have a profound impact on our ability to meet the climate change challenge. I firmly believe that it is only by cooperating with other nations that we can meet this challenge, and BREXIT works against this.

“The complete mismanagement of BREXIT in Westminster has meant that the climate emergency has been pushed aside instead of being given the necessary attention that is desperately deserves. I applaud the Welsh Labour government who instead of having Extinction Rebellion protestors arrested sat down with them and invited them to take part in the Welsh Government climate change conference. As your MP I would absolutely call for the creation of a citizens assembly to help do all we can to address this vital issue.”

Independent Party Cllr. Sue Prior – Pontypridd Constituency : 

“Wow – that is a lot of people with strong beliefs! I have recently heard a report on the radio regarding one blog of an extinction rebellion protester, whilst I cannot condone the methods used, what does anyone expect when people are constantly ignored!

“Like i said previously – I am a woman of action – would i be heard even if selected as your MP in parliament. I believe strongly now is a time for change – mainstream politics is a debacle. The UK is broken, too many people have been unrepresented by the Mp’s in place not having any idea and being so far removed from the situations many face today.

“Climate crisis is indeed more important with Brexit, access to benefits and a decent living standard is more important than brexit. My feeling is that all governments and authorities look no further than their initial tenure, it’s a very short sighted and negligent attitude. Decent people can communicate always – a bad plan can be worked on to make a good one!

“Tell me more about what you wish for this assembly and how you propose it to be managed? Ultimately we need a plan of action rather than many meetings with nothing being achieved.”

 

4. If successful in being selected to represent Pontypridd, what will your priorities be – both as an individual MP and within your party (where relevant) to curb the toxic approaches and effects we have increasingly seen in British politics in recent years?

 

Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd: “This is probably one of the hardest tasks anyone elected will face.  There is a dangerous undercurrent in Britain today that is quite frightening.  Political disagreements are one thing, but the level of abuse we are seeing and indeed the level of violence and threats of it, are certainly unprecedented in my experience.

“Much of it has come from arise in prominence of the hard right, who are succeeding in spreading a message of hatred and fear.  The media are not always helpful in decrying this, and social media is giving it a base from which to grow.

“As with so many things much of it comes back to education – children are not born to hate, it is a learned reaction.   But we need to educate adults too. As politicians we need to do more to spread the good news stories that often fall by the wayside, to counteract the hatred and the fake news.”

 

Jonathan Bishop – Non party member: 

“I would seek to pass the ‘Equality Act 2010 (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2020’ to clarify what is free speech and what is not. This would make it easier for online platforms like Twitter to be litigated against if they do not remove abusive content.”

 

Independent Party Cllr. Sue Prior – Pontypridd Constituency :

“I am an independent beholden to no party policies, if a motion is beneficial to my constituents then it would have my support, if not then I would endeavour to enhance the plan to make it work for the people or ensure it is struck out and minimum time is wasted.

“Having met a few other candidates, I can state that they are decent enough people, the problem comes with backing something good when their leaders say no, how to get around this?”

Being a decent person myself, I would hope that you could gain a majority, every one of us wishes for our constituency to flourish – we have to ensure the focus remains on that and that alone.”

Plaid Cymru candidate Fflur Elin – for Pontypridd: “I would strive to be an open, honest and accessible representative for Pontypridd. In Westminster, I would act in the way that I would like my elected representatives to act; taking part in robust debate and scrutiny without resorting to heckling and jeering.”

 

Labour Cllr. Alexandra Davies-Jones representing Tonyrefail West ward:

“I’m very concerned about the current state of British politics which is why I felt the need to stand up and put myself forward for election. I couldn’t sit back any longer and watch my community suffer from Tory austerity and the division that the mismanagement of BREXIT has caused us. I feel we desperately need real change to heal the divisions amongst our communities and we need to collectively call out and stand against the vitriol and hate that is coming from the far right, infecting not only our politics but our communities through the media and online platforms.

“We need cross party involvement and support in calling out any toxicity in our politics and we also need to lead by example. We need the media to be accountable for their use of language and the approach they take in sensationalising issues, and we need to bring the social media companies to account for their ignorance in ‘turning a blind eye’ to the abuse taking place on their platforms at all levels.”

 

Conservative party Cllr. Sam Trask – for Pontypridd: 

“I follow three golden rules when campaigning for election at any level: 1. Always tell the truth, 2. Don’t promise anything you don’t truly believe you can deliver and 3. Never make any personal attacks about your opponents, criticise their policies, not themselves. If elected, I would continue to follow these self imposed rules in office. Trust in politicians and politics is broken, you can only restore trust by being truthful at all times, and I give my solemn pledge to always be up front, honest and truthful with the people of Pontypridd.”

 

5. If you could take one policy from another party, what would it be?

 

Labour Cllr. Alexandra Davies-Jones representing Tonyrefail West ward: 

As a local Councillor and somebody committed to devolution I quite like the Green Party’s plans to further empower local government, particularly providing extra funding for them to deliver new training and skills for residents, to equip them for jobs created by the Green New Deal.”

Independent Party Cllr. Sue Prior – Pontypridd Constituency :

“I want the money tree – with the promises offered via manifesto’s we could heal the world! the reality is and will be very different.

“So what can we do on a restrictive budget, what can we enhance. Can money be located from elsewhere (perhaps somewhere it should not have been placed)

“Common Sense is missing in my opinion, I am a realist – many things are broken and need to be fixed. We have to prioritise – so again we need to work together to communicate and at the very least get something done for all.”

Conservative party Cllr. Sam Trask – for Pontypridd:

“I would take the Brexit Partys’ policy of 24 hour GP surgeries, people get ill at all hours of the day, with many having to wait for a derby style race to get an appointment on the day, at the moment phone lines open. Getting an out of hours appointment currently requires patients to make or recieve at least two phone calls, with long waits for telephone triage at busy times, then further long waits at a small number of out of hours services, often a long way away from home.

“A limited 24 hour service in local surgeries would lead to less suffering, and earlier diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, potentially keeping people out of hospital and reducing pressure on inpatient services.”

 

Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd:

“As an Independent I would support good ideas from any party if  I felt they benefitted the people I represented.  The Conservatives are promising to increase the income tax threshold (a policy they actually stole from the Lib Dems who implemented it during the coalition) and that I agree with as it would raise the level of take home pay and help those on low wages.

“I also agree with the Lib Dem policy to put a penny on income tax to invest in the NHS (although of course as health is devolved it would be up to the Welsh Government how they would use any extra money that came into wales as a result of this.)”

 

Plaid Cymru candidate Fflur Elin – for Pontypridd:

“I would take a policy from New Zealand’s Government, which is led by Jucinda Arden of New Zealand’s Labour Party. They have designed their entire budget based on wellbeing priorities and are designing their policies to improve wellbeing.”

 

Jonathan Bishop – Non party member: 

“Planting more trees from The Brexit Party. I suggested it when governor of Parc Lewis Primary School in Treforest but it wasn’t adopted. My company uses a green web host which offsets carbon used through tree planting.”

 

6. Pontypridd is built on migration & in recent years the people of Pontypridd have offered a warm welcome to refugees from Syria that have had to flee their homes due to conflict or persecution. If you are elected as our MP what will you do to ensure Pontypridd can offer additional refugee resettlement places?

 

Jonathan Bishop – Non party member: 

“I would put pressure on the council to bring the many empty houses in RCT into use through compulsory purchase orders. However, I would put the British-born homeless in Pontypridd ahead of refugees or other foreign nationals. To do this we need to leave the EU and I would support the present withdrawal agreement of Boris Johnson or possibly the new withdrawal agreement promised by Jeremy Corbyn if it achieves the referendum result.”

Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd:

“One of my big bugbears over many years has been the number of empty homes in RCT which I have long argued should be brought back into use for the homeless, those on low incomes struggling to get on the property ladder, and anyone else who needs a roof over the head.

“I would be pushing for the Council to use the powers it has to bring more of these back into use.  I would also be doing everything I could to give positive publicity to this cause and ensure those fleeing persecution continued to receive a warm welcome.”

Plaid Cymru candidate Fflur Elin – for Pontypridd:

“We have a responsibility to provide aid and support for those fleeing war or persecution. Plaid Cymru wants Wales to be a nation of sanctuary for refugees fleeing war and oppression and will ensure that support is available for refugees and asylum. To ensure that migration policy is fair and based on solidarity, I would call on the EU to move towards a migration system based on a fair allocation of asylum seekers across all Member States. This will include in Wales and Pontypridd.”

Conservative party Cllr. Sam Trask – for Pontypridd:

“The Conservative policy is to reduce overall migration with a reformed immigration system based on skills, and what needs exist for those skills here in the UK. We will continue to accept refugees fleeing persecution, with the ultimate goal being to help them return home – but only if and when it is safe and reasonable for them to do so. By cutting down on overall migration, there will be reduced pressure on local places available for anyone wishing to settle here so a greater availability for refugees.”

Labour Cllr. Alexandra Davies-Jones representing Tonyrefail West ward: 

“I’m proud of the response that our community in RCT has made to the resettlement of refugee’s and asylum seekers under the Welsh Government Syrian resettlement programme. We have a moral obligation to help people and their families who have come from conflict to help them rebuild their lives and reach their potential. There is more we need to do to ensure a fairer future for all in our communities and more we can do to help those still in need of resettlement.

“We should be funding support for new refugees to transition to new accommodation, and explore opportunities for housing with Registered Social Landlords, our local authority, credit unions and others to help identify appropriate accommodation.”

Independent Party Cllr. Sue Prior – Pontypridd Constituency :

“All people are welcome here, people running from harm or simply wishing to relocate. Let’s share that Valley love and embrace all. I wholeheartedly believe in supporting those in need. Then with grace they can pay it forward by working and contributing to the community and economy as you all do.

“Every member of this community is welcome. Housing as stated needs to be available, we need to eradicate these racist attitudes about – those days are long gone (thankfully) but some of that hateful negativity is still about.”

The below questions are from young Friends of the Earth members in Pontypridd

  • What are you going to do to get everyone’s attention on climate change which is the most important thing we need to tackle?

 

Independent Party Cllr. Sue Prior – Pontypridd Constituency :

“I want to ensure that manufacturers are made to be more responsible for their products, single use plastic has to be eradicated.Failing that we need some fabulously talented entrepreuner/inventor to come up with a machine that can recast this waste into something useful.

“The waste islands in the sea – also hurt my heart deeply – what can we do to clean this mess up! it’s despicable and I personally do not want to be in any way responsible for rubbish floating about. Some of it may even be ours from this area – Recycling has to work – NO MORE FAKE ACCOUNTING – Truth and transparency all the way.”

Plaid Cymru candidate Fflur Elin – for Pontypridd:

“As an MP, I would put tackling the climate crisis at the forefront of all I do and use my platform to amplify the voices of people at the forefront of the campaign, like Pontypridd’s young climate strikers.”

Labour Cllr. Alexandra Davies-Jones representing Tonyrefail West ward: 

“Ensure we have the most ambitious, radical programme for tackling climate change. We also need to ensure we get everyone involved in the process and thinking about how they can help. Young people have led the way on this issue and I would want to ensure that young people remain front and centre of the campaign, their energy and ideas are key to making the changes our planet needs.

“We need to make sure we keep talking about climate change but also that we urgently act on it! There are quick things we can be doing to immediately help and I will ensure these are acted upon. It’s also important we keep the media focus on the Climate Emergency, so any opportunity we have to raise the issue or create ‘noise’ I will.”

Conservative party Cllr. Sam Trask – for Pontypridd:

“I’m passionate about ending the UKs’ reliance on oil, be that natural gas for heating and cooking, or petrol and diesel to run our transportation. I would promote clean fuels such as hydrogen. Much of our existing gas network is already capable of carrying it, and only minor changes to existing appliances are required to run on almost pure hydrogen.

“I would drive legislation to promote the sale of hydrogen fuel cell cars, and the fuel supply network required to refuel them by help to buy schemes and requirements of suppliers to provide the right fuel. Imagine how much cleaner our air would be without all the emissions of petrol, diesel and gas eliminated.”

Jonathan Bishop – Non party member: 

“I have got my Council in Taff’s Well and Nantgarw to declare a climate change emergency. As part of that there has been an informal commitment to car sharing and we are looking at increasing biodiversity such as through planing trees and elevated flower beds.”

Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd:

“Make sure it is at the centre of everything else we talk about.  For example:

  • Education – teach young people (and not so young) about what climate change means and what we can do to try and combat it.
  • Housing – no new house get built unless they are as near carbon neutral as possible.
  • Transport – new fuels and technology, improved public transport.
  • Jobs and the economy – create new jobs by promoting the green economy, building what we need in Britain – wind turbines, micro-hydro generators, etc.  Look at alternative ways of working that mean not everyone has to travel out of the valleys down into Cardiff every day to work.
  • Local Government – should have strict targets and be made to use more environmentally friendly methods of heating for example.  Why was a gas boiler installed in the Pontypridd Lido? Why not biomass energy?

 

  • Can we forget about Brexit and think more about climate change?

Labour Cllr. Alexandra Davies-Jones representing Tonyrefail West ward: 

“Unfortunately we cannot completely ignore Brexit and whatever happens we will need to work with the EU and other countries to reduce carbon emissions but I so absolutely agree that Climate change is the most important issue facing our world and future generations.”

Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd:

“I would love to forget about Brexit – in my view leaving the EU would be a disaster for us on so many fronts.   The only way forward I see now is to hold a second referendum – for which I would campaign for a remain vote.  Let’s take Brexit off the table and get on with the important issue of tackling the global crisis we face together.”

Jonathan Bishop – Non party member: 

“Climate change is a natural process – we are simply reaching the end of the ice age. Rising sea levels should be as much of a concern as managing our fishing and livestock through leaving the Common Fisheries Policy and Common Agricultural Policy.”

Plaid Cymru candidate Fflur Elin – for Pontypridd:

“We can’t forget about Brexit as the outcome will have serious implications for our communities but tacking the climate crisis cannot wait nor can it be ignored because of Brexit.”

Conservative party Cllr. Sam Trask – for Pontypridd:

“Brexit is the whole reason we are having an election at the moment, we can’t forget about it until it’s finally delivered and we are trading with the rest of the world as an independant island nation. That doesn’t mean we can’t give more time to climate change whilst Brexit is being delivered. I believe parliament can do both at the same time, but for anything to be achieved, one party needs to have a majority or parliament will be just as paralysed as it was before it was dissolved for this election.”

Independent Party Cllr. Sue Prior – Pontypridd Constituency :

“I  have no idea what will happen with brexit, some parties will see the issue kicked about for years to come. I am not wanting my life spent wasted with talks on this topic. The money spent on being a member of the EU could be better spent enhancing the life of UK Citizens. Actually making a difference right now!

“This General Election seems to be about IN/OUT/SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT – I am about improving/enhancing this area for us all within. Many people just cannot move past this one issue. This is why we are stuck in a loop – takes a vote to step out and move forward!”

 

One additional question was asked to Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd:

  •  As you have been a Lib Dem member for many years and indeed a parliamentary candidate in a number of general elections, why now are you standing as an independent candidate?

Independent Party Cllr. Mike Powell – for Pontypridd:

“I was indeed a member of the Liberal Democrats for many years and leaving the party was not an easy decision for me or my colleague and long time agent  who took the same decision.

“My central liberal values of fairness and equality still remain and are what drives me as a politician and indeed as a person. However, I feel the party has become removed from those values.

“The final decision came about as a result of back room deals made by people at the top of the party, with no consultation with members, to do a deal with Plaid Cymru and the Green party.  They got together under a “Unite to Remain” banner to decide who had the best chance in each constituency of winning the seat on a remain in the EU ticket.

“Now if this were genuinely the driving force and it had been thoroughly discussed and agreed upon then I night, just might, have been able to agree with it. Remaining in the EU is, for me, very important.  However, it changed from being for the alleged “greater good” to being a trade-off so that each party could get a free run in their target seats.  So the Lib Dem hierarchy agreed to stand down in 7 seats in favour of Plaid and one in favour of the Greens on the condition that those two parties stood down in their three targets.

“This is pure voter manipulation.  It is denying the electorate a chance to vote in accordance with their views and for the person or party they wish to. This election is to elect a representative for possibly the next 5 years, it has to be about more than Brexit.   For me principle, people and indeed Pontypridd have always come before party.”

 

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