CEL­E­BRA­TIONS Divi­sion cel­e­brates 100 years

South Wales Echo - - CELEBRATIONS -

A DIVI­SION of St John Am­bu­lance has cel­e­brated its cen­te­nary with a church ser­vice at­tended by the Lord Mayor.

Mem­bers of the Tre­har­ris divi­sion of St John Am­bu­lance were joined by Merthyr Tyd­fil Mayor Kevin Gibbs, vis­it­ing chap­ter mem­bers and trus­tees at the ser­vice in St Matthias Church in Tre­har­ris on Sun­day.

The divi­sion was set up on Septem­ber 26, 1917, to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing in first aid for lo­cal coal min­ers and fac­tory work­ers.

Since then hun­dreds of adults and chil­dren have been mem­bers of Tre­har­ris, learn­ing life sav­ing skills that have con­trib­uted to the divi­sion’s suc­cess at na­tional first aid com­pe­ti­tions.

Vice-pres­i­dent of the Tre­har­ris divi­sion Ash­ley Jones, 47, said: “It was a fan­tas­tic honour to be part of such a won­der­ful cel­e­bra­tion and to see the event so well sup­ported is a tremen­dous honour.”

Mr Jones joined the divi­sion in 1981 when he was 11, work­ing his way up through the ranks from cadet, of­fi­cer in charge to his cur­rent rank of vice pres­i­dent. He is also em­ployed full time by St John Am­bu­lance as a ser­vice de­liv­ery man­ager.

The St Matthias Church cel­e­bra­tion was at­tended by the St John Am­bu­lance Prior for Wales Sir Paul Wil­liams, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Keith Dunn, Deputy Lord Prior Cap­tain Norman Lloyd Ed­wards as well as other di­vi­sional mem­bers, chap­ter mem­bers and trus­tees.

The Aber­cynon Male Voice Choir also sang hymns at the ser­vice.

Mr Jones added: “There were over 100 peo­ple in the church in­clud­ing one for­mer mem­ber of the divi­sion go­ing back to the late 1930s and ’40s. It was lovely to hear him rem­i­nisc­ing about some of the old times there.

“We were a suc­cess­ful cadet divi­sion in the 1980s. We won the Na­tional First Aid com­pe­ti­tion and two of us still at­tend from that divi­sion.”

He added: “We con­tinue to be very ac­tive in the com­mu­nity here, with the divi­sion hall used by a va­ri­ety of lo­cal groups.”

The Tre­har­ris team still at­tend events as vol­un­teer first aiders around South Wales and will be on hand at the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sun­day.

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