CELEBRATIONS Division celebrates 100 years
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.