The Christian Endeavour Union of Wales – Badge.
This pin-back badge was available to members and officers of the Christian Endeavour Union of Wales during April 1933 to commemorate the Welsh National Convention held at Abertillery and the Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church.
Made by the Birmingham Medal Co. Size 1″ inch in diameter.
The Christian Endeavour Society.
The first Christian Endeavour Society was formed in February 1881 at Portland, Maine USA under the direction of Francis E. Clark.
The Christian Endeavour Union of Wales.
In 1933 the thirty-fourth National Christian Endeavour Union of Wales annual convention was arranged to be held at Abertillery. The convention was held over a period of four days during the Easter weekend of April 1933. At this convention the first female president Miss Edith Jones of Pontypridd was to be elected.
The Planned Events at Abertillery.
Saturday, 15th April 1933 – A pageant of Christian Endeavour. A Junior Demonstration at the Metropole, Tickets 1s and 6d. To commence at 7.00pm. Sunday, 16th April 1933 – A Great Praise Service. To commence at 8.00pm. Monday, 17th April 1933 – Business Meeting followed by a Presidential Address at 12.00pm. A Convention Sermon by Rev E. R. Squire of London at 4.00pm. A Public Meeting and Consecration Service, Speakers – Rev E. R. Squire and Prof T. W. Chance at 7.00pm. Tuesday, 18th April 1933 – Morning Session, Conferences Junior, Intermediate and Expert. A Public Meeting, Speakers Rev R. Mort and Rev Douglas Evans of Bristol.
The National Christian Endeavour Union of Wales Annual Convention.
On Friday 21st April 1933 the South Wales Gazette reported on the annual convention held at Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church, Blaenau Gwent, Abertillery. It was stated it had been one of the best conventions ever held in Wales, there had been a large number of delegates drawn from all parts of Wales and discussions at the conferences were marked by a high tone and much enthusiasm while the public meetings were remarkably successful with the spacious edifice at Blaenau Gwent being on several occasions filled to overflowing. Following is a day-to-day report of the convention.
Saturday 15th April 1933 – The National Council was first welcomed on Saturday at a luncheon, over which the Rev Rowland Jones B.A., of Penarth, president of the Welsh Union presided. The chairman thanked the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts for directing the guests to Blaenau Gwent. Rev D. Smith of Ogmore gave thanks. Later in the afternoon Mrs J. I. James of Narberth (late Abertillery) on behalf of the Western Valley Union welcomed the delegates and was supported by the following – Mr J. Hillier J.P., Chairman of the Abertillery Council; Mr M. Sheen (Councillor); Rev E. T. Samuel (Vice-President of the Free Church Council); Mr Bann (Chairman of the Sunday School Union); Mr F. Sheen (Blaenau Gwent Church); Rev Rowland Jones and Rev E. R. Squire:
On Saturday evening the Junior Endeavourers of the district gave a demonstration at the Metropole Theatre, Abertillery. The main event was a show performed which mainly referred to the founder of the movement Dr F. E. Clark and the foundation of the movement. The production team were as follows – Mrs Lawrence of Blaina (Producer); Mr Bryant (Stage Manager); Mr D. Jones (Assistant Stage Manager); Miss E. Thomas of Llanhilleth (Choir Conductor); Miss Kathleen Thomas, L.L.C.M., (Pianist) and Mr I. Carter, F.T.S.C., (Orchestra Conductor):
Sunday 16th April 1933 – Special references to the convention were made at local churches on Sunday. At 8.00pm a praise service was held at Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church, it was reported that Rev Ivor Evans (Pastor) presided over a huge congregation. A feature of the service was the singing of the united choir conducted by Mr T. Bundred who gave magnificent renderings of “Worthy is the Lamb”, “Magnify and Glorify” and “Hallelujah Chorus”. Mrs W. Brown (Organist).
Monday 17th April 1933 – A business session was held at Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church on Monday with Rev Rowland Jones B.A., of Penarth presiding over a large attendance of delegates supported by Miss Edith Jones of Penarth. At the meeting greetings were read from the following – Mr Paul Stolpmann (European Christian Endeavour Union); Mrs Francis Clark (America); Mr Carl Welzig (German Christian Endeavour Union); Mr Robert Hunter (Scottish Christian Endeavour Union) and Mr W. H. Hayes (Irish Christian Endeavour Union): Commenting on the proposal to elect the first female president Miss Edith Jones of Pontypridd, Mr Welzig wrote – “In Germany it would not be possible to have a girl or woman as president of the Union, though I admire you for your courage”.
The Election of Officers and the First Female President.
At the business meeting the following officers were elected – Miss Edith Jones of Pontypridd (President); *Mr G. F. Austin of Llanelly (Vice-President); Mr R. J. Jones of Bridgend (Treasurer); Miss Edith Jones (Honorary Secretary) and Mr P. F. Shelly of Cardiff (Minute Secretary): The following were elected members of the Executive Committee of the Welsh National Council – Miss S. J. Baker of Newbridge; Rev G. H. Llewellyn of Porth; Mr J. T. Boots of Abertillery and Mr W. J. Jones of Pontypool:
Miss Edith Jones President of the National Christian Endeavour Union of Wales.
Miss Edith Jones was installed as president, the ceremony was conducted by Rev Rowland Jones. Miss Jones who was the first lady to be appointed president of the Welsh Union had been associated with the Christian Endeavour since she was a child at at the Calvary Church, Treforest. In the evening Miss Jones presided over a meeting held at the Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church, it was reported that the church was filled and the congregation included parties that had travelled from Ogmore Vale, the Rhondda Valley, Ynysybwl and other parts of South Wales and the meeting was seen as one of the most inspiring held at Abertillery in some time.
During the election of Miss Jones as president there seemed to be unrest amongst members the association with the election process, the Rev Cecil Richardson who had been nominated for the vice-presidency said that under the circumstances he would withdraw, Rev J. H. Harrison of Newport said he strongly objected to this method, they should respect more than they did the democratic principles, Rev David Smith of Ogmore denied they ignored the democratic principles, Rev Richardson declined to allow his name to go forward and after some discussion Mr G. F. Austin was elected as vice-president. Throughout Monday many other subjects were discussed, too many to transcribe but available on request.
Wedding Ceremony at the Convention.
On Monday 17th April 1933 during a break at the convention of the Christian Endeavour Union at the Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church a wedding ceremony took place. Miss Helena P. Gardner, the sixth daughter of Mr Gregory Gardner of 2 Clydach Cottages, Cwmtillery was married by Rev Ivor Evans to Mr Cyril Beethoven York of Norman Street, Blaenau Gwent, Abertillery. The South Wales Gazette reported the bride wore a sea-green costume with a hat to match and was given away by her brother-in-law Mr J. E. Edmunds. Mr Frederick York was best man. The three bridesmaids, also dressed in sea-green dresses with hats to match were – Mrs Muriel Prosser, sister of the bride, Mrs Margaret York, sister of the bride and wife of the best man and Miss Myrtle Bryant a friend of the bride. The wedding reception was held at the home of the brides sister Mrs Phyllis Evans, 30 Gaen Street, Blaenau Gwent, Abertillery. Mr J. T. Boots conveyed to the happy couple the good wishes of the delegates present.
Tuesday 18th April 1933 – The closing meeting of the convention was held on Tuesday at the Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church, Mr G. F. Austin the vice-president presided. The speakers included Rev R. Mort of Abertillery; Mr J. T. Boots of Abertillery and Rev G. Douglas of Bristol. Thanks were given to all involved with Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church and the local convention officers that included the following – Mrs J. I. James (President); Mr T. J. Jenkins (Convention President); Miss E. Powell (Vice-President); Miss S. J. Baker of Newbridge (Secretary) and Mr S. M. Ash (Treasurer): The officers of the various sub-committees were as follows – Mrs B. Davies and Mrs J. Downes (Hospitality): Mr F. Sheen and Mrs V. Thayer (Catering): Miss E. Powell; Mrs Kemp and Mrs Fielding (Junior): Mr F. Gunter and Mr A. E. Davies (Printing): Mr J. Downes and Mrs J. Protheroe (Praise): Mr H. Jenkins and Mr C. Hopkins (Pioneer): Mrs Wyndham Brown (Organist) and Mr Robert Hall and Mr J. Downes (Conductors):
The Convention Handbook cover was the result of a designing competition which was open to all juniors and intermediate members in the Western Valleys. The winner was Bob Wallace of Abertillery, he was presented with a gold C.E. badge at the close of the rally.
Notes of Interest – The First Convention Held at Abertillery.
This meeting in April 1933 was the second convention held at Abertillery. The first Christian Endeavour Welsh National Convention took place at Easter 1926 at the Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church and the Tabernacle Congregational Church, Abertillery. The local officers on that earlier occasion were as follows – Rev J. Wright Davies of Llanhilleth (President); Mr F. Sheen, Abertillery (Vice-President); Mr S. M. Ash of Abertillery (Treasurer) and Mr T. Morgan Newbridge (General Secretary): The officers of the various sub-committees were as follows – Mrs R. Hall and Miss S. Wilcox (Hospitality): Mr F. Sheen and Miss Jennie Hall (Catering): Rev Ivor Evans and Mr A. E. Davies with Mr H. J. Williams as assistant secretary (Printing): Mr T. Elliott and Miss G. Evans (Junior Rally): Mr A. Baker and Mr W. J. Williams (Extension): Mr R. Hall (Conductor of the Choir); Mr D. J. Griffiths of Blaenau Gwent, Miss Lena Evans and Miss E. Bunney (Organists):