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Journey of respect and tribute

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pc_Walkers-Pembrokeshire-Coast-Path-above-Marloes-SandsA special Pembrokeshire Herald report by Dennis O’Connor
IF A tribute to the bravery of our armed forces can be measured in miles, then the rugged beauty of the 870 mile Welsh coastline will bear witness to a unique and moving tribute over the next few months as eleven teams of four men and women embark on a personal journey of respect and tribute. 
Fifty young Welsh Guardsmen have lost their lives whilst on active duty since the end of WWII. Jan Koops and David (Dai) Graham are both veteran Welsh Guards who served in the Falklands War.
They are aware of the devastating impact that active service can have on soldiers and their families as they cope with bereavement and these two men are the driving force behind the team organising the Walk on Wales (WOW) challenge which aims to raise one million pounds for the benefit of two charities, the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal and the Combat Stress Charity.
Each name, rank and number of the fallen has been inscribed on a specially commissioned silver baton which also conceals the names of a further eight soldiers from other regiments and Corps who were killed on active duty whilst attached to the Welsh Guards. The baton will pass from team to team along the coast for the duration of the walk (August 25th – November 2nd) before finally being delivered to its resting place at Llandaf Cathedral.
Both charities provide essential support. Many have returned safe from battle but have suffered and continue to suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which severely inhibits their ability to lead “normal” lives.
In preparation for the event, the teams have undertaken months of arduous training out on the coast in all weather conditions. Each mile completed in training has been considered as a small sacrifice to those who have given so much more.
The WOW logistic team based in Cardiff has been busy ensuring that the success of the event and safety and welfare of the teams and guest walkers remains a priority. This has been aided greatly by significant sponsorship by large companies including Bluestone and Radio Pembrokeshire.
The Pembrokeshire coast bears host to the Walk on Wales teams as they enter St. Dogmaels on October 3rd before continuing along the whole of the coast towards the Carmarthenshire border. 
Team 7 (New Quay to Whitesands Bay) is led by Jim Salmon, who is from St. Davids and Team 9 (Freshwater West to Burry Port) is headed by another local man, Rob Davies from Letterston.
Both men are veteran Welsh Guards, and Jim says: "I'm privileged to be part of a team involved in raising funds for these two charities.” Rob Davies added,  ‘I loved my  time in the Regiment and really enjoy getting involved with all  things to do with the Welsh Guards, so when the message came to me that Walk on Wales was looking for someone to lead a team from Freshwater West to Burry Port, I jumped at the chance.”
Throughout the challenge, the teams will be joined by some well-known faces including including MPs Stephen Crabb and Simon Hart. Members of the public who want to pay their own personal respects are welcomed and encouraged to sign up to take part in this unique event. Registration is easy through the Walk on Wales website. You can walk any distance of your choice on any day or week stage.
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Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir’s fantastic Sunday evening concert in Templeton

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SPECIAL guests were among the audience when Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir returned to Templeton Parish Church for a Sunday evening concert – the Bishop of St Davids, the Rt Rev Dr Joanna Penberthy, and her Chaplain, the Rev Shirley Murphy.

Bishop Penberthy and the Rev Shirley were welcomed along with the choir and audience by the Rector, the Rev Martin Cox, who reminded that Rev Shirley had been Curate at Templeton before taking up her role in the Bishop’s office.

He also spoke of his long connections with the male voice, over more than 30 years, during which the choir had staged at his churches at Monkton, Gorseinon and now Templeton.

Musical Director Juliet Rossiter chose a varied programme in Welsh and English, with Carole Rees as Accompanist and Matthew John as MC.

Regular soloist Alyson Griffiths, on flute, played ‘Pie Jesu’ and ‘Somewhere’ – from the musical West Side Story – and First Tenor Peter Halifax accompanied himself on guitar with two items. Singer/songwriter Peter sang a folk song in the Ukrainian language, ‘Bili Kashtani’, and an original piece entitled ‘’Greater is He that is within you’, all to warm acclaim.

Juliet and Carole joined forces for a second concert duet at the keyboard to play two pieces by Johan Strauss – ‘Blue Danube’ and ‘Radetzky March’.

Before the encore – the traditional South African melody ‘Siyahamba’ – Bishop Joanna gave the Blessing and added how much she had enjoyed a live concert again.

Excellent refreshments were provided by the church ladies and they were thanked by Choir Chairman John Hillier.

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Pembrokeshire prose and poems at Llangwm’s 5th Literary Festival

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‘LLANGWM’S fifth literary festival is a wonderful showcase for Pembrokeshire talent.’ says
Michael Pugh, Director of the Llangwm Literary Festival.

‘We some very powerful images from the renowned photographer David Wilson who lives in
the village.’ continues Pugh. ‘In his book ‘The Village’, David’s images capture the soul of
Llangwm’s tight knit former fishing community. These images are all the more important
because many of them were taken during lock-down. It is amazing to look back and see how
far we’re advanced from there and how the human spirit can triumph over adversity.
Local artist and photographer, Ian Jacob, who was born in Llangwm and lives there now is
excited to be unveiling his first book at the festival. ‘Body Rock Sand’ is the fruition of an
idea that developed in Jacob’s mind when, as a young art student, he was captivated by the
images of Lucien Clergue’s, ‘Née de la Vague’ (Born of the Waves). Clergue’s images are
the inspiration for Ian’s very own images on the interplay of skin, sea and sand in
Pembrokeshire’s beaches.

St David’s based master-forager Julia Horton-Mansfield returns to the festival for the fifth
time to invite guests to ‘Come Forage with Me’ and explore the richness of the Cleddau
shoreline and to find out more about the health-giving properties of the delicious foods
literally growing all around us. On a darker note, and for those who enjoy a spine-tingler,

Llangwm-based writer, Pippa ‘the Pen’ Davies, joins Pembrokeshire’s Diana Powell, and
Maggie Himsworth for the unveiling of an intriguing Crime Cymru anthology of short stories
by Welsh Women and to explore what it is that attracts us to read about crime!

For those who have their own story to tell, Narberth’s Emma Baines will be running ‘Write
by the River’; a creative workshop on the Cleddau for those who wish to write about the
mighty river and what it means to them.

Poets, and writers, and anyone who just wants to share a poem or song are warmly invited to
Llangwm rugby club’s ‘Poems and Pints’. This year’s session, inspired by the themes of
Joyce’s Ulysses, and Poems of War in connection with Ukraine, promises to be very high-
octane indeed. No festival in Wales would be complete without a song, and Llangwm is no
exception with its bold Village Voices to entertain with their latest repertoire.
Llangwm’s Ellie Brick, in support of the idea that you need a fit body to get the best out of
your mind, will be blowing the cobweb’s away with a Sunday morning stretch and dance.

And for those who just want to sit back, leave it to Deb Winter, local storyteller
extraordinaire. Her tales will take you to new horizons and undiscovered worlds.

For more information on the festival, please contact llangwmlitfest@gmail.com, or visit our
website: www.llangwmlitfest.co.uk

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Rhian scoops prestigious care award

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A PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL employee has been awarded at this year’s prestigious Employers for Carers Awards held by Carers Wales, which recognise and celebrate those who have supported unpaid working carers in Wales during the last year.

Rhian Bennett, Commissioning Manager, Social Care and Housing, scooped the Line Manager award at the event which was held last month.

The awards, which were part of Carers Week, are designed to recognise those in an organisation who have gone the extra mile in the last 12 months in supporting working carers – such as raising awareness, supporting peers and being a workplace champion, network facilitator or chair.

Rhian’s accolade recognises her efforts as a line manager who supported working carer’s and had a positive impact on helping them to balance care and work within the organisation.

She was nominated by a member of the team she manages, who is an unpaid carer – and this was in relation to her gratitude for the support that she receives and the wider team.

Rhian said: “It was a lovely surprise to win but it was an honour to be nominated and receive the award.

“It’s crucial to support and enable staff to provide care outside of their day job. This award is for everyone who is an unpaid carer and goes the extra mile to ensure their loved ones are supported.”

Carers Week was established by Carers UK more than 25 years ago and is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring and highlight the challenges unpaid carers face. This year’s theme was – ‘make caring visible, valued and supported’.

Jonathan Griffiths, Director of Social Services and Leisure, Social Care & Housing, added: “My congratulations to Rhian for this award, the recognition of her impact on supporting carers shows her commitment and drive to make a difference for people.

“To ensure employers protect carers time and support them, is essential and it’s pleasing to see Rhian’s approach has been recognised in this positive way.”

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