Rotary recognises community efforts with top awards


From left to right, Mumbles Rotary Club Secretary Phil Rogers, Brian Saunders. President Colin Griffiths, Margaret Bartlett and Captain Roy Griffiths.

A very special event took place this week when the Rotary Club of Mumbles presented two local people with prestigious Rotary International awards…

At a dinner held at Norton House Hotel, Captain Roy Griffiths MBE and Mrs. Margaret Bartlett were presented with the highest award made by Rotary — Paul Harris Fellowships.  Named after the founder of Rotary, they are awarded in recognition of long and meritorious service to the community for the betterment of humanity. Both recipients are well known for their work in the community and were presented with their awards by Club President Colin Griffiths

Captain Roy Griffiths is very well known in Mumbles and Swansea Bay through his endeavours for all matters relating to our seashore location. Raised in Mumbles, he became a deck boy on a Coastal tanker at the age of sixteen.  In due course he became a Master Mariner (Foreign Going) commanding vessels belonging to the Royal Oceanographic Research Fleet. In 1974, he was appointed a Sea Pilot at Swansea and Port Talbot until 2000 when he became Harbour Master and Pilot at the river port of Neath.

In 1977, Roy became a crewmember and then Lifeboat Operations Manager for RNLI Mumbles. .Roy’s efforts for the RNLI, and other sea related voluntary bodies such as the Sea Cadets and the Mission to Sea Farers, where he was Chairman for 15 years, were recognised by the Queen when he was appointed an MBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours List.

He is currently a member of the Merchant Navy Association and this year is Master of the Swansea and South Wales Company of Mariners.

Margaret Bartlett is the President of Ty Olwen Hospice Trust but her involvement started long before the first brick was laid, as she was one of the founding members of the hospice. Others involved from the beginning included her own daughter Helen – now Chairman of Ty Olwen –  Dr Peter Griffiths, the late Julian Bihari and of course Mrs J T Morgan, the ‘Olwen’ from whom the Charity’s name was taken.  When Ty Olwen opened its doors to the first patients in 1981, Margaret and her husband Mick volunteered their services.  Sadly, Mick passed away, but Margaret continues to work with positive determination and energy putting “Service Above Self” on a daily basis.

Margaret set up the Ty Olwen Shop in Swansea’s High Street in 1994 and in the last 20 years, the shop, entirely staffed by volunteers, has raised over £400,000 for the Trust. She accepted the role of President of the Ty Olwen Trust in 2011 and has become a true ambassador for the cause she loves so much. Over the years, the Trust has raised close to £9 million – a truly remarkable effort. When we approached Margaret as a potential recipient of this special Rotary award her response was “what an honour, why me?” Well, we all know why.

At the same dinner, Brian Saunders was presented with a Long Service Award to mark his twenty-five years total commitment as a Rotarian in Mumbles.

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