Page 2 - GRFC NEWS AUTUMN 2020
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During already difficult times our Club mourns the loss of a much-loved member. Most readers will be aware that on 31 May 2020, John ‘Jack’ Thomas finally succumbed to a very long, debilitating and painful illness, passing way at Bronllys Hospital.
John (or Jack as most rugby folk knew him) was a great servant to Gwernyfed for over fifty years, playing in green, white and black in our very earliest games. Over the decades Jack, invariably supported by Shan, was involved in so much that has helped us become the Club that we are, running the bar, cooking, organising fund raisers and generally being an all round stalwart.
We are fortunate in that Shan is still committed to the Club and we hope that it is not too long before we can share memories of Jack over a beer or three with Shan, Kate, who herself was instrumental in bringing Ladies’ rugby to Gwernyfed, and Stuart. Young Alfie - Jack and Shan’s grandson, won’t be partaking of the beer just yet, but he’s a real rugby prospect and will no doubt dedicate his efforts in our badge to his beloved grandfather.
Whilst a sombre occasion, it was fitting that so many Club Members turned out to support Shan and her family as Jack’s funeral procession passed from Boughrood to Hereford. It was a real tribute to a great Gwernyfed man who will be sorely missed, but fondly remembered.
Gwernyfed RFC’s Chairman Rob Stephens takes a look back on unheralded recent times...
Well, when we left the pitch on 29 February and headed for the Clubhouse to warm up with a cup of tea, little did we know that was going to be the last game of rugby to be played at the club for the season.
Tickets bought for an eagerly-awaited trip pre-lambing to watch the Scottish game was on the cards and the rest of the Six Nations to watch - alas that was all cancelled.
Lambing and rugby, always a fine balance with the mad dash to Cardiff so we at least had a little bit more time to see to the work.
Changes soon took place. The Lottery stalled as manual sales stopped. Fortunately, we have had the means to support the club through online sales and this has allowed us to at least gather some revenue. Not able to do the draw in public meant that the numbers had to be drawn here on the farm and soon the pet lambs would become numbered and the 20 were set different scenarios, allied with help from Mr Piggy who also assisted. It was a delight that the jackpot was won by club stalwart Gerwyn Williams. Gegs is getting married shortly and I’m sure that the money will come in handy!!
No Club Dinner, no AGM and a new ‘norm’ for me by way of the the Zoom meeting. As I write this we have had at least six such meetings; I think that there were 12 of us at one meeting in all. Being not technically minded I had to use my daughter's laptop and log in to the Zoom meetings using her details. Little did I know, but my camera failed to work so the profile picture showing for 'Rob Stephens' was a rather attractive auburn-haired young lady with red lipstick.
Having this big upheaval also stopped the planning meetings associated with an ‘Offa’s Dyke Walk’ to raise funds. The Club, as you know, never sleeps and we have projects still to finish with a couple more in the pipeline to improve our lot. Finishing the Fire Regulations in the clubhouse and pursuing avenues for a safer crossing for the youngsters are in hand but inevitably, have slowed. Planning is still active for a Veranda and also toilets at pitch-side are being looked at when we can get back to some normality.
I would like to thank all the people who have supported the club in many and various ways, be they players, supporters, parents, sponsors, advertisers, coaches or committee men and women. The season was rudely interrupted two-thirds of the way through and we are unsure of when we will play again, but I’m sure that we can reply upon your support as we look towards that heady day.
Finally, I would like to offer particular thanks to Vice-Chairman Pete Weavers. Pete, like so many, works tirelessly behind the scenes and has really worked hard to help keep the Club in sound financial order during this crisis. He has sourced a couple of grants for us and his skills have been recognised by the WRU as he has partaken in various webinars offering his first-hand knowledge of how a community club runs in helping towards a return to play.
With the help of so many friends and from the Union we will bounce back and look forward to meeting our family and friends in our beloved Gwernyfed Rugby Football Club once again.
Yours in sport,
Rob Stephens
                   GRFC News

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