Plans to create a Welsh Rugby Clubs Lodge were well and truly endorsed by a fantastic turn out for its first social night at Penarth Masonic Stadium
The social night was created by Club Captain Paul Haley to assess the viability of seeking Consecration of a lodge that encompasses all those that have played within or supported Welsh club rugby.
The occasion was even more historic as research has proven that Penarth Masonic Hall is built on the former Penarth RFC ground where the Barbarians and Penarth played their first historic games against Penarth from 1901 to 1914.
Paul Haley explained: ‘The intention is to make this a rugby themed “must visit” lodge. It will be unique in recognising the special place rugby has in South Wales and ensuring the rugby club atmosphere is engendered in the Festive Board.’
In welcoming guest Founders from Adrian Davies Lodge of Rugby Union No. 9884 in the Province of Gloucestershire, Paul set out how the lodge intends to attract members and visitors from Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath, London Welsh, Leicestershire and Oxford, as well as from international rugby visitors on evenings prior to international fixtures.
Paul Haley welcomed his inspirational mini-rugby coach and artist Jeff Giggs as a guest, who drew the splendid club dragon logo which was unveiled on the night.
Former Barbarian and Pontypool, Wales, British Lions rugby legend Graham Price MBE was the guest speaker. He eloquently regaled humorous tales of his 41 caps for Wales, which included two Grand Slams and three consecutive Triple Crowns, as well as his record 12 Tests for the British Lions. He also answered interesting questions from the enthralled audience, and then stayed to make presentations, and have photographs taken.
Jeff Giggs also sketched and donated a picture of Graham Price as the star raffle prize which Graham kindly autographed and presented to winner Wayne Pike.
The evening was a tremendous success with nearly £700 raised in the raffle for Newbridge RFC Vikings under 9's Mini-Rugby Team towards their new kit.
Clive Thomas, Immediate Past Master of Services Lodge No. 7139, who will be the Mother Lodge, presented a cheque to the Wooden Spoon rugby charity for £3,500. This was the proceeds from Clive’s year as Master of the lodye, along with a further £1,000 raised at the Ladies Night which was donated to Tenovus.
Anthony Evans of Wooden Spoon Charity thanked Clive and explained the work of Wooden Spoon which is to transform the lives of young people and children with a disability or facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland through the power of rugby.