Friday, 13 July 2012
Good to catch up with old friends at reunion
It was good to catch up with old student colleagues from Gelli Aur in the Towy Valley.
See if you can spot me in the photo above!
I am grateful to fellow 'Class of 81-82' member Ian Howell for the following report on the event -
Former agricultural students of Gelli Aur College, the Class of 1981-82, gathered together for a 30-year reunion.
They were very pleased to be joined by Mr Gerald Curtis, one of the former lecturers.
The day kicked off with coffee at the Coleg Sir Gar campus at Gelli Aur.
There was an update on changes and improvements which have taken place at the college farm.
Aerial photographs were shown, comparing how the original farm layout had been replaced by modern structures.
A buffet lunch was enjoyed beneath glorious sunshine to the sound of much chattering before departing to Cwrtmalle farm, Llangynog, Carmarthen.
At Cwrtmalle, the former students saw the 2,000 cow super-dairy owned and managed by Mr Howell Richards, who was also a student at Gelli Aur during 1981-82.
Howell gave an interesting tour explaining how he was following an American model where the focus for the owner is on management principles rather than just getting hands dirty.
The dairy has a team of 22 staff, operating under the watchful eye of Howell’s wife Susan.
One of the former students, Ian Howell (now a partner with Rees Richards and Partners property consultants) said: "Whatever the individual’s view is of super-dairies the cows seemed very content with life!"
He added: "To finish off the day, the party attended a ‘fine dining’ experience at the Cawdor Hotel, Llandeilo, where Mr Kevin Green (star at Channel Four's Secret Millionaire and also part of the 1981 Class) gave a motivational talk on his life-changing move from dairying to property development.
"Mr Green is now the largest private sector residential landlord in the country.
"It was certainly interesting to see where the students' various career paths had taken them - including psychotherapy, behaviour therapy, photography, avionics technology, sales and trading, property development, management and construction, salvage and, last but not least, farming.
"Despite the wide range of careers followed, everyone agreed that their time at Gelli Aur had provided a solid foundation to their education.
"A significant part of this had been the experience of dormitory living in the Gelli Aur Mansion House.
"This house, which along with farming has suffered its ups and downs during recent years is hopefully now entering a positive future with the charitable trust which has acquired the property during recent months with a view to restoring it from its current sorry state to an art gallery and other uses for public benefit."
Pictured above: the former students at their reunion. Kevin Green is second from the left in the front row. Ian Howell is top left.
at 9:54 am