WITH the previous four-year term-of-office coming to a close, this year’s annual Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s council meeting saw a host of top-table positions confirmed for another tenure.
Held at the showground on Friday 7 December, members of the society’s council attended the meeting in force to hear first-hand of the activities of the organisation, the accomplishments of the out-going 2018 Feature County of Montgomeryshire and the plans of the 2019 Feature County of Pembrokeshire.
“I thank you, the members of this Council and the Board of Directors, under the leadership of our Chair John Davies and all of the other committees that make up the wider society.” said Chair of Council, David Lewis, in his opening address. “Being a member led organisation is one our key strengths and core values which has helped to deliver success over many years.”
During the meeting members of the society’s council, who are all nominated by their respective feature county advisory committees or co-opted by the board of directors, were agreed. Agreeing to remain in the driver’s seat for another four years, David Lewis accepted the nomination to continue as Chair of Council.
However, our current Vice-Chair of council, Cyril Davies, had decided, despite being asked to stay, that the time had come to step down from his position and hand over the reins to someone new. With nominations for three potential candidates, council members took part in a ballot, resulting in Nicola Davies from Ceredigion becoming the Vice-chair of council for the following four years.
Nicola has been a life-long supporter of the society, exhibiting Welsh cobs with her family from an early age. Following her year as Miss Royal Welsh in 1996, Nicola became a member of the Ceredigion Advisory Committee and began stewarding at the show each year. In 2007 Nicola was appointed as the county representative on both the Board of Directors and council. Currently Nicola also serves as the board representative on the Livestock Committee, Future Generations Committee, Equine Group and Programme Committee. Nicola is also the Chief Announcer and Commentator during the Royal Welsh Show.
Harry Fetherstonhaugh accepted the position of Honorary Show Director, for one year only, when he will become President during Clwyd’s Feature County year in 2020 having been Show Director for 25 years. Taking over from Harry after the 2019 Royal Welsh Show will be Richard Price, who was elected as the Honorary Show Director Designate.
David Powell also accepted his nomination to remain as the society’s Honorary Treasurer for another term-of-office.
Following all the elections, David Lewis reflected on another successful year for the society. “A combination of new ideas and building on our strong traditions have continued to combine to deliver outstanding events and continuous improvement. Standing still is not an option!
“And we won’t stand still as we look towards 2019 with a rejuvenated and re-branded Smallholding and Countryside Festival in May (Gŵyl Tyddyn a Chefn Gwlad) the 100th Royal Welsh Show and by this time next year we will have just held the 30th Winter Fair.
“2019 promises to be another momentous year in our history and plans are well advanced to ensure we recognise these significant milestones.
“I want to pay tribute to the work of everyone in delivering our three events, Especially Harry Fetherstonhaugh as Show Director and Kay Spencer and William Hanks as the Directors of the Smallholding and Countryside Festival and Winter Fair.
“Of course none of these events would happen without the commitment and support of our Assistant Honorary Directors, chairman, committee members, stewards, traders, exhibitors and all of the voluntary and statutory partners who come together to create our magical events.
“We also are particularly grateful to sponsors, exhibitors and trade stands, who continue to support our events, in what we recognise are challenging times.”