The Games-makers (Volunteers) have been credited as central to the success of both the Olympics and the Paralympics. This is the public side of volunteering. It is what we British do well. Lesser considered is the almost invisible acts of selflessness that take place daily and upon which local events rely. Yesterday I was with a small number of volunteers, making tea for 170 guests, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of their chapel in the small Welsh village of Pembrey. Blessed are the tea-makers, the butter-spreaders and the washer-uppers, for their reward is observing the satisfaction others get from a well-made sandwich, cake or welcome cup of tea…
A small Welsh chapel celebrates today,
Two hundred years of Thought, Hymn and Pray.
They’re holding a tea in the Memorial Hall,
Another denomination? They welcome them all.
In the morning, a small team of helpers,
Gather to spread, cut and cling wrap.
It’s like a social, everyone chatting,
Quiet efficiency, no sign of a flap.
Mid afternoon, the guests all assemble,
Sit at the tables, “wonderful food!”
The spoken volume slowly increases,
“Another cake? To refuse would be rude!”
Everyone leaves, all in agreement,
“Fantastic tea!” they say or they think.
The hall is empty but in the kitchen,
Volunteers are gathered, working the sink!
© Baldock Bard 2012
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