By Carl Llewellyn

Sunday 15th March 2015 was a special day for Merthyr Tydfil born Keith Power, who organised a wedding blessing and a christening to be sanctified at St David Church, Merthyr Tydfil.

Keith is the President of Federal Mogul Motorparts Shanghai and lives in Shanghai with his wife Tan Wai Leng (known as Bonnie) and their daughter Carys Li Lin.

Keith’s Welsh roots are deep routed, which meant he wanted his family friends, unable to attend the wedding due to such a distance, to share in his happiness and joy with his wife and baby daughter. Although living far away, he has an affinity and a passion for his birth place.

Keith and Bonnie felt it would add some tradition to their wedding blessing by engaging the Dowlais Male Choir to entertain their guests with some traditional and modern songs. Before the wedding blessing service began the choir gave renditions from their repertoire. Rev. Mark Prevett, Rector of Merthyr Tydfil diocese, assisted by his curate Father Tom Bates gave the wedding blessing and blessed their rings. The christening of Carys Li Lin was officiated by Father Tom Bates.      

Traditional congregational hymns were chosen for the service, “Love Divine All Loves Excelling” (Blaenwern), “Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer” (Cwm Rhondda) and Now thank We All Our God (Nun Danket).

The reception was held in the Atrium of the Old Town Hall (Red House); a stage was erected for the choir who entertained the guests with a selection of items with a Welsh flavour. It was at the request of Keith the choir sang “Well keep a Welcome” as the happy couple entered the reception to take their seats.

The choir retired to the Treharris Room, where alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages were provided. It was a surprise to all that John Francis ordered a cup of tea instead of a glass of beer!!! A hot meal followed – chicken kiev with vegetables, and both the meal and beverages were very much appreciated by the choir.

When the wedding breakfast had finished, the choir returned to the stage to conclude the afternoon’s performance with the singing of Myfanwy and “Mae Hen Wlad fyn Hadau”.

Iwan Jones and Keith Morgan, the choir’s chairman and secretary congratulated Keith and Bonnie on behalf of the choir on the occasion of their wedding blessing and the christening of their daughter Carys. 

I reminded Keith Power of the words of Dr Joseph Parry that were akin to his association with Merthyr Tydfil:

Bachgen Bach o Ferthyr eriod eriod

Which translates “I am a young boy from Merthyr, always, always”.

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