Ystalyfera

History and Heritage

Rev David T Rees, Godrergraig Chapel

There seems to be some confusion as to the role of Reverend David T Rees at Godrergraig Chapel. He is noted as being ordained there in April 1918, and as being of there at the time of the death of his little daughter in December 1918, but the news article on his own death in 1925 says that he "only took charge of" the chapel in September 1924 (and that he had been ordained in 1914).


NameReverend David Thomas Rees
Date of Death8th December 1925 (born May 9th 1877)
Place of DeathAt home, in Godrergraig
Age at Death48
TradeMusic Teacher and Pastor of Godre'rgraig Chapel
AddressDallas House Godre'rgraig
CemeteryGodre'rgraig Cemetery: Section IC R17 G21; Granite Kerbing And Foot Stone
Family Details Son of Thomas (born Rhydyfro 1837) and Catherine Rees, nee Jones (born Gwrhyd 1838)
Husband of Harriet Rees who was born in Carmarthenshire 3rd June 1885, and was the sister of Margaret Rees (born Carmarthenshire 1891). She married David Thomas Rees in 1910. She died on 7th December 1970, aged 85, and was buried on 10th December 1970. In 1939 she was living at 104 Graig Road (and⁄or 113), Godrergraig.
Known Brothers Luther Rees - born Ystalyfera 1863, weigher at Tin Works, died 1909
Taliesyn J Rees - born Ystalyfera 1880, elementary school teacher
Known Sisters Tydfil Rees - born Ystalyfera, married William Jonathan, died 1948
Hannah Rees - born Ystalyfera 1868
Gwen Rees - born Ystalyfera 1868
Mary Ann Rees - born Ystalyfera 1870, seamstress
Margaret Ann Rees - born Ystalyfera 1875, seamstress, died 1898
Daughters Rachel Rees - died aged 21 on 5th June 1943
Eluned Rees - died 7th December 1918, aged 8 months, and buried on 10th December 1918, epitaph Peace Perfect Peace
Tegwen Rees - born 6th September 1910, married in Bridgend 1939 Robert J Parry (born 20th May 1908), school teacher who in 1939 was living at 18 Protheroe Street, Maesteg
Megan Rees - born in Pontardawe, 10th November 1912, married in Pontardawe 1934 Thomas R Isaacs (born 15th November 1900)a collier haulage engine man. They had a son John K Isaacs, born in 1939. At the time theh were living at 104 Graig Road, Godrergraig, with her mother Harriet Rees
Sons Gwynfor Rees - born Pontardawe 1920

TAKEN FROM HISTORY of PONTARDAWE and DISTRICT
by John Henry DAVIES - page167

In 1913, Mr Ellis Parry, a student of Carmarthen College, accepted a call and his ordination took place in December. His ministry was happy and prosperous but in 1918 he left to give his service to the Y.M.C.A.

The church was without a minister for six and a half years but in August 1924, a call was given to the Rev David T Rees, who was ordained September 1924. Unfortunately, owing to ill health, he died in December 1925: (Buried Godre'rgraig Cemetery).


From the Labour Voice newspaper, 8th April 1918

On Monday at 2.30 there will take place at Godre'rgraig Chapel the Ordination of Mr David T Rees, who is a native of the place and well-known as a preacher and musician. A deacon and a devoted Christian worker, Mr Rees is highly respected by all, particularly for his strong and influential spiritual character. The following will take part in the Ordination Services: Rev Ellis Parry, H Seiriol Williams Pontardawe, Ben Davies Pantteg and E Keri Evans MA Carmarthenshire.


From the Labour Voice 14th December 1918

The death took place on Saturday last of the 8 month old child of Rev and Mrs D T Rees Godre'rgraig. The funeral was on Tuesday at Godre'rgraig. Sympathy is felt with Mr and Mrs Rees in their sorrow.


From the Labour Voice September 20th 1924

Induction Services of the Rev D T Rees Godre'rgraig

The little chapel at Godre'rgraig was filled to its utmost capacity on Thursday afternoon on the occasion of the induction services of the Reverend D T Rees. The various churches in the locality were well-represented and this fact testifies to the respect and esteem in which Mr Rees is held among the people of the district.

The following ministers were present: Rev Ben Davies, Pantteg who presided; Seiriol Williams, Pontardawe; DJ Moses, Gurnos; John Thomas, Ystalyfera; Rev D Price Rhydyfro; Eurig Davies, Cwmllynfell; W D Roderick, Rhiwfawr; Melvillle Phillips, Ystalyfera; D John, Trebanos; W R Bowen, Glais; Bryn Thomas, Abercrave; D J Williams, English Congregational, Ystradgynlais; R M Rhys, Ystradgynlais; and D Jenkins, Rhos.

Rev D J Moses, BA, Gurnos opened with a reading from the Scriptures and the offering of a prayer.

The chairman, at the commencement, said that he was glad to see such a goodly gathering giving such a warm welcome to the new pastor and he thanked all who had come from afar to support the church at Godre'rgraig. He read several letters from various ministers expressing their disappointment at not being able to be present that afternoon and who wished all success to Mr Rees in his important work.

Mr Thomas Williams, secretary of the church, then spoke on behalf of the members of Godre'rgraig. He referred to the clouds of misfortune which had darkened their church for the last few years and he hoped that that afternoon's service was the beginning of a new era in the history of the cause at Godre'rgraig. The "call" had been unanimous and he hoped that members and pastor would work hand-in-hand for many years to come.

The whole congregation then gave its assent to the call by standing and the Rev John Thomas offered a prayer.

The charge to the minister was then given by the Reverend D Price, Rhydafro. In the first place he wished to congratulate the church at Godre'rgraig on its wisdom on asking Mr Rees to become their pastor. Turning to Mr Rees, he said that the ministry was the most honourable and the most glorious of all callings and he urged both Mr Rees and members to remember this; the utmost sympathy between the church and their leader was essential. The great thing that he, Mr Rees, should remember was his duty towards God; he should always try to keep in touch with the divine powers. The pastor, he continued, should always preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and in doing this two great facts were to emphasised - the Crucified Christ and the Living Christ; that Christ was crucified to save Mankind and that he is alive today were facts that could not possibly be refuted. These beliefs were to be strengthened if the full realisation of the Great Sacrifice was to be grasped. These great truths should form the greater bulk of Mr Rees' sermons. He begged of him to be faithful and punctual. Punctuality, he added, was apt to be neglected - still, ministers should always remember to be punctual at every function.

Again, if Mr Rees' pastorate was to be successful, he must champion the weekly prayer meeting, the Sunday School, and the Bible class which, he added, were too often neglected these days in favour of concerts, Eisteddfodau, and dramas. The new pastor should always try to keep in touch with the whole of his congregation - to comfort the sick and to encourage and hearten the grief-stricken. He wanted to remind Mr Rees of the efficacy of prayer and the good results accruing therefrom.

The Rev Seiriol Williams then gave the charge to the church. He appealed to the members to love, help and encourage their minister. The best way in which they could help him was to live his sermons. The relation between church and pastor should be one of co-operation and help. They should encourage him in every phase of his ministry because he expected it; to be disheartened by those from whom he expected encouragement was the worse thing that could happen to any man.

The Rev James Davies, Mynydd Bach, secretary of the West Glamorgan Quarterly Meeting, welcomed Mr Rees into their midst and made some caustic remarks concering adverse criticism directed at the church.

Rev D T Rees then answered in an appropriate speech.

Rev D Jenkins, Rhos, concluded the service by prayer.


From the Labour Voice 12th December 1925

REV D T REES
SUDDEN DEATH OF GODRE'RGRAIG PASTOR
It was a painful shock to the inhabitants of the district on Wednesday when the news spread that the Rev David Thomas Rees Godre'rgraig had passed away. The end came with tragic suddenness after only five days of illness at the age of 48 years. Deceased who leaves a widow and four young children was born and died in the same house. He received his training for the ministry at Gwynfryn under the late Watcyn Wyn and Gwili and afterwards at Carmarthen College. He was ordained in 1914 but did not take charge of the church until he was inducted Pastor at Godre'rgraig Church in September 1924. The late Rev gentleman who was of a kindly and lovable nature was a brilliant writer and thinker and a poet of no mean order. He was also a musician of considerable ability: a lecture recital he gave recently at Pantteg Chapel being acclaimed one of outstanding merit.
The funeral for men only, will take place on Saturday at 2.45, a service being held at Pantteg prior to burial at Godre'rgraig at 3 o'clock.


From the Labour Voice 19th December 1925

THE LATE REV D T REES GODRE'RGRAIG
One of the most impressive sights seen at Godre'rgraig for a very long time was the funeral of the late Rev D T Rees, Dallas House Godre'rgraig, whose death which occurred with tragic suddenness, we reported last week. A very large number of deceased relatives and friends, ministerial and otherwise, and his church members at Godre'rgraig attended to pay their last tribute of respect to one they loved so well and the character so noble in its simplicity and modesty. An impressive service was held at Godre'rgraig Chapel conducted by Rev Ben Davies and at which all the ministers present took part.
The chief mourners were: Messrs T T Rees schoolmaster Ystradgynlais brother; John Rees Llandovery, Tom O Morgan Ystalyfera brothers-in-law; Evan Jones Ammanford, W D Clee Ystalyfera, John Thomas Ammanford; J Jones schoolmaster Salem Llandilo; William Rees, David Rees, John Rees, Gwauncaegurwen, David Evans Godre'rgraig cousins.


The grave in Godrergraig Cemetery of Reverend David T Rees, which also includes his wife Harriet, died aged 85 in 1970, their baby daughter Eluned, died 1918, and their daughter Rachel, died aged 21 in 1943.


From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 5th June 1943:-

The funeral took place at Godre'rgraig Cemetery on Wednesday of Miss Ray Rees, daughter of Mrs Rees and the late Rev David Rees, pastor of Godre'rgraig Chapel. She was 20 years of age and was employed somewhere in England, returning home a few weeks ago owing to ill health.


From the South Wales Voice 19th June 1943:-

BURIAL OF MISS R REES
The funeral took place at Godre'rgraig Cemetery on Wednesday of Miss Ray Rees, youngest daughter of Mrs Rees and the late Rev David Thomas Rees Godre'rgraig. There was a large attendance.
Mourners were: Messrs Gwynfor brother; R J Parry and T R Isaacs brothers in law; T T Rees, T J Rees, J Rees, D R John Chester, John Davies uncles; John R and L Morgan, Evan Lewis, Raymond Grainger, David Rees, W D Clee, Glyn Parry and Cyril John cousins.
At the house were: Mrs Rees mother; Mrs Parry and Mrs Isaacs sisters; Mrs John, Miss John, Miss Rees Chester, Mrs Rees Ystradgynlais aunts; Mrs Mairwen Jones, Miss Olive Jonathan, Mrs Davies cousins.


From the The Voice newspaper, 17th December 1970:-

MRS H REES GODRE'RGRAIG
The funeral of Mrs Harriet Rees who died aged 85 at the home of her daughter at Godre'rgraig took place at Godre'rgraig Cemetery. Mrs Rees was the widow of the Rev D T Rees who was Minister of Godre'rgraig Independent Chapel.
Mourners at funeral: Gwynfor son; Keith, Eurof, Gwynne, Alun, Barry grandsons: John, Mervyn, Idwal nephews.
Mourners at house were: Tegwen, Megan daughters; Nancy daughter-in-law; Maggie sister; Haulwen, Lyneth, Pat granddaughters; Katie May, Olive, Maggie Olwen nieces.


 
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