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4. 90-second Statements

May 10, 2017

5 speeches by…

  • Elin Jones
  • Jayne Bryant
  • Huw Irranca-Davies

Jayne Bryant

Diolch, Llywydd. This Friday marks International Nurses Day, an annual celebration of the tireless work and dedication of nurses across the world. This year the theme is ‘nursing heroes’. While we can all name nurses past and present who are heroes, I’ll be joining nurses from Aneurin Bevan health board to talk about a truly amazing woman: Annie Brewer. Annie was born in 1874 in Newport. Qualifying as a nurse in 1899, she was travelling through France at the outbreak of world war one. During the war, Annie worked on the front line, treating hundreds of soldiers, often in the midst of battle. In 1917, Annie’s ambulance came under shellfire and she was wounded while trying to bring injured soldiers back to base. Despite the danger she was in, Annie put her own life at risk to care for the wounded. During the battle of Verdun, Annie helped with 229 operations in seven days. That’s one every 45 minutes. For her courage and personal sacrifice, Annie was awarded one of the highest gallantry medals a French Government can bestow. It was said that Annie gave a magnificent example of coolness and absolute disregard for danger, lavishing her care on the wounded under enemy fire. Annie returned to Newport after the war to care for her own mother, but died shortly after. This astounding courage and compassion is the mark of a remarkable person, someone we must remember and a perfect example of a nursing hero.

Huw Irranca-Davies

I refer Members to my register of interest and my honorary role as vice-president of Ramblers Cymru. Last weekend, as if we hadn’t all done enough walking during the local elections, I and Suzy Davies AM attended the Ramblers Cymru Big Welsh Walk, also known as ‘the “Hinterland” challenge’, located as it was near Devil’s Bridge. Using as our base the lovely Tynrhyd Retreat, an exemplar of rural diversification, ramblers from all around the UK set off on walks of different lengths, from two miles to a more strenuous 15 miles, uphill and down dale, across the most glorious moorland and heathland, crags and wooded valleys and gentle lowland pastureland with rivers glistening in the sunshine. But before I come over too poetical, let me also be practical. The walks also demonstrated the incredible work of Ramblers Cymru volunteers, working with landowners and local authorities to maintain existing rights of way, and even to create new walking routes. It demonstrated the benefits to tourism and the local economy of being a walker-friendly town and county, connecting people to the places in which they live, introducing people to places they would not otherwise have seen, and it demonstrated the clear health and well-being benefits of something as simple as regular walking. As Ramblers Cymru states, by joining up communities, connecting people to their local landscapes, unveiling new places to discover and continuing to maintain our world-class network of paths, we can make Wales the best walking country in the world, not just for us but for future generations to come. That ambition is surely worth stepping out for. [Assembly Members: ‘Hear, hear’.]