…Strive for a clearly defined objective and make the impossible possible without an excuse…

Letter from The Mayor of Cardiff

10.6.2019

Dear Jan,

As I am coming to the end of my term as the Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Cardiff (handover date is the 23rd May 2019), I am writing to you to thank you for the tremendous support you have given me and, most of all, for the warm friendship you have shown me.

I have enjoyed the various events that I have attended with you, the Ambassador of Slovakia and, of course, Nigel Payne, the Consul for Slovakia. Your company has been delightful and your family history and success story, since being forced to flee from Czechoslovakia, have been fascinating and inspiring.

I have fond memories of dinners at the County Club, preceded by musical interludes, holding the precious violin that has been in your family for many years and going onto the ice to start the ice-hockey match between the Cardiff Devils and your team from Slovakia. These are memories that will stay with me forever.

My Consort and husband, John, also wishes to thank you for the support you have shown us and for your wonderfully, entertaining company.

We both hope that our friendship with you will continue and that there will be occasions, in the future, when we can meet and enjoy each other’s company, maybe in Slovakia.

My one regret, and it is a big one, is that you and your wife will not be able to attend my farewell Ball at the City Hall, Cardiff on the 17th May i.e. Friday this week, at which Dame Shirley Bassey will be the guest of honour, having received the Freedom of the City that afternoon. I was so much looking forward to meeting your wife and spending time in your company. I wanted you to receive the public acknowledgment for the generosity you have shown to my nominated charity the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales Tiny Lives Appeal. Notwithstanding your unavoidable absence, I will ensure that your kindness does not pass without the mention it thoroughly deserves.

I have to say that John and I were overwhelmed when, within minutes of him informing you of my nominated charity and explaining to you that I had a target of £100,000 to fund two specialist incubators, you agreed to pledge £15,000. Together with John’s pledge of £1000, the Big Give doubled the amount and the Charity received £32000. That also enabled the Charity to raise a similar sum on-line which was itself doubled, making a grand total of £64,000, which would not have been possible without your pledge.

Finally, can I thank you on behalf of all the trustees, staff, child patients (past, present and future), their parents and, indeed, the general public in Wales for the enormous generosity you have shown so far, which will never be forgotten. You will always be welcome to visit the hospital at any time to see the fantastic work that is being done as a result of your selfless, charitable donation.

Best wishes to you, your wife and family,

Dianne Rees,

The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Cardiff.