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    Dylan’s Cross Bay Walk – Money for Madagascar

    On the 5th June Dylan proudly strode on to Morecambe Bay to do the moderately famous Cross Bay Walk, led by the Queen’s Guide across the dangerous shifting sands for the Money for Madagascar charity.

    So why Madagascar? A country famous for its unique flora and fauna it is also one of the poorest and most underdeveloped in the world and Dylan’s great grandfather Thomas Rowlands is buried there.  He and his wife worked tirelessly as missionaries for the people of Madagascar and this is documented in a book ‘Thomas Rowlands of Madagascar’ by Edward and Emrys Rowlands.

    Certain things strike you reading the book. The sad fact that not a lot has changed for the Malagasy people. 90% of the rural population cannot meet their basic food needs. 50% of children under five suffer stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition. We have a watercolour painting bought by Thomas Rowlands of cattle being herded across a river and a hundred years later you can still see the same scene there. Dylan said he felt echoes of this painting as he and some 350 other walkers crossed knee deep through the Kent River in the middle of the sands in random and rather unruly lines.

    Thomas Rowlands and his wife were out there during the Spanish flu pandemic – a parallel to the 21st century that just makes you pause for thought as history repeats itself and we feel these links to the past and across continents.

    It’s an ironic and sad thought that the petrol spent getting to Arnside and back to complete the walk cost Dylan the equivalent of a months’ wages for the average Malagasy. However, he raised a £1,000 and hopefully some awareness of this island that has a particular significance for him.

    Lilinos bike ride for prostrate cancer

    Llinos’ Ebike and the Prostate Cancer Fundraiser

    Charities have had a really tough time during Covid so we are choosing a few extra to support this next year. The first one popped up on Facebook – Cycle 100 miles in May for Prostate Cancer. Well, it seemed the natural thing to do. I had just bought a new bike. I have a father, two brothers, two sons and a grandson. I also have friends who have fought this disease, so I signed up.

    Then I thought, ‘I have an ebike’. This seemed a bit easy really and during hard times it was likely to be difficult to raise a decent sum of money. An extra challenge was needed to encourage the donations and hey presto, the birth of the ridiculous idea of cycling an extra mile for every £1 over £300 raised. Three things I didn’t consider. It may be an ebike but it still needs propelling. You need time to cover long distances and I have an hour or so each day that I can spend pedalling. The generosity of Dolgellau residents and our customers is and always has been amazing.

    I cycled almost every day in all sorts of weather. Took it with me on holidays to the Lake District and bumped around Whinlatter forest trails (falling off more than I care to mention) but the mounting donations were accumulating faster than my not-so-fit legs could pedal. Ex pupils and family members were donating for not so benevolent reasons I suspect and my pride was resulting in a nightly John Wayne walk to a hot bath.

    As the final total reached £1073.00, I recognised that there was no way on earth I could complete the extra 773 miles in May – even if I used Dylan’s motorbike. But at the time of writing, I have done 264 miles leaving a mere 509 to go.  I am setting a target of completing the miles by the end of July now which is still a bit of a task!

    It’s been a great challenge and there was a marvellous support group on Facebook. Thanks again to all the lovely people who donated towards this deserving charity and got me on my bike again!