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This page is a little more personal than many in this section as I am the author of most of these presidential pages. They have come from a great enjoyment in researching the history of the society and through that of Cardiff and the surrounding area.
I am clearly the least of the illustrious presidents as I have no great scientific discoveries or actions that have shaped the city of Cardiff to my name. and I do not have any learned affiliations or medals for bravery like many of those who have come before me. What I have tried to bring to the Society is my enthusiasm for learning and exploring and sharing what I have found, and my knowledge of technologies such as are used to develop these web pages.
Born in Scarborough in the 1960's, and brought up about 4 miles inland, I began my education about the natural world later than I would have liked as my mother was tied up caring for elderly relatives and I had little encouragement to learn these things as a child. However in school in my teenage years I was lucky enough to have two geology teachers who truly inspired me to learn about the natural world and I have been trying to catch up on that missed early learning opportunity for the rest of my life.
That joy of learning is in my opinion one of the greatest gifts that any parent or teacher can give. It is a gift that you can keep enjoying for your whole life as many of these pages of former presidents have shown.
Having discovered the subject of geology at secondary school I was taken on a field trip to Ravenscar where the fabulous Lower Jurassic cliffs abound with ammonites and I was fortunate to find on one of my first visits a fine specimen of Hildoceras bifrons which I still have today.
Hildoceras bifrons Ravenscar Beach, Yorkshire found in the 1970's
This love of geology, and my love for exploring the outdoors which I was able to do though my years in Scouting, encouraged me to select geology as a career and I studied geology at university. During that time I developed further my love of exploring places and especially the underground worlds of caves and mines and subsequently lava tubes
I moved to Cardiff in 1984 and took an initial post at the National Museum of Wales where I was cataloguing fossils. This led to a contract to work on the famous "Dinosaurs from China" exhibition. This was a huge event not just for me, but for the whole of Cardiff and indeed the UK as this was the first time that it was agreed to take any of these fabulous specimens out of China
Dinosaurs from China 1986 poster
During this time I joined the Cardiff Naturalists' Society as a member and learned a lot from people like Dr Mary Gillham. I was subsequently asked to join the council. Then (to my utter amazement) asked to be President of this illustrious organization by Mairead Sutherland, which I did from 1996 - 1998. An amusing tale is that I once walked into the chip shop on Caerphilly Road wearing the presidential regalia. Not quite up to the mayor's standard, but it still caused amusement
The Presidential regalia
Since then as work has ebbed and flowed I have had a more or less active membership and have continued to serve on Council (with a break for a few years when work commitments were too much) and I currently act as publicity officer which amongst other things means I maintain much of the digital life of the society including these web pages
I have learned a lot from others in the society and I regularly speak to the society on geology, wildlife and caving topics and I have contributed a number of articles to the newsletters as well as publishing 2 formal journal papers on aspects of cave geology
My interest in all things geological and wildlife continues to this day, and whilst I cannot claim the expertise or standing of many of the former presidents I hope I contribute to the smooth running of things, and that you are enjoying these web pages describing our history
My Photo Website tells the rest of my story
Back to the 150th Anniversary index
Before this... Cynthia M. Merret 112th President
Next up... Linda E Nottage 114th President
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