Miss Breese

Miss Amelia G Breese
Casgliad Ysgol Bro Gwaun Collection
Hysbyseb am siopau groser y teulu ym Machynlleth, 1900 / An advert for the grocer shops of J M Breese, 1900
Tudalen flaen llyfr coginio Gwobr Miss Breese / Fly leaf of a Miss Breese Prize cookery book.
S Owen

The Miss Breese Prize for Domestic Science” was held in high esteem at Fishguard County Secondary School. It was awarded, from 1960 on, annually, to girls who passed their O Level with an ‘A’ grade. But few people nowadays know who ‘Miss Breese’ was. Here is her story –

The Breese family ran a successful grocery business at Machynlleth. In 1900 they advertised in a local  guide book, noting that their Dovey Stores was near the clock on Machynlleth Square, and their Gwalia House shop was nearer the railway station.

In 1901, the census shows that Miss Amelia Gwendoline Breese was one of eight children in the family. She had five sisters and two brothers.

By 1911 Amelia was a 20yr old correspondence clerk, boarding with 10 others at 102 Cambridge St, S.W. London. Her brothers served in the French trenches during the Great War, and two of her sisters also served as nurses in France.

By 1921, Amelia was a domestic science teacher at Fishguard Grammar School, lodging at 22 Clive Road. Girls from the National school would come to the Grammar School for their cookery lessons with Miss Breeze as there weren’t facilities for teaching cookery at the National School.

Miss Breese had always been interested in music and threw herself into the social life of the school, particularly with the choir. (see photo here)

Miss Breese gave cookery lessons in one of the pre-fabricated buildings on the school yard. Two thirds of the building was hers, and a pokey staffroom occupied the other third. Food being present made this building a magnet for mice, and loud shrieking from Miss Breese’s class was not uncommon. She really didn’t like mice!

Miss Breese devoted the best years of her life to the school. The 1939 national survey noted that she was living at Afallon, Sladeway. Later, she lived at Coedmor nearby.

In 1959, Miss Breese retired, having taught at the school for an amazing 38 years. A picture of her at this time may be seen here.

Unfortunately, her retirement was very short. This obituary, written by headmaster, D Hughes, and published in the ‘Omnia, 1960’ magazine, explains the circumstances.

Miss Amelia Gwendoline Breeze died on the 29th. May, 1960, four days after being involved in a car crash. The event cast a gloom over not only the school and the town, but also over the whole district. Few persons in the Fishguard district were better known. She became one of the community where ever she found herself. She responded to a kind work or deed or a request to render service with a warmth that was unmistakable. Possessing an abundance of vitality and a zest for life, she adapted herself remarkably well to retirement. After over thirty years of teaching in the Fishguard Secondary School, the break in 1959 must have been severe: her community sense had made her identify herself with the school. Nevertheless, she made a success of her new life of retirement. and remained as vital a person as ever. L was impossible to think of her as an old person. It is a source of joy that her memory is perpetuated in the school in the form of a Miss Breeze Prize, given by her sister. Mis Ethel Breeze. But we who knew her and worked with her will remember how she ‘laid hold on life to make it a joy.”

At Machynlleth’s Graig Chapel, a memorial to two of the Breese sisters reads –

This memorial was erected by Ethel D. BREEZE of “Gwynfryn” , Machynlleth, In living memory of her sisters, Alice Louisa who died December 11th 1959, aged 80 years, and Amelia Gwendoline, who died on Mai 29th  1960, aged 67 Years.”

If you have any memories of winning a Miss Breese award, or can share any more information about her, please contact us.

 

Roedd “Gwobr Miss Breese am Wyddoniaeth Ddomestig” yn uchel ei pharch yn Ysgol Uwchradd Sirol Abergwaun. Fe’i dyfarnwyd, o 1960 ymlaen, yn flynyddol i ferched a lwyddodd yn eu Lefel O gyda gradd ‘A’. Ond ychydig o bobl y dyddiau hyn sy’n gwybod pwy oedd ‘Miss Breese’. Dyma ei stori –

Roedd y teulu Breese yn rhedeg busnes groser llwyddiannus ym Machynlleth. Yn 1900 hysbysebwyd mewn arweinlyfr  lleol, gan nodi bod eu Dovey Stores ger y cloc ar Sgwâr Machynlleth, a’u siop yn Nhŷ Gwalia yn agosach at yr orsaf reilffordd.

Ym 1901, mae’r cyfrifiad yn dangos bod Miss Amelia Gwendoline Breese yn un o wyth o blant yn y teulu. Roedd ganddi bum chwaer a dau frawd.

Erbyn 1911 roedd Amelia yn glerc gohebiaeth 20 oed, yn lletya gyda 10 arall yn 102 Cambridge St, Llundain. Gwasanaethodd ei brodyr yn ffosydd Ffrainc yn ystod y Rhyfel Mawr, a gwasanaethodd dwy o’i chwiorydd hefyd fel nyrsys yn Ffrainc.

Erbyn 1921, roedd Amelia yn athrawes gwyddor ddomestig yn Ysgol Ramadeg Abergwaun, yn lletya yn 22 Clive Road. Byddai merched yr Ysgol Genedlaethol yn dod i’r Ysgol Ramadeg ar gyfer eu gwersi coginio gyda Miss Breeze gan nad oedd cyfleusterau ar gyfer dysgu coginio yn yr Ysgol Genedlaethol.

Roedd  diddordeb gan Miss Breese mewn cerddoriaeth erioed, ac roedd yn taflu ei hun i fywyd cymdeithasol yr ysgol, yn enwedig gyda’r côr. (gwelir llun yma)

Rhoddai Miss Breese ei gwersi coginio yn un o’r adeiladau ar iard yr ysgol. Roedd dwy ran o dair o’r adeilad yn eiddo iddi hi, ac roedd ystafell staff fach yn y traean arall. Roedd y bwyd  yn gwneud yr adeilad hwn yn fagnet i lygod, ac yn aml roedd sgrech uchel i’w glywed o ddosbarth Miss Breese. Doedd hi wir ddim yn hoffi llygod!

Rhoddodd Miss Breese flynyddoedd gorau ei bywyd i’r ysgol. Nododd arolwg cenedlaethol 1939 ei bod yn byw yn Afallon, Sladeway bryd hynny. Yn ddiweddarach, bu’n byw yng Nghoedmor gerllaw.

Ym 1959, ymddeolodd Miss Breese, ar ôl dysgu yn yr ysgol am 38 mlynedd – gyrfa anhygoel! Mae llun ohoni ar yr adeg i’w weld yma.

Yn anffodus, byr iawn oedd ei hymddeoliad. Mae’r ysgrif goffa hon, gan y prifathro, D Hughes, a gyhoeddwyd yn y cylchgrawn ‘Omnia, 1960’, yn egluro’r amgylchiadau.

Bu farw Miss Amelia Gwendoline Breeze ar y 29ain o Fai, 1960, bedwar diwrnod ar ôl bod mewn damwain car. Bu’r digwyddiad yn gwmwl nid yn unig dros yr ysgol a’r dref, ond hefyd dros yr holl ardal. Ychydig o bersonau yn ardal Abergwaun oedd yn fwy adnabyddus. Daeth yn un o’r gymuned, lle bynnag y cafodd ei hun. Ymatebodd i waith neu weithred garedig, neu gais i wneud gwasanaeth, gyda chynhesrwydd nad oedd modd ei gamgymryd. Yn meddu ar ddigonedd o fywiogrwydd ac awch am fywyd, addasodd ei hun yn rhyfeddol o dda i ymddeoliad. Ar ôl dros ddeng mlynedd ar hugain o ddysgu yn Ysgol Uwchradd Abergwaun, mae’n rhaid bod y toriad yn 1959 yn ddifrifol: roedd ei synnwyr cymunedol wedi gwneud iddi uniaethu â’r ysgol. Serch hynny, gwnaeth ei bywyd newydd o ymddeoliad yn llwyddiant, a pharhaodd yn berson mor fywiog ag erioed. Roedd  yn amhosib meddwl amdani fel hen berson. Y mae yn destun llawenydd y bydd disgyblion yr ysgol yn cofio amdani trwy sefydlu “Gwobr Miss Breeze”, a roddwyd gan ei chwaer, Miss Ethel Breeze. Ond byddwn ni a oedd yn ei hadnabod ac yn gweithio gyda hi yn cofio sut y gwnaeth hi ddal gafael ar fywyd, i’w wneud yn bleser.”

Yng Nghapel y Graig, Machynlleth, mae cofeb i ddwy o’r chwiorydd Breese yn darllen –

Codwyd y gofeb hon gan Ethel D. BREEZE, “Gwynfryn” , Machynlleth, Er coffadwriaeth am ei chwiorydd, Alice Louisa a fu farw Rhagfyr 11eg 1959, yn 80 mlwydd oed, ac Amelia Gwendoline, a fu farw Mai 29ain 1960, yn 67 mlwydd oed.”

Os oes gennych chi atgofion o ennill gwobr Miss Breese, neu os gallwch rannu mwy o wybodaeth amdani, cysylltwch â ni os gwelwch yn dda.

 

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