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Big job for a big man; Launch dinner planned.

Byline: ANDREW FORGRAVE

FOR much of his working life Richard Jones was known by just six letters: Dic NFU.

One of the benefits of this familiarity was a network of contacts that, over the next two years, will be put to good use if, as expected, he is confirmed as president of Caernarfonshire's 2011 Royal Welsh appeal.

The former NFU Cymru group secretary in Pwllheli had settled into a life of genteel retirement - save for a spot of house-building - when he approached to do the job earlier this year.

"One evening I had a telephone call from an ex-client who asked if I minded if he put my name forward for the role," said Dic, 60.

"It was quite a daunting prospect but I discussed it with my wife and I agreed."

His candidacy is expected to be rubber-stamped by the RWAS Council in December and already Dic has proffered some fundraising ideas.

"I was very proud to be nominated," said Dic, who lives in Penrhos and has three sons.

"It's a big job but for someone to have put my name forward means I must have done something right during my career."

After growing up in Four Crosses, near Pwllheli, he spent his formative years helping out on a neighbour's farm opposite South Caernarfon Creamery, Chwillog.

A spell working for the Department of Employment, Caernarfon, was the prelude to a 30-year career with NFU Cymru, where he won plaudits for his geniality and quickly gained the trust of his clients.

His appointment as county appeal president is perhaps not as high-profile as some in recent times. But it is a canny move by a RWAS county committee which realised Dic and wife Gwenda can bring much more to the party than mere window dressing.

The appeal will be formally launched at a dinner at Seiont Manor, Caernarfon, on November 6 (details below).

Guest speaker will be auctioneer Dai Lewis, chairman of the RWAS Board, who will also oversee an auction after the dinner.

With the appeal still in its infancy, fundraising events are still on the drawing board but one idea is to commission an original painting and sell the prints.

Others range from car boot sales to shooting days.

Overseeing the county's three divisions will be Dorothy Roberts, county secretary for 36 year who also organises Llanrwst Rural Show.

It's her third RWAS appeal and one of her first tasks is to find a Lady Ambassador. Candidates must be 18-35 years-old and from the old county of Caernarfonshire.

"It's a high profile role," she said.

"As the public face of the appeal, the ambassador will be involved in organising activities, meet lots of people and travel the breadth of Wales."

As each year's appeal county vies to collect the most, the pressure in always on the next one in line.

Dic insists RWAS Caernarfonshire will not be setting targets.

He said: "We didn't last time, and I doubt we will this time. We'll just try and raise as much as we can.

"It's going to be a busy year or two, and I'm facing it with a bit of trepidation, but also with enormous pride and excitement."

The appeal dinner is on November 6, at Seiont Manor, Llanrug, 7.30pm. Tickets, at pounds 20-a-head, from Bethan Bigwood, 01286 678958 or Janet Philips, 0724977848. Application deadline for Lady Ambassador is October 23. Call Dorothy Roberts, 01492 650847, after 6pm.

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Dic Jones is daunted but honoured to be heading the 2011 RWAS appeal
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 15, 2009
Words:585
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