SWSS, the South Wales Swiss Society was created in Swansea in 1997 by three Swiss after meeting by chance. In order to reach other Swiss in Wales they placed an advert in The Swiss Review. As a result, more Swiss in Wales made contact with the new Swiss group in Swansea. The newly formed society initially met once, then twice a year in Swansea and in Tenby, Pembrokeshire.
Since the opening of the first Swiss (Honorary) Consulate in Cardiff in 2006, other Swiss in Wales became aware of SWSS and made contact via the new Consulate. As a result, regional Swiss groubs were created: the Cardiff Swiss ‘Club’ (covering Cardiff & South East Wales) and the Pembrokeshire Swiss ‘Club’ (covering Swansea & South West Wales ) The Swansea Swiss, the founders of the South Wales Swiss Society now called their own regional group: the Swansea Swiss ‘Club’. During a visit to Wales in 2008 by Eduard Krall, the Consul General at the Swiss Embassy in London, the newly created Cardiff and Pembrokeshire Swiss ‘Clubs’ were officially launched.
After members of all South Wales Clubs (Swansea, Cardiff & Pembrokeshire) met together for the first time in 2008, members agreed to make SWSS their umbrella organisation, set up a constitution in order to be able to open a bank account and apply for a grant for voluntary organisations start ups by the National Lottery. With the help of this grant they were able to set up a website. This proved to be a useful tool to publicise their Swiss events in South Wales and attract more members. The website also hosts the address and information of the Honorary Consulate in Cardiff.
All Swiss Clubs in Wales, however, have no formal officers and no annual membership fee. They are independent and are not affiliated to any other organisation. The emphasis of all Swiss Clubs in Wales is on informality with a loose structure, determined by their members. All event fees are shared amongst participating members.
The South Wales Swiss Society (SWSS) role:
SWSS has a representative and administrative role.
SWSS holds a constitution on behalf of all South Wales ‘Clubs’.
SWSS holds a bank account on behalf of all South Wales ‘Clubs’.
SWSS helps to advertise and supports events organised by the Honorary Consul and the Embassy of Switzerland.
SWSS sends a representative to events when required.
SWSS organises a meeting once a year for all regional clubs in South Wales, to discuss the agenda of events for the year.
Present SWSS officers
President, Vice President & Treasurer
President: Rainer Arnold (Rainer belongs to the Cardiff Swiss)
Vice President & Treasurer: Rolf Brown (founder member) Rolf belongs to the Swansea Swiss
Gerry Allin, (founder member) Swansea, 2007-2012
Ruth Thomas, (founder member) Swansea, 1997 – 2007
Past SWSS secretaries & treasurers
Michele Pettifor, (secretary) Swansea 2001- 2011
Pascale Aeschlimann, (secretary) Cardiff, 2007 – 2009
Claire Sansom,(secretary) Cardiff, 2007 – 2011
Mererid McDaid (treasurer) Cardiff 2007 – 20011