History of the Welsh Veterans
The WVFA originally started with a senior competition for those over 40 years of age. It was arranged by Professor Peter Stewart and held
at Bridgend Fencing Club in 1991, it was all weapons and all sectors and after a very excellent social weekend it was decided that we would hold another competition at the same time the following
In 1992 it was held again and at the luncheon after the Sunday fencing it was discussed whether or not to form our own Veterans
Association, the decision was unanimous and the Welsh Veterans Fencing Association was born.
WVFA was officially 25years old in October 2017, although we have had 26 years of Veteran competitions; and in that time the
membership has grown from 17 to over 100, with the Annual Championships and AGM still being held in October at various locations in Wales.
Welsh Veterans have been instrumental in organising and motivating the veteran community throughout the World.
Welsh Veterans were instrumental in lobbying for the inaugural Commonwealth Veterans Competition in 1995; with Wrexham, Wales, attracting
119 fencers from eight Commonwealth Countries in 2001.
The event is now held every two years with Commonwealth countries vying to host the event, Wales being one of the Commonwealth countries
that has had Veteran fencers attend in each event.
WVFA instigated the Celtic Challenge in 2004, which includes all the Celtic Nations, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Isles, Whole of Ireland,
Brittany, Galacia, Asturias,Scotland and Cornwall. It is held on alternate years, the latest Celtic Challenge took place in Cardiffl in 2017, with Wales retaining the coveted Celtic Dragon for
the 6th time (non consecutively).
The WVFA organised and held the first Veterans Home 4 Nations,in Wrexham in 2007 and is now an annual event, the venue moving to each of
the 4 Nation countries in rotation. The event was named as "The Justin Smith Trophy" in memory of Welsh fencer Justin Smith who died at the first event.
Our aim continues, having been stated at our first meeting to give every fencer over 40 years of age the opportunity to have an equal
chance to represent our Country in a friendly and convivial atmosphere.
The Welsh are recognised as being one of the most congenial and friendliest fencing Nations and are always at the forefront of innovation.
Welsh Veterans fencing has made the commitment to continue to be innovative and improve all aspects of fencing in Wales for all generations. Long may we continue.
Mike Norfolk(Life President)
At the 2014 AGM of the WVFA it was with great sadness that Mike Norfolk (MBE) stepped down from his role as the Chairman of the WVFA.
In a very moving and heartfelt speech made on behalf of all the WVFA members, present and in absentia, by Gillian Aghajan,Mike was presented with a replica of the sword of the "Black Prince"
and a replica of the Celtic Challenge tophy "Arturo", to commemorate his dedication, commitment and unerring support of Veterans fencing in Wales.
At the Commonwealth championships, Mike was awarded with a life-time acheivement from the Commonwealth committee. (picture to follow)
Gillian also stepped down from her role as secretary to the WVFA. On behalf of the WVFA Pat Shepherd-Foster presented her with a commemorative glass vase in recognition of all the hard work and
dedication she has shown to the WVFA over her time as secretary. Gillian now takes up her role as the Chairman of the BVA, we offer our congratulations and wish her all the very best in her role.
It is with deepest regret that I have to inform the membership that Bernice (Bunny) Norfolk, wife of Mike Norfolk, MBE, Life President of the WVFA, former head
coach and founder of Wrexham fencing club, passed away on Thursday 4th July at home after a short illness.
The funeral was held on Wednesday 18th July at Chester Crematorium, Blaken, Chester at 3.20pm.
Mark Robertson attended the service and offered condolences on behalf of the membership to Mike
and family. Flowers were sent on our behalf.
A donation to the Heart foundation has been made as requested by the family.
Welsh Fencing will also be posting this on the WF site as Mike and Bunny have been held in high
esteem for many years.