Wil Roberts 1943 – 2022

Wil Roberts, or Wil Coed as he was universally known, was a well-known figure in Plaid Cymru who died in October 2022.  He played an active role in all the party’s campaigns from the nineteen sixties and served as secretary of the Pwllheli branch.  Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley delivered the eulogy in his funeral which we publish in full.

Translation of the Funeral Tribute by Dafydd Wigley
to the late Wil Roberts.

Dear Friends,

I would give anything not to be here today; but nothing would have stopped me from accepting the invitation from Siw and the family, for me to pay this tribute, on behalf of Elinor and myself,  to one who was such a friend to us all, in differing ways and at different stages of our lives. He was a very dear friend, whose course is now run; and whose immense contribution to his family, his community and his nation, have now, alas, come to an end.

This morning, our deep condolences go to Siw, to Dewi and Ifan; and to Quentin, who is also  part of the family; and to Jordan, Mia and Cai, for whom Wil was a loving Taid; and indeed to all the family. And I know that everyone would want me to thank Siw  for the loving care she gave Wil over the years, and particularly in this recent challenging period which they as a family had to face.

Siw has the certainty which she derives from her faith, rooted in this church; and that will be an anchor for her in the storms through which she is living. Siw was, of course, brought up in the Catholic tradition in Cardiff and came under the inspiration of the renowned Father  Gregory Fitzgerald; and her faith, together with the  Catholic church, have been a strength to Siw down the years.

So may I thank Bishop Emeritus Edwin Regan, for leading us today and for his support to Siw during this recent difficult period; and to everyone  associated with this church for their support for Siw and the family; for their kindness towards them; and for their practical help in their time of need. Also, may I thank Archdeacon Andrew Jones for the exceptional support he has given the family.

Siw has asked me to draw attention to the invitation extended to everyone, to join her and the family for a light lunch at Pwllheli Golf Club. The burial will be at Deneio Cemetery  after this service; but those who don’t wish to attend the cemetery are  welcome to go directly to the Golf Club.

William O Roberts was born on the 23rd December, 1943, the son of J.O, and Catherine Roberts, Cefn Coed Chwilog; and so it was  as “Wil Cefn Coed” he was known to everybody, later truncated to “Wil Coed”. His father was manager of the Creamery at Rhydygwystl; and a Caernarfonshire County Councillor.

Many of our generation don’t realize that Wil was one of twins, but sadly his sister died at birth; and it was a miracle that Wil survived. And the family suffered another tragedy, when Wil’s younger brother, Richard, then aged sixteen, was killed in a motor bike accident.

But I am under orders from Siw not to be too sad in my remarks today, rather to remember Wil as a delightfully happy friend, as indeed he was to all of us. I’ll try to obey that request.

After being a pupil at Ysgol Uwchradd  Pwllheli, Wil went on to study to be a Vet, at Liverpool university; but while his written work was excellent, he had difficulty with spoken English – a frequent feature amongst children in rural Wales. So he went to work for a year at the Creamery, before going on to the University at Bangor, to study agriculture. He was in the same year as Dafydd Elis Thomas, whom I am glad to see here today.

It was at about that time that I first met Wil. I was working over the summer vacation  as Plaid Cymru’s organiser in the Arfon Constituency. I arranged to meet a crowd of young party supporters in Pwllheli – and I handed them a pile of Welsh Nations – Plaid’s English language newspaper – for them to distribute from door to door.

I immediately sensed that I had a problem. Wil and his school friend Osborn Jones (whom I’m also glad to see here today)  were both glaring angrily at me.. One of them declared “There are already far too many English papers being read in Pwllheli!” –  threatening to leave me with my mountain of unwanted papers. Somehow, a compromise was reached – and Osborn, Wil and I became lifelong friends!

After graduating in Bangor, Wil won a scholarship to take a higher degree, in Agricultural Economics at Aberystwyth. So, naturally, his first job was with the Welsh Agriculture Department in Cardiff. He was in his seventh heaven travelling around the farms in the Vale of Glamorgan – and was surprised to discover how many farmers were still, at that time, Welsh speakers. And the farmers themselves were equally happy to deal with a civil servant who spoke Welsh.

Wil went  on to work with the Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagans,  with the task of driving around Wales, recording interviews in Welsh with farmers. Those recordings remain some of the treasures of St Fagans up to this day.

Wil was Plaid Cymru to the core; and he had no fear of declaring his allegiance. Despite his stammer, he was willing to knock doors the length of Wales; and wherever there might be a rally, or protest, or byelection, Wil would be there.

By 1970. Wil had met Siw – and guess where they met? Yes, in the romantic location of a Plaid Cymru Constituency  Committee in Cardiff. Siw was then sixteen years of age and Wil ten years her senior.

Although still a teenager, Siw was an experienced as a canvasser – and also of selling Welsh Nation papers from door to door in Cardiff. Just as well that Will hadn’t baulked at selling that paper in Cardiff as he had earlier in Pwllheli!

Wil and Siw “became an item” in 1971 – the year Elinor and I moved to live in Merthyr Tydfil; and that’s where I first met Siw. She and Wil came to canvass there in a famous parliamentary byelection and stayed in our home, where it seemed that half of Wales had chosen to camp down. In their sleeping bags, all; across our floors!

Wil had one abiding characteristic: he could sleep anywhere!…so much so, that on one occasion while riding his bike along Lon Goed, he dropped off – to sleep and from his bike – and suffered a nasty accident.

Wil was a person with whom accidents seemed to have an abiding relationship… On one occasion, he smashed his foot severely in a hay harvester. On another occasion, while a schoolboy, he went to play in the fields, and put down his coat, without realizing that a nosy pig was busily eyeing it; and when Wil turned his back, started to devour it for supper. Wil’s mother was not best pleased!

On another occasion, Wil suffered a serious accident while travelling in a car driven by his lifelong friend Geraint Eckley, which, on traversing the brow of a hill, hit black ice and Wil broke his back in three places. Geraint apologises that, for family health reasons, he cannot be here today.

Geraint recalled to me another of Wil’s traits – that he would suddenly get a great idea into his head – and off he would go! One morning, Wil announced to his house-companions in Aberystwyth that he was going to see the great Welsh author and patriot, D J Williams, down in Fishguard. Geraint went with him – and they landed, unannounced, on DJ’s doorstep. They were given a great welcome  and Wil became a bosom friends with DJ and visited him in Fishguard half a dozen times before DJ died, to chat with him about his recollections.

But let me return to Wil’s own story. Wil and Siw were married in 1973 at St Peter’s Church , Cardiff – and that was another story worth recalling. Wil had already by then introduced Siw to the Welsh mass at Cowbridge; and it was Welsh language Catholic marriage service which they enjoyed in Cardiff, with the famous Bishop Mullins officiating.

But there were two other officials responsible for organising the wedding ; and they hadn’t discussed which of them was responsible for organising the registrar to be present. During the service, it dawned on them that no registrar was in attendance; Panic! Someone was despatched from the Church to scour the suburbs of Cardiff for an available registrar.

The poor harpist, Eleri Owen, had to improvise on the harp for over half an hour until some deputy registrar was found and the legal niceties of the wedding could be concluded. At long last, Wil and Siw were then declared husband and wife.

After the wedding Wil was due to start a new job, as deputy secretary of the Welsh Black Society in Caernarfon. So off they went on honeymoon – only for Wil to get an urgent message – that his new boss had been taken ill and he was required immediately in Caernarfon. So Wil had a new job, a new home, in a new area,…and a new wife!

Their new home was on a small group of houses in Llandwrog. Their neighbours included Huw Jones (Sain) and Siân; Menna and Ceredig Davies of Gwynedd council; around the corner lived Wil’s old school friend Osborn Jones and Glesni; as did poet Gerallt Lloyd Owen and Alwena. Up the road was Richard Morris Jones and Manon Rhys; and a little further, John and Gwenno Hywyn. What a gallery of 1970s young Welsh talent.

This was quite a change of scene for Siw; but Wil was in his element and in his territory. According to Osborn, Wil was the character who held that diverse group together. Wil had the ability to deal with everyone; he was one of the most likeable people you could ever meet.

 It is Siw’s belief that if Wil had his time over again, he would have studied history and Welsh. Wil certainly had a delight in writing, particularly for newspapers. He had a column in Y Cymro on agricultural matters; he wrote for the Herald papers under the name of Thomas Parry (and such was his articulate style, many thought that it was Professor Tom Parry, Principal of Aberystwyth!); and Wil was an active member of the small group which produced the Ddraig Goch and Welsh Nation papers.

This was serious and responsible  work; but Wil’s humour found an outlet as he wrote letters to the Herald papers – not in his own name but in that of Twtws Parry of Llandwrog – expressing controversial  views that would anger the more respectable residents of the village. No-one could make out who was this Twtws Parry. Only close friends  realized that was the name of Wil and Siw’s pet cat!

Wil was also a first class photographer and for a while was the Western Mail’s official photographer  in international rugby matches.

Siw and Wil lived in Llandwrog for five years and during that time Wil was appointed  estates valuer for Gwynedd Council. They then moved to Wil’s childhood home at Cefn Coed, where they lived for ten years before moving to Yr Ala in Pwllheli where they resided for thirty-six years.

Wil was careful with his money. On one occasion, when he and Siw came down to join me for lunch in the House of Lords, he realized – too late – that he had left his suit at home. Surmising that he would be expected to wear a jacket in the rather grand Peers Dining Room,  he visited several shops and was horrified at the prices.  He eventually found a charity shop which had a jacket of his size; paid five pounds for it; and no-one noticed.

I can remember as if it was yesterday, when Wil, twenty tears ago, told me on Crewe station that he had just learnt that he was suffering from prostrate cancer.  He had clearly been shaken – but took a positive attitude that he wouldn’t allow that condition to define the rest of his life; however long that transpired to be.

However, he retired from Gwynedd Council to give his body every chance to conquer the cancer; and after five years, was given the all-clear.

And so it was that Wil,  over the subsequent fifteen years, lived a full life – at home with his family, within the local community in Pwllheli; active with the local Plaid branch; helping Siw with her work for this church; and writing even more – including  a tribute to his good friend Ioan Roberts in the book “Cofio Ioan”.

And then, just before the Covid lockdown, cancer struck again. For a time, because of lockdown, he couldn’t access the hospital. He then had several checks – all suggesting that the cancer had gone. But then, in 2020, symptoms returned and Wil suffered a fall at home.

It was feared that he had suffered a stroke; but that wasn’t the case. He had cancer in his spine and he endured protracted treatment at Ysbyty Gwynedd and Glan Clwyd. However in May this year, his spine collapsed and he fell down stairs.

Following that he was in Bryn Beryl hospital for many weeks  where he was given outstanding care; and both he  and Siw are so grateful to the staff.

When I called at Bryn Beryl to see Wil in July,  he was in excellent spirits; chatting with everyone; but yearning to return home to Siw. He made it clear how much he appreciated  the visits he had received, and the messages which Siw passed on,  wishing him a speedy recovery.

And when Wil returned home in late August,  a special bed was placed for him downstairs; and Gwynedd Council were excellent in providing ramps and equipment to help his mobility.

He had great assistance from  Jo and Natasha, therapists at Bryn Beryl; and aid from the “Tuag Adref” service  from Ysbyty Alltwen, in providing care at home; something Wil and Siw greatly appreciated. And nurses would call, day and night, to help, over the seven week period. 

The family wish to pay the highest possible tribute to both  the social services and the NHS; and it’s good, and appropriate that this is noted. But there is one special; person who Siw wishes me to name – that’s Bonnie, who many of you will know through her work at Canolfan y Gwystl. She called every night at Wil and Siw’s home, to clean Wil and care for him. Without her help, Siw doubts whether she could have coped. And she did this totally voluntarily: aren’t there some fundamentally good people still around?

I saw Wil for the last time at home in Yr Ala, a fortnight ago, on Wednesday 5th of October. He was in bed, and heavily sedated. But it was possible to conduct a fascinating and purposeful conversation with him; his mind was still very active and his aspirations for Wales as committed as they ever were.

When I mentioned the huge Independence rally in Cardiff the previous Saturday, where I had spoken,  his eyes lit up and he was so eager to learn more. And when I told  him that I would be presenting a Bill in the House of Lords next Friday, to protect the Welsh Senedd’s devolved powers,  he was voluble in his support.

I don’t know whether Wil, at that stage, realized  – as Siw had warned me – that he would hardly survive to the end of this month to  learn of the outcome of my Bill. I chatted with Wil that day for just half an hour;  he was clearly tiring;  and the time had come for me to withdraw – but not before he insisted that we shook hands; and he held my hand with a grip more powerful than I ever remember.

None of us know what is our destiny; nor whether we shall ever be allowed to know, after we have left this life, what will happen to our loved ones, to our aspirations; to our community,  and to our nation. But if there is any justice  in this great scheme of things of which we are a part, Wil’s spirit will be with us in those struggles which we shall have to wage – for the future of our countryside, for social justice, for national freedom,  for cultural fulfilment and for international peace.

Wil is with us in each and every one of those campaigns; he will not be forgotten; nor will he be indolent; his memory will fire us in our aspirations; and thereby, he too, will share in their ultimate triumph.

Thank you Wil; blessed is your memory; and rest in peace.

Dafydd Wigley

21 October, 2022.                     

Kitchener Davies – from Tregaron to Trealaw

Thursday 4 August 2022 12.30pm Pabell y Cymdeithasau 2 

in the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Tregaron

“Kitchener Davies – o Dregaron i Drealaw “

Darlithydd Athro M Wynn Thomas

Cadeirydd Dafydd Williams

The poet, dramatist and nationalist, James Kitchener Davies (1902-1952) will be the subject of this special presentation, 120 years since his birth.

The presentation will be in Welsh.

Penri Jones 1943 – 2021

Penri Jones, Author of Jabas, Councillor and Welsh language activist has died at the age of 78 years.

A tribute by Liz Saville Roberts:

Penri is well known to generations of Welsh people as the author who created the character Jabas. But there was much more to Penri: Author of a number of novels, a Welsh language teacher and a highly regarded local politician.

I had the privilege of working with Penri when  Coleg Meirion Dwyfor opened in 1993. He was amongst a number of teachers who chose to come to the new college to be able to provide Welsh language education of the highest standard.

As well as working as a lead teacher, he represented Llanbedrog Community on Gwynedd Council as a Plaid Cymru councillor where he held the education portfolio for many years and played a key role in developing and implementing the county’s language policy.

Penri was also an union representative for the UCAC teachers’ union.  On his request I joined UCAC, becoming the union representative after him, and following his encouragement I stood as a county councillor in 2004. Without his encouragement, I would never have ventured into politics. I have a significant personal debt to him.

Every sympathy to Mair and the family and to Penri’s many friends.

Pat Larsen 1926 – 2021

Tributes have been paid by family and friends to former Councillor on Gwynedd Council, Pat Larsen, who passed away at Gwynfa on 20 November 2021.

A former primary school teacher Mrs Larsen served as Mayor on the former Arfon District Council. She was a member of the former Gwynedd Council and was elected onto the newly formed Gwynedd Council in 1996. She was its first chairman in 1996-98.

Apart from a period when her children were small she had been a councillor for over 50 years. One Penisarwaun resident said many villagers could not remember a time when Mrs Larsen was not their councillor.

Paying tribute in a message to the Larsen family on social media Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts said: “I am proud to have known Pat Larsen when she was a county councilor, remembering her toughness and friendliness.”

Gwynedd Council vice chair, Cllr Elwyn Jones, who now represents the Penisarwaun ward, said: “I’m very sorry to hear the news of Mrs Larsen’s death. She was a very special woman who had a very special relationship in the community and beyond.”

Councillor Simon Glyn, the current Chair of Gwynedd Council, said: “Pat Larsen served tirelessly and effectively for her area and for Wales for many years and will be fondly remembered as a member of the councils of Arfon and Gwynedd and especially of her tenures as Mayor and Chairman.”

Arfon Senedd Member Sian Gwenllian, who served with Mrs Larsen on Gwynedd Council for many years, added: “I was saddened to hear about the passing of Pat Larsen, a woman that was very much ahead of her time. Hers was an immense contribution not only to her local community, but to the whole of Gwynedd and Wales.

“She led the way for women such as myself in her unyielding determination and I considered it a privilege to serve side-by-side with her as a councillor.

“My thoughts are with her family at a time of inevitable sadness and grief, but I will also be celebrating the life of Pat Larsen, a life well and truly lived to the full, and on a personal level, I will give thanks for being able to know and learn from her wisdom and perseverance.”

Jill Evans, Member of the European Parliament

Jill Evans

MEP 1999 – 2020

Jill EVANS official portrait – 9th Parliamentary term

Looking back over my career in the European Parliament, it’s hard to believe that it spanned over twenty years. In an article like this it is only possible to give readers a taste of the work of an MEP and try to demonstrate how valuable the European Union was to Wales.

 

When I first stood for Plaid in the European election in 1989, there was no hope of winning. By 1999 the electoral system had changed. Five MEPs were to be elected representing the whole of Wales on the basis of the percentage vote for each party nationally. With the highest ever vote for Plaid Cymru and with great excitement, Eurig Wyn and myself were elected as the party’s first MEPs. It was a milestone in Plaid’s history.

2020 Gadael Ewrop

It was also a personal milestone for me. I had first visited the European Parliament in the 1980s while representing Plaid in a meeting of the European Free Alliance (EFA). I went into the parliament chamber to listen to a debate on regional policy. The chamber was not as bright and striking as today’s hemicycle and I realised how difficult it was to make out which MEP was speaking. They were small, almost insignificant figures. Yet each one put all their energy into presenting a strong argument in their minute or two of speaking time.

 

I was surprised and inspired. I was familiar with the kind of politics where personality was dominant. It was possible to win a debate by ensuring that a well known politician (a man, almost without exception) would support one side over the other and that others would follow. The individuals were as important as the issue. It was not like that in the European Parliament. Every member was respected.

 

It is the greatest irony that the campaign to leave the European Union was won because Boris Johnson decided to support it. Such a fateful decision had hung on the choice of one man. It reflects the malaise in UK politics.

 

It is interesting, too, to note that UKIP tried to introduce the worst aspects of Westminster culture in the European Parliament. Shouting, heckling and insults were typical of their behaviour in the chamber. Toxic politics.

 

I was criticised in the media several times for failing to live up to the false requirements of a successful politician by UK measures. I wasn’t going to be detracted from my main aim. Wales in Europe was more than a slogan. It encapsulated a vision of an independent Wales working in peace and partnership with other nations across the European Union to build a more democratic and equal Europe: the Europe of the Peoples.

 

I was comfortable with the way the European Parliament worked. I was most effective in a context where consensus was valued. I am very proud of my successes in improving legislation and raising the status of Wales and the Welsh language.

 

I had an amazing and unique experience as a Plaid Cymru MEP. I had the honour of leading the EFA group in the parliament for five years as EFA President and Vice-President of the Greens/EFA Group. This year I received the EFA Coppieters Award for my work promoting EFA values.

 

I campaigned on climate change, fair trade policies, against GMOs, for agriculture and rural Wales, for peace and justice and for the rights of minorities. In 2008 we won co-official status for the Welsh language in Europe: it wasn’t full official status but at least our language had recognition. In 2019 I was awarded the METANET European prize for my work on digital equality for all languages. My report is regarded as the gold standard for minority languages.

 

I had unique opportunities to attend the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre, Brazil, to the United Nations summits in Johannesburg, Copenhagen and Paris and to the WTO meeting in Hong Kong. I visited Iraq before the war and went to Catalonia many times at the request of their government to act as an official observer for the independence referenda. I also became very familiar with Palestine and Israel through many visits with the parliament delegation.

 

Travelling is part and parcel of the weekly life of an MEP. I would leave home in Llwynypia every Monday morning to get the train to Brussels. Thursday evening, I would set off for home. Once a month the parliament met in Strasbourg which meant moving everything to that city for a week.

The weekends were my travelling time around Wales.

 

Being a voice for Wales was a huge responsibility. At the same time it was the greatest honour. It took a lot of planning and to prepare a strategy to raise the profile and open every possible door for Wales. That involved mentioning Wales in every speech in the chamber, organising social events, exhibitions and conferences, publishing reports and inviting speakers and groups from Wales at every possible opportunity.

 

I had incredible support in this work from Welsh food and drink producers, choirs, universities, voluntary and community organisations and many, many more. You can’t beat lobbyists from Wales!

 

It was a particular pleasure to offer work experience to so many young people from Wales in my Brussels office. It was a privilege to offer them such an opportunity and at the same time to show off the talent and the huge potential which augers well for the future of our nation.

 

Wales is a European nation. I campaigned until the very last minute to keep Wales in the European Union and I am heartbroken that we have left. When I left Brussels for the final time, I gave a Draig Goch to our group in the parliament. They are looking after it until Wales takes its rightful place alongside the other nations of Europe and our flag will be raised again.

 


2009


2009


2010 Fferm Gwern


2010 Gaza


2010


2010 Yr Urdd


2012


2014


2015

2019 Plaid Cymru EU election candidates Patrick McGuinness, Jill Evans MEP, Carmen Smith, and Ioan Bellin

 

Centenary of the Birth of Dr Tudur Jones

Robert Tudur Jones (1921 – 1998)

This year marks the centenary of the birth of one of Plaid Cymru’s most eminent Vie-Presidents, Dr Tudur Jones, who held the office from 1957 to 1964. As Vice-President, he provided Gwynfor with active support in public and invaluable advice in private. Living in Bangor, he was also in regular touch with General Secretary, Elwyn Roberts, who was based in the Bangor office. The three, Gwynfor, Tudur and Elwyn, were very much on the same wavelength, representing a nationalism that arose from a deep commitment to the Welsh language and that was firmly based on Christian values. As it happens, all three were Congregationalists. In the nineteen-sixties the Welsh Congregationalist Union resolved to support self-government for Wales, famously declaring that Wales’s problem was that it was too far from God and too near to England!

Tudur Jones, generally referred to as simply ‘Dr Tudur’, stood as Plaid’s parliamentary candidate for Anglesey in the 1959 and 1964 general elections. From 1952 to 1964 he served as editor of Welsh Nation. and edited Y Ddraig Goch between 1964 and 1973. Indeed, he was a very prolific journalist. He had a column in the weekly newspaper, Y Cymro, and it is calculated that these amounted to over one and a half thousand articles. During the nineteen-seventies he gave moral and intellectual support to the campaigns of Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Gymraeg, both privately and publicly.

Dr Tudur was born in Rhos-lan near Cricieth, but was brought up in Rhyl, in the Vale of Clwyd. In 1939 he entered the University College at Bangor, where he was elected President of the Student Union, and gained a first-class degree in Philosophy. In 1945 he registered at Mansfield College, Oxford, to pursue theological studies, leading to the award of the degree of D.Phil. He was ordained a Minister of the Gospel in 1948, and fulfilled that vocation outstandingly as a preacher, scholar and teacher. In 1966 he was appointed Principal of the Bala-Bangor Theological College, Bangor, and on his retirement, was appointed honorary professor at his alma mater. His role as President of the International Congregational Federation from 1981 to 1985 is an indication of his standing at the international level.

In 1974 he set out his thoughts on nationhood and nationalism in the Welsh context in a book entitled, The Desire of Nations. The discussion has three aspects – philosophical, historical and political. The philosophical element seeks to analyse the concept of ‘nation’.

While rejecting those theories which base a people’s claim to nationhood solely on the subjective elements of feeling and willing, Dr Tudur does not disregard these elements as components of nationhood. They may well be necessary components, but alone, they are not sufficient.

Turning to objective criteria of nationhood, he rejects Professor J. R. Jones’s contention (1960) that nationhood amounts to a people’s having their own unique and unrepeatable ‘historical track’. In fact, many collectives which are not nations could just as easily make the same claim. He also rejected J. R.’s later theory (1966) that to be a nation a people need to be organised as a state. Yet, he concedes that there is a political aspect (in the broad sense) to nationhood in as much as a people who take themselves to be nation will be aware of their own internal and exclusive social and cultural structures. Those structures may, or may not, include the institutions of statehood, but, either way, their nationhood will be unaffected.

Similar ideas are reflected in Dr Tudur’s analysis of nationalism. Patriotism is a sentiment: it is a name for love of country. Nationalism is an ideology. It has an objective, rational and public aspect: it links nation and state. Nationalism views the state as an instrument in the service of the nation.  In the modern, global, world nations need the institutions of statehood to flourish, and even to survive.

The nationalism commended in The Desire of Nations has deep roots in Dr Tudur’s Christian faith. It is very alive to the danger of idolizing the nation or the state. This lies behind his reluctance (like Saunders Lewis and the older generation of Plaid activists) to speak in terms of ‘independence’ when speaking of self-government for Wales. It also lies at the root of his bruising encounter with the Adfer movement in the mid-seventies.  

Those who knew Tudur Jones will remember him as endowed with a notable physical presence and with commanding eloquence in both Welsh and English. His style was magisterial, but laced with a mischievous sense of humour. Responding to George Thomas’s contention that there was no such thing as ‘Welsh’ water because it was really God’s water, he challenged Thomas to inform the king of Saudi-Arabia that there was no such thing as ‘Saudi’ oil because it was really God’s oil!

Gwynn Matthews

Maldwyn Lewis 1928 – 2021

In Memory of Maldwyn Lewis

It is with great sadness that we heard of the death of Maldwyn at the age of 93 on April 9 2021 following a short illness.

Maldwyn was a member of Plaid Cymru since his youth in Blaenau Ffestiniog, and he acted conscientiously and tirelessly for the party throughout his life.

He came to prominence in the seventies as a Porthmadog Town Councillor and Gwynedd Councillor for Plaid Cymru. This is the period when membership of the Bro Madog Branch led  by Maldwyn was over 300. 

As Chair of the Education Committee he was one of the founders of Cyngor Gwynedd’s Welsh Education policy, and solid foundations were laid. He also contributed to the Welsh language being at the forefront of Council services.

He was Dafydd Wigley’s agent in the 1979 and 1983 elections, and organised colourful campaigns when “Herald Ni” was being distributed to every house in the old Arfon Constituency.

His biggest contribution to the Porthmadog area was – along with Bryan Rees Jones – setting up Elusen Rebecca (charity) and buying the Cob. The charity continues to distribute the interest raised by the tolls to societies and organisations on an annual basis.

He was also active in Yr Wylan, the local community newspaper. He was Chairman of the management committee and a member of the Editorial panel.

During his life Maldwyn’s contribution to his area, Plaid Cymru and Wales was notable. He was an inspiration and a source of gratitude to those of us who are trying to follow his lead. 

Our deepest condolences to his sons Dewi and Geraint, his daughter Gwenith and their families in their bereavement.

Dewi Williams

Secretary  Bro Madog Branch, Plaid Cymru

 

1997 Referendum and Assembly

1997

A second Referendum on devolution – Wales votes Yes!

 

1999

First National Assembly of Wales elections – Plaid Cymru win 17 seats.

 

June 1999

Two Members of the European Parliament elected – Jill Evans and Eurig Wyn

 

2007

Plaid Cymru in government for the first time, as part of a coalition

1974 Three MP’s

1974

Plaid Cymru wins three Parliamentary seats in the October election – Dafydd Wigley (Caernarfon), Gwynfor Evans (Carmarthen) and Dafydd Elis Thomas (Meirionnydd)

 

1976

Strong results in local government elections, Plaid Cymru control Merthyr

 

1979

Referendum on devolution – Wales votes No

 

1982

After a long campaign S4C starts transmitting Welsh language television programmes

1945 Gwynfor Evans elected President

1945

Gwynfor Evans elected President of Plaid Cymru

 

1953

Start of the Parliament for Wales campaign – 240,652 support the petition

 

1955

Cwm Tryweryn campaign against the drowning of the Welsh speaking village of Capel Celyn

 

14 July 1966

Gwynfor Evans wins the Carmarthen seat to become the first Plaid Cymru MP in an historic by-election

Hanes Plaid Cymru