Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos

Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos died on Thursday 1st March 2000. Hundreds of people bid farewell to Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos when his funeral was held in Holyhead. Mourners gathered at Disgwylfa Chapel in London Road, where his father once preached. They heard Lord Cledwyn being described as a great politician, a man of vision and one of the founding fathers of Welsh devolution. He contributed immensely to the lives of the people of Wales and Britain, and always fought for Wales and its language. Lord Cledwyn was born in Holyhead in September 1916 – son to the Reverend David Hughes. He graduated from Aberystwyth University and the joined the FAR where he served for five years. In 1946 he set up a firm of solicitors in Holyhead. He was an Anglesey County Councillor for 7 years from 1946 to 1953. Lord Cledwyn was also a member of parliament for Anglesey for 28 years between 1951 – 1979. He was opposition spokesman for Housing and Local government for 5 years between 1959 – 1964. In 1955 Cledwyn Hughes as he was then, was also chairman of Welsh Members, when steps were taken to establish Cardiff as Wales’ capital city. He was minister of state for two years from 1964 to 1966, for Commonwealth Relations. This role took him to Rhodesia for discussions with Ian Smith at a time of great sensitivity politically. Under the Prime Ministership of Harold Wilson in 1966 he became Secretary of State for Wales. In 1968 he was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. In 1973 he received the Honorary Freedom of Beaumaris. He became chairman of the Parliamentary Labour party between 1974 and 1979 and in 1977 led a high level delegation to Russia. In 1975 he served as vice-president of Britain in Europe, and was given the freedom of Anglesey in 1976. In 1977 he was made a Companion of Honour for his services to Wales. Cledwyn Hughes played a massive part with his support to higher education in Wales as President of Aberystwyth University between 1976 – 1985, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Wales between 1985 – 1994 and the President of the University of Bangor between 1995 to 2000. He was made a peer, as Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos in 1979, and became leader of the opposition in the upper house between 1982 – 1992. October 2001 would have seen Lord Cledwyn celebrate 50 years service in both of Westminster’s Houses to the Nation he dearly loved. Lord Cledwyn leaves his wife Jean, son Harri, daughter Ann and four grandchildren – Daniel, Angharad, Anna and Sara.As a Nation said the Reverend Dafydd H. Owen officiating at Lord Cledwyn’s funeral, ;we lost one of our most distinguished leaders. The family, however, has lost a husband, father and grandfather who they loved dearly he added Lord Cledwyn will be remembered as a man with many virtues – foremost amongst them modesty, kindness, rationalism, determination and a healthy humour, and he always walked along the path of justice. He brought many employers and prosperity to Wales Lord Gwilym told the congregation. After the service, Lord Cledwyn’s body was taken through Holyhead to be buried at MaesHyfryd Cemetery. Donations to his memory were given to the Cancer Unit at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in deepest appreciation for the excellent nursing and medical care that Lord Cledwyn received there.