[caption id="attachment_5974" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Sharing memories and comparing notes are (l-r) Roy Edwards, founder member of the union in 1955 Mr T Llew Jones MBE, FUW president Glyn Roberts and Nerys Edwards[/caption]
The Farmers’ Union of Wales celebrated its 60th anniversary on Tuesday December 8 with a trip down memory lane.
Sharing memories and comparing notes on the state of the industry were Roy and Nerys Edwards and their four sons, of Groesasgwrn, Llangynderyn, Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire and Mr T Llew Jones MBE, a founder member of the union in 1955.
The couple joined the FUW in May 2015 – making them the newest and one of the ‘youngest’ FUW members in the founder county.
Roy was the winner of Fferm Factor for the year 2014 and Nerys’ time is split between being actively involved in the running of the home farm, helping her husband and keeping a successful occasion cake business ‘Cacennau Moethus’.
The informal visit gave the couple and FUW president Glyn Roberts, who also attended the visit, the chance to explore the different views of those who were actively involved in the set-up of the FUW 60 years ago and those who have just joined the organisation.
“Farming has changed dramatically over the last 60 years and it was interesting to hear about the challenges the farming community faced in 1955 and how these compare to the struggles but also opportunities the current generation of farmers deal with,” said FUW president Glyn Roberts.
Many stories were shared over cups of tea and wonderful home-made cake and Glyn Roberts particularly enjoyed looking through old photographs with Llew Jones.
[caption id="attachment_5976" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Mr T Llew Jones MBE, a founder member of the union in 1955 and FUW president Glyn Roberts[/caption]
He said,” It was inspiring to hear the stories of how the FUW was founded back in 1955 – and how determined our Welsh ancestors were to fight for Welsh farming and the small family farm.”
The evening celebration at the Halliwell Centre in Carmarthen was well attended by FUW staff old and new and many members.
Guest speaker the Rt Hon. the Lord Morris of Aberavon KG QC, who was actively involved with the formation of the FUW as the union's legal adviser and deputy general secretary between 1956 and 1958, talked about how the FUW was formed and reminded guests that the union was born out of the frustration felt by Welsh farmers, when their needs and voices were not being heard by the Westminster Parliament.
It was down to their dream of having a Welsh farming union he said and the tenacity of these Welsh entrepreneurs that the FUW has been given the official right by the Government to represent and speak on behalf of Welsh farmers and the union has done so at the highest level – at the National Assembly, Whitehall and Brussels ever since.
Speaking at the dinner, union president Glyn Roberts added that, “We are here today because of the vision of the founder members who have worked so hard.
“It is an overwhelming honour to stand in front of you as president of this union, but that honour also has great responsibilities and a duty, not only to those that have fought so hard in the past, but also to those that will take over from us in future.”
The president further added that Shakespeare once said that Owain Glyndwr was not like most men, he had a vision. We can proudly say the same about the pioneers of the FUW. Their vision was to have an independent voice for Welsh agriculture; an union that spoke for them, and which had the interest of Welsh farmers at its core.
“I have no doubt in my mind that all of us will do everything we can to honour those founding members and ensure that their vision of a strong voice for the industry remains at the core of the FUW’s principles.”
[caption id="attachment_5975" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] FUW deputy president Brian Thomas, former FUW presidents Gareth Vaughan and Emyr Jones, The Rt Hon. the Lord Morris of Aberavon KG QC and FUW president Glyn Roberts[/caption]
Carmarthen county executive officer David Waters, who was heavily involved in organising the evening function, said “I would like to thank all the staff for helping to organise such an enjoyable and successful dinner.
“We also held a raffle to raise money for the British Heart Foundation Cymru and I am very pleased to say that we have raised £1,600 for the cause.”