The Farmers’ Union of Wales is mourning the passing of Union Life Member, Evan R Thomas, from Carmarthen, who has been described as one of the most gifted and intellectual since the formation of the FUW.
Responding to the news FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “The FUW has lost a farming stalwart.
“I regard Mr Thomas, or Evan R, as everyone knew him, as probably the most gifted and intellectually able member since the FUW was formed during 1955. He was a remarkable and wonderful man. He literally gave his life to the FUW and to Welsh agriculture. His contribution has been exceptional and he served on a very large number of committees.”
Mr Thomas served for 12 years on the Secretary of State’s Agriculture Advisory Panel. He was a past member, and past Chairman of Trawscoed Experimental Husbandry Farm Management and he was the Chairman at the time of amalgamation with Pwllpeiran Experimental Husbandry Farm.
“He was also a member of the Wales LFA Appeals Panel and a member of the Dairy Quotas Panel. His contribution extended beyond agriculture and he served on the BBC Agricultural Advisory Committee, the Post Office Users Council for Wales and he was a past Chairman of his local branch of the British Legion,” added Glyn.
The late Evan R was also the very first member of the FUW to win a contested election against a NFU sponsored candidate on to the Milk Marketing Board for South Wales during 1962. This was a very significant landmark in the history of the FUW and it showed that the Union could win the support of farmers in Wales at the ballot box. Evan R led the way and this was a huge success.
“Many of us will remember Evan R as a strong, determined and powerful speaker at FUW meetings of our Grand Council - the FUW’s governing body.
“Over the years we have invited many politicians to address Grand Council, and the majority of them have suffered the forensic and strong challenge to their address from Evan R. I will always remember, with affection, seeing Evan R on his feet, papers in hand, challenging these speakers in a very robust, direct way and always with great effectiveness,” added Glyn.
Evan R was awarded the MBE for Services to Agriculture during 1985.
Referring to the book published by Evan R, with co author Eiluned Rees, ‘Service & Survival : Llanstephan, Llanybri & Llangynog during World War 1’, the Union President said: “Not many people publish their first book when they are 90 years old! He was a remarkable man, a wonderful friend of the FUW and of Welsh agriculture and very able. Whilst we all mourn his passing, I will always be grateful and proud that I knew him and that I had the pleasure of working with him.”
Evan R is survived by his wife, Olga and three daughters, Kathryn, Ingrid and Rosalie.