Former Chair of the WCIA, Gareth Price, has died aged 78. Gareth was Chair of the WCIA from 2008-2012 and, prior to that, a trustee for many years.
Current Vice-Chair of the WCIA, Daniel Davies, said: “Gareth was a tremendous Chair of the WCIA. He steered the organisation through a difficult period with his characteristic calm authority, and helped to bring about some important changes, the fruits of which we are seeing today. Gareth brought his passion for internationalism to the WCIA, developed through his work at the Thomson Foundation helping to train journalists around the world. He was immensely liked and respected by Trustees and staff alike.”
Gareth Price was educated in Aberaeron, Ceredigion, and at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, before becoming an assistant lecturer at Queen’s University. He joined the BBC in 1964, going on to become the BBC Wales Controller. He left the BBC in 1990 to become the Director of the Thompson Foundation, an organisation that raises the standards of journalism and communication around the world.
Current Chief Executive of the WCIA, Susie Ventris-Field, said: “The WCIA’s strong position today is in part a legacy of Gareth’s leadership. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this difficult time.”
Dr Jones came to Cardiff in 1964 to lecture in chemistry at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST).
He soon became involved in the activities of the Welsh National Council of the United Nations Association (UNA), becoming a member of its National Executive Committee and helping in the formation of a new branch in the Rumney area of Cardiff.
When the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) was established at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff in 1973, Dr Jones played a full part, holding major offices: Chairman of its Trust (1975-81), Treasurer (1989-91), and finally President (1991-95).
Dr Jones was also very much a grass-roots man. He took an early interest in the development of the International Youth Service (IYS) which from modest beginnings in 1964 saw over 300 volunteers involved in 33 countries by 1994.
His humanitarian interests made him a leading supporter of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for which the WCIA was the official agency in Wales from 1974-96. He participated in the first World Air Race for small aircraft in 1992 and raised £20,000 for UNICEF projects in Bangladesh and Mali.
Dr Jones was also a Trustee of the United Kingdom Freedom From Hunger Campaign (FFHC) based at the WCIA (1978-97), which distributed over £1 million to 57 development projects in different parts of the world.
Returning to North Wales in the nineties, Dr Jones became involved in developments in his native Anglesey and in the formation of a UNA branch in Bangor.
Dr Jones’ contributions were all the more remarkable as he was also fully engaged in developing his own professional interests. He formed Lion Laboratories in 1967 where his outstanding scientific achievement was to invent the electronic breathalyser, which measured the alcoholic level of drivers at the roadside. His invention was used by polices forces throughout the world.
Our deepest sympathies go to Dr Jones’ family. He will be very sadly missed.
W R Davies
WCIA Director, 1973-1997