Category Archives: WCIA history

Wales – Africa Community Linking: Development Cooperation in Action

Republished from September 2014 article on Dev.Cymru, by Craig Owen, Head of Wales for Peace and Global Action, WCIA. This opinion piece long predates the Brexit vote, and the establishment of the Welsh Government’s’ International Relations Ministry; but is republished as an important contribution to Wales’ peace heritage on ‘International Solidarity’.

 

“International Cooperation, the shaping of our common future, is far too important o be left to governments and experts alone.”

Willy Brandt, “The Independent Commission on International Development: A Programme for Survival”, 1980

 

In August 2014, the Welsh Government published their grant bid for the ‘Wales for Africa’ programme – long awaited by civil society organisations and those active in internationalism – stimulating debate about how future programming might best be focused.

Online discussion, stimulated by an excellent blog post by Associate Professor Ele Fisher,  focused on how Wales for Africa could be more recognised in international development circles. But is it ‘international development’… or is it actually an international volunteering sector, with a strong ‘communitarian’ element, and if so what difference does this make? Should our reference be the UK / DfID approach, or does Wales have more in common with European approaches – in particular, emerging thinking around the ‘Fourth Pillar of International Cooperation’, which explicitly focuses on the role of burgeoning ‘citizen initiatives for development’? And how should the government’s Wales for Africa programme (and perhaps more importantly, civil society’s response to it) be framed, in order to be more effective – and better understood?

Re-framing Wales’ contribution to International Cooperation

One could posit that Wales for Africa is actually not a governmental international development strategy in the sense that the wider international development ‘establishment’ see it; but a support mechanism for Wales’ civil society movements, through global citizenshipand volunteering, to participate in international cooperation – with shared aspirations to contribute towards ending poverty (the MDGs). The challenge – quite apart from these words meaning little to Ioan or Joan on the street – is that the language of Wales for Africa over the last few years, and therefore the focus of critique, has been framed firmly in international development.

To the ordinary volunteer or person on the street, the great goal of ‘making poverty history’ is what motivates them to give their time, money, energy, commitment and passion. The public pressure for the Welsh Government to create ‘Wales for Africa’ in the first place emerged directly from communities’ involvement in the 2005 Make Poverty History campaign. It reflected the desire of ordinary people to do more than just sign a petition; and the desire of civil society organisations ‘beyond the development sector’ to offer tangible skills and knowledge.

Over recent years, this has started to be recognised as what some call a ‘distinct Welsh model’ with an approach that has been coined as ‘communitarian’. It is about harnessing the power of community-based civil society links, connecting professionals such as health, teachers and environmental workers as well as members of the African diaspora, Fair traders and equality activists, to support each other on a ‘community to community’ basis – not just communities of geography, but communities of interest, knowledge and expertise. Rather than professional staff in country offices, it is volunteering and cooperation through direct contact with local in-country partners.

Making Poverty Personal

As BOND’s own research on public attitudes to global poverty has found, the mainstream international development sector has left the public behind in understanding of poverty issues – and as research led in Belgium & Holland has identified, this has been paralleled by a burgeoning movement across Europe of small scale, private, voluntary and citizen-led initiatives, as people seek to make a more personal contribution in an ever-globalising world. In the Benelux nations this has been dubbed ‘the Fourth Pillar’ of development cooperation – and it is all about relationships. It should perhaps be emphasised that these initiatives exist throughout England too – it is just that there is no (properly resourced) support infrastructure for them, nothing to steer them towards good practice, or away from bad practice which can therefore flourish undetected.

Networks in Wales that have blossomed have to date been primarily been ‘identity driven’ (ie by the inputs of the Welsh participants who make them up, such as health professionals, diaspora or community linkers), rather than ‘outcomes driven’ (i.e. by the change they are seeking to create). Consequently, individuals across Wales have very different interpretations of why they do what they do, and what they believe Wales for Africa is (or should, or could, be). There is a great opportunity here for civil society to shift the narrative, defining real goals and priorities, and redefining ‘effectiveness’ against the outcomes we collectively seek to achieve.

Back to Schools (of thought)

One can identify three distinct schools of thought across the ‘Wales for Africa sector’:

  • Global Citizenship– education, awareness raising, and engaging people with global issues
  • International Volunteering– active, experiential involvement and skills / expertise exchange
  • Development Cooperation– mutual support and building capacity of southern partners

Let’s explore these pillars.

Global Citizenship

A driving force of the Welsh Government’s narrative around Wales for Africa is to engage ‘more’ people with global issues. Perhaps the most stunning demonstration of this is Wales’ becoming the world’s first Fairtrade Nation in 2008 – a cumulation of many thousands of individual achievements by campaigners, schools, community networks, local businesses and institutions. But this also encapsulates a staggering array of schools activity, awareness raising, local events, debate, media coverage, fundraising, casual volunteering, creative arts and community outreach work that infiltrates almost every community across Wales in some way or other.

Global Citizenship in itself is not a driving force of other governmental international development strategies – this tends to fall under schools policy, in the domain of development education and awareness raising. Following the last change of UK government, DfID deprioritised awareness raising initiatives in the UK, considered to dilute the remit of a ‘development agency’ (indeed, DfID Minister Andrew Mitchell viewed it as no more than brainwashing to support the government’s development commitments).

But in Wales – whilst arguments for stronger Welsh Government schools policy are backed up by a recent June 2014 Estyn Report into ESDGC – global citizenship is also a motivation behind the government’s support for work with Africa. It is part of a wider narrative about Wales’ place in the world, a distinctive nation and culture with values that are complementary but not the same as ‘Britishness’; a leader in sustainable development, a good place to visit and to do business, a nation where relationships are important. Encouraging people to engage with the world through Wales for Africa seeks to broaden horizons, knowledge and aspirations. Just think what could be achieved if all of these exciting and disparate activities could be better supported and joined up.

International Volunteering

Welsh health professionals delivering training with Liberian nurses, are giving their voluntary time and energy. Welsh citizens from the African Diaspora are volunteering their knowledge and connections. Environmental workers are volunteering their expertise to conservation or clean energy projects. Ordinary citizens participating in exchange visits are building long-term relationships and friendships that many southern partners value highly indeed, as a refreshing change from the ‘transactional’ nature of many vertical development programmes. International volunteering is perhaps the cornerstone of the Wales for Africa programme.

Development practitioners hold valid concerns around parochialism, poor practice, and grasp of ‘do no harm’ principles whilst volunteers (and hosting African partners) are going through these life changing learning journeys. A similar debate around ‘Voluntourism’ in the USA highlights great gaps in ‘thinking about linking’. But this is precisely where Wales for Africa’s resourcing can make perhaps the greatest difference.

It is easy to forget that Oxfam started out as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief… a small, amateur, voluntary organisation on a learning journey. With the right nurturing, acorns grow into great oak trees.

The Welsh Government do not have devolved powers to directly fund poverty project partners in the south – this is the domain of DfID. But they do have competency to support professionalization of Welsh organisations, and of the (very small number of) people employed across Wales’ international sector to date, all are employed to support and advise Welsh volunteers and organisations to involve more people in delivering better projects.

The challenge I would opine for the next phase of Wales for Africa is to shift towards support that is tailored to the very different types of volunteering contribution that Welsh individuals make. The support needs (and risks) are greatly different between a casual volunteering role such as local campaigning or fundraising, semi-structured volunteering such as charity trusteeship or a 2-week exchange trips to Africa; and a structured placementsuch as internships of ILO, VSO or UNA Exchange. Delivering cataract surgery in a remote rural village presents a whole basket of risks that are not mitigated by the ‘intent to do good’, and for which proper support and training are essential. But a volunteer is less likely to do much harm running a fundraising tombola – although support and training in how to communicate poverty issues might deepen people’s understanding and propensity to support African development.

Development Cooperation (vs. International Development)

One of the most visible elements of Wales for Africa since 2007 has been the expansion (or perhaps more accurately, raised profile) of organisations actively in Wales Africa linking exchanges and mutual project development – community links, health links, diaspora links, school links. As mentioned earlier, the ‘identity focus’ on Welsh networks has perhaps excluded some organisations who don’t identify with these (such as, ironically, small international NGOs) – and confused those with multiple identities (such as community links with health and fairtrade projects). Perhaps the most important need for Wales for Africa programming going forward, is not to ‘label’ organisations with an identity, but to recognise and support them for what they are.

The greatest opportunity here, is to elevate the involvement of some of Wales’ leading organisations. Many linking groups are primarily focused on volunteer exchanges and learning; but some have gone on to develop projects that, through cooperative working, are truly building the capacity of their African partners and supporting delivery of cutting edge, effective, small scale community development work. But these organisations face a massive jump between the ‘small grants’ level (£2-4k) of community linking funds, and those of international development project funders such as DfID, Comic Relief and Lottery which tend to be £100k upwards, with a laser sharp focus on poverty reduction rather than more general ‘cooperation’ and capacity building activities.  Again, there is an opportunity gap here.

Professor Fisher’s article highlights the ‘grand project’ of global development that is moving increasingly towards big players, multi-billion budgets, aid choice, infrastructure projects – and how this may open an opportunity for Welsh organisations to move into the ‘community level gaps’ that emerge. With £600,000 – is there any added value in Wales trying to play on the grand development stage? The whole WG Wales for Africa budget could be spent on 2 water boreholes in the Sudan, or a couple of miles of road in Angola, that could indeed benefit thousands of people and seem more focused. But against many hundreds of others playing on this stage, with vastly more resources and experience, it is difficult to see what ‘USP’ Wales could add to this mix.

But Cooperation  is another ‘development language’ that is the focus of many European and Scandinavian development agencies, carrying with it a whole load of different connotations. Cooperation implies more ‘equity based’ relationships, which would go a long way towards addressing concerns about paternalistic attitudes and charity dependency – and would align Wales with wider European models of practice.

Learning from European Cooperation

Three ‘pillars of development’ are universally recognised:

  1. Multilateral institutions (such as the IMF and World Bank)
  2. Bilateral aid (government to government)
  3. Non Governmental Organisations (such as Oxfam, Christian Aid or many charities).

Approaches that do not fit these models, such as volunteerism and community linking, struggle for credibility with an International Development practitioner community who can see these as an amateur infringement at best and a major threat to practice at worst. However, across Europe, there have been recent shifts towards recognising a ‘Fourth Pillar’ of Development:

  1. Citizen Initiatives’ in international cooperation.

Individuals, private initiatives, community groups and small voluntary organisations, independent of both the state and multinational NGOs, have been a rapidly exploding movement across Northern Europe in the last few years , and international cooperation agencies in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany are exploring how to engage with this untapped energy. The first mapping exercise of which (titled ‘The Accidental Aid Worker’) was published in January this year by Leuven and Nijmegen Universities, as the platform for a first European Conference on the topic.

Flanders, a devolved state within Belgium with strong parallels to Wales, have had a devolved Flemish International Cooperation Agency since 1993. They have now grown, with a budget of E31million, to a point of directly funding south-south cooperation projects; but retain a strong foundation and support across Flemish Civil Society through core funding 11.11.11 , the ‘Fourth Pillar Support Platform’. This services more than 550 Flemish citizen initiatives through training, advice and information exchange – a not dissimilar function to the Wales International Development Hub.

That Wales could learn from these models is undoubtable; but perhaps there is more to this. Is Wales for Africa actually more akin to European models of international cooperation? And could civil society and the Welsh Government position our future scheme to be a lead player in this emerging arena of thinking and practice?

Joining the Dots: A Radical Redirection that builds on Wales’ Strengths

So, more of the same, slight change or radical redirection? Is it too idealist to seek all three – a radical redirection that builds on Wales’ strengths?

My ‘radical redirection’ would be to shift the language and thinking of Wales for Africa to explicitly recognise and build joined-up programmes around the three pillars of global citizenship, international volunteering and development cooperation. One could reinforce this by committing roughly equal resources to each pillar. This would chime with calls from International Development practitioners to commit more dedicated resources to well-established Welsh organisations with strong southern partners (the international cooperation pillar), whilst balancing the recognition that there are other players in the sector whose contributions, through more focused support to Global Citizenship and International Volunteering, will lead to a truly holistic Wales for Africa programme for the future.

Republished from September 2014 article on Dev.Cymru, by Craig Owen, Head of Wales for Peace and Global Action, WCIA.

David Davies 75: Internationalist ‘Father’ of the Temple of Peace

By Craig Owen, Head of Wales for Peace at WCIA

On June 16th 2019 – appropriately enough, Father’s Day – it will be 75 years to the day since Lord David Davies of Llandinam (1880-1944), father and founder of Wales’ Temple of Peace & Health, passed away.

A leading thinker in Welsh internationalism who left his mark on the nation in a myriad ways, he died just months before the end of the World War that he had campaigned to avert, and on the verge of the creation of the United Nations that he had worked towards for 25 years.

David Davies’ Legacy

David Davies is a legendary figure to many generations who have worked, met, campaigned and volunteered at Wales’ Temple of Peace and Health in Cardiff since its opening in 1938. His name is also immortalised in the David Davies Memorial Institute, which resides at the world’s first Department of International Politics which he founded at Aberystwyth University in 1919 – this year celebrating its centenary – and in the David Davies Llandinam Research Fellowship at LSE. In 1910 he established the (King Edward VII) Welsh National Memorial Association (WNMA), with the aim of eradicating Tuberculosis and advancing Public Health. It became one of the founding bodies of the Welsh National Health Service (NHS) in 1946-48 – which operated from the Temple of Peace and Health. David Davies was also instrumental in founding the Welsh National Agricultural Society (now the Royal Welsh) in 1904; in establishing National Insurance with David Lloyd George in 1911, and in founding the New Commonwealth Society in 1932.

Thousands of young people continue to participate in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wales he founded in 1928. His home, Plas Dinam, still stands sentinel over the River Severn at Llandinam in Powys, across the valley from his grandfather’s home of Broneirion – now headquarters of GirlGuiding Cymru. His sisters’ former home at Gregynog Hall, a centre for the arts and printing press since 1922 and University of Wales retreat from 1963-2013, is now in the care of the Gregynog Trust. Beyond Wales, David Davies’ internationalist ideas live on in the United Nations, the Commonwealth and in the European Union. The UN Peacekeeping force and the UN Security Council, to name but two institutions, are based directly on proposals he advocated between WW1 and WW2.

“Lord Davies was one who stood for great ideals. He had the imagination of a poet; he saw great visions. His deep sincerity, his great generosity, his burning faith made him one of those rare beings who overcome obstacles and change the course of history.” Viscount Cecil

David Davies, circa 1905 – Parliamentary Archives

Who was David Davies?

Oft overshadowed historically by his industrialist grandfather, also David Davies (1819-1890 – known as ‘Top Sawyer’ and builder of many of Wales’ railways, ports and coal mines), Davies was born into a ‘family of philanthropists‘ in 1880 – still firmly in the Victorian era. David attended Merchiston School in Edinburgh before reading History at Kings College, Cambridge. An avid Welsh Non-Conformist and teetotaller with a ‘roaring, infectious laugh‘, he travelled the world extensively at an early age, to Africa, Asia and the Americas – witnessing first hand the Russo-Japanese War of 1904, and owning a ranch in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). He consequently developed a keen interest in international affairs that became his life’s passion and purpose.

In April 1910, he married Amy Penman of Lanchester, Durham and they honeymooned in East Africa. Tragically, Amy picked up an unknown disease on this trip which affected her health throughout World War One. They had two children, Michael (1915-1944) and Marguerite (1917-1930). In 1918, Amy died; David was devastated. Several years later, in 1922 he met and married Henrietta Fergusson from Pitlochry in Perthshire (with whom he had 4 more children – Mary (1923-2001), Edward (1925-1997), Islwyn (1926-2002), and Jean (1929-2011)). Henrietta became an avid supporter of David and his causes – and would go on to continue his work after his passing.

Mentored and supported by the high flying Welsh civil servant and philanthropist Tom Jones from 1910 (known as “TJ,” secretary to 4 Prime Ministers and considered one of Wales most influential political figures), David – who went by nicknames of ‘Chief‘ to his workers and ‘Dafydd Bob Man‘ to his political contemporaries – was characterised as “having boundless energy”, “thinking far ahead of his time and his contemporaries” and “churning out the work of six or eight people”. But these attributes were also his Achilles heel; Tom Jones observed that “he was impatient of contradiction or resistance to his plans; most rich young men suffer from a similar defective training. Twelve months at a desk or in a coal pit in his youth would have taught him to work with others.” 

Critics remarked on Davies’ “over-confidence, impatience and intolerance for deliberation.” For his artistic and sensitive sisters Gwendoline and Margaret, he could be a pushy and challenging brother to ‘manage’, as he attempted to draw them into his many causes and projects. But Tom Jones also conceded: “only a man with his generous impulses and driving force could have overcome the obstacles in the way of (his) Associations. But… he took some managing.”

On their wealth, Trevor Fishlock – author of the sisters’ Biography – observes:

“For the Davieses, their fortunes were also a covenant. They understood very well the realities of the source of their inheritance, and of the human price of coal in the Rhondda. They felt indebted… and the immensity of their fortunes frightened them. They had seen their father devastated by anxiety over money… [and had heard their stepmother say] ‘You would never grumble about having too little money, l if you knew what it was like to have too much.'”

A Life Story yet Partially Told?

For a man of such considerable accomplishments, social and world vision, it is perhaps some surprise that no biography has yet been completed of David Davies. Until recently, his main published presence was through inclusion in E L Ellis’ ‘Biography of Thomas JonesEven his Wikipedia entry is remarkably scant for a man of his achievements.

Script of unpublished Biography of Lord David Davies Llandinam, 1953 by Sir Charles Tennyson – digitised at https://www.peoplescollection.wales/items/552296

However, in 1953 the author Sir Charles Tennyson (1879-1977) – grandson of poet laureate Lord Tennyson – did indeed draft a script for a Biography of David Davies, now digitised by the National Library of Wales and publicly accessible. Sadly, this never reached publication; however, extracts were used for a smaller booklet compiled in 1995 by Peter Lewis, a Biographical Sketch of David Davies ‘Top Sawyer’ and Lord Davies of Llandinam. (reproduced from the Temple of Peace archives).

In 1963 – to mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Temple of Peace – John Griffiths for the BBC produced ‘One Man and His Monument, a radio broadcast celebrating the life of Lord Davies including interviews with many of the people with whom he had worked (and even the nurse who looked after him in his final days) – an invaluable resource and insight into the time, the script for which remains in the Temple of Peace archives today. In 2017, WCIA Volunteer Maggie Smales published a blog responding to ‘One Man and His Monument’.

The Peacemonger feature article by J Graham Jones for the Liberal History Group (Winter 2000) offers an excellent overview of David Davies’ political and society achievements.

The Gift of Sunlight‘ by Trevor Fishlock, Gwasg Gomer Press, 2014 is an autobiography of David’s sisters Gwendoline and Margaret. The book beautifully interweaves their contribution to the Welsh arts with the social history of the times, illustrated with photographs and records from the family archive – including many accounts of their (sometimes challenging) relationship with older brother David and his many causes.

Pilgrim of Peace: A Life of George M Ll Davies’ by Dr Jen Llewellyn, Lolfa Books, 2016 is an autobiography of David Davies’ cousin, the pacifist, Conscientious Objector, peacemaker and parliamentarian George Maitland Lloyd Davies – whom David Davies’ appointed as Secretary to oversee his charities on tuberculosis (the WNMA) and housing (the Welsh Town Planning and Housing Trust).

Political Career

In the landslide election of 1906, David Davies was elected as the Liberal Party Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire, a seat which he held until standing down in 1929.

An unconventional MP, he disliked parliamentary procedure and niceties, and regularly diverted from ‘party line’ in what he considered to be the best interests of Welsh people and world affairs. In June 1918, he sponsored a national conference in Llandrindod Wells to discuss ‘a measure of devolution for Wales‘, which went unsupported by colleagues. In 1925 – despite being the owner of the Rhondda’s Ocean Coal Company – he supported workers calling for a seven hour working day. He vehemently campaigned against the “evil spirit which appears to befog every utterance of the coal owners” and the government’s lack of conciliation surrounding the Samuel Mining Commission, seeking to involve the International Labour Organisation in averting what became the disastrous General Strike of 1926.

Despite this antagonistic relationship with political party machinery, Davies’ position in his constituency was unassailable. He was so popular, that in 1913 local Conservative press bemoaned “the cult of David Davies-ism… they have nothing in common with the ‘Radical Socialism’ which nowadays masquerades under the name of (his) ‘Liberalism.'” In present-day terms, his beliefs and interests would straddle the political spectrum: a liberal internationalist, a conservative champion of free enterprise and of hunting, and an advocate for workers rights, universal healthcare and social housing, who often spoke out against the establishment. In the context of Edwardian Empire, he was a maverick.

World War One

The outbreak of World War One in September 1914, as with every household across Wales, transformed the life and activities of the Davies family.

David Davies as a Commanding Officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers

Initially, Davies threw his characteristic energies into recruiting and raising a battalion, the 14th Royal Welch Fusiliers (Caernarfon and Anglesey), of which he became Lieutenant Colonel. Following formation on 2nd Nov 1914 in Llandudno and rigorous training in Snowdonia, they set sail for France in December 1915, to the Western Front trenches around Givenchy.

But Davies’ experience of the trenches horrified him. On his return in 1916, he spoke in the House of Commons imploring changes in war strategy, to reverse what he saw as the “massive, appalling and needless waste of life” and the “squalor, filth and lack of supplies to which our men are subjected”.

In June 1916, David Davies was recalled to England to become Parliamentary Private Secretary to War Minister David Lloyd George, and during December 1916 Davies was one of three ‘organisers’ instrumental in mobilising support for Lloyd George to replace Herbert Henry Asquith as Prime Minister and war leader – the only Welshman to have held the UK premiership. Davies quickly became part of Lloyd George’s inner circle, regarded as a “talkative, wealthy and light-hearted young Welshman in whose friendship and gossip he took much delight at this time.”

But Davies’ experience of the trenches, and his outspokenly candid feedback to the Prime Minister on the conduct of the war effort, soon caused a rift between them. On 24 June 1917, Lloyd George dropped a bombshell of his own:

 “[opponents say I am] ‘sheltering’ in a soft job a young officer of military age and fitness… In my judgment you can render better service to your country as a soldier than in your present capacity.” David Lloyd George’s dismissal note to David Davies, 24 June 1917

Bottom: David Davies during WW1 Military Service; Gwendoline & Margaret (Daisy) Davies pre-WW1; cousin George M Ll Davies, WW1 conscientious objector.
Top: George M Ll Davies during his military service; Gwen & Daisy nursing at the front in Troyes, France; cousin Edward Lloyd Jones, killed in action in Gallipoli, 1915.

A Dining Table and a Nation Divided

By 1917, the nation’s enthusiasm for a war ‘that should only last a few months’ had been dented by the catastrophic losses felt in every community. The Davies family represented a microcosm of the Welsh Nation – divided by war yet united in their desire for peace.

His cousin Edward Lloyd Jones had reluctantly signed up – somewhat sceptical of the war – and was killed in action in Gallipoli in August 1915. His brother Ivor Lloyd Jones was later killed in Gaza, Palestine in March 1917. Their close cousins’ deaths were felt painfully by David and his sisters.

His cousin George Maitland Lloyd Davies had initially joined the Territorial Army in 1909, but as WW1 loomed he could not reconcile the war with Christ’s teaching ‘thou shalt not kill’. Despairing at the co-option of churches and men of faith as a recruitment pulpit, he helped found Cymdeithas y Cymod, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, in 1914 – and from 1916 was imprisoned as a Conscientious Objector and opponent of the war.

David’s sisters Gwendoline and Margaret (Daisy) Davies supported the different positions their cousins had taken, as well as their brother David; but also carved their own distinct contributions to peace building in WW1. In August 1914 they organised and funded the evacuation of 91 Belgian Refugee artists and musicians to Aberystwyth on the ‘last but one boat to get away’. In 1916, they followed David to France as volunteers with the London Committee of the French Red Cross, where they set up a canteen in Troyes near the front of the Battle of Verdun, to support troops travelling to and returning from the front.

Booklet cover commemorating the Reunion of David Davies’ 14th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Llandinam in 1937.

Despite his disdain for the war, David Davies remained close to and a champion of the soldiers with whom he had served in 1914-16. Two decades after WW1, he hosted a Reunion in the grounds of his home at Llandinam from 30th July – 4th August 1937, for the surviving men of his 14th Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers. A Programme for the 20th Reunion Week and a Reunion Memento Booklet – recently found by Lady Davies, who made these available to WCIA for digitisation on People’s Collection Wales – captured the spirit of their Remembrance and commitment to building a better world.

“In the silent moments of our remembrance, we confronted the great phantom host which included the dearest friends of our youth. They would have become restive at the thought of what we – who know what war means – are now doing to save their dear ones from a similar fate… They say:
“What are you doing about it all? Is it to be nothing… but the laying of wreaths and blowing of last posts?”

Post-WW1: A Crusader for Peace

In August 1918 – three months before the end of WW1 – David Davies took to the stage at the Welsh National Eisteddfod in Neath, to call for the establishment of a ‘Welsh League of Nations Union‘ – even before a UK League – to harness the energies of communities Waleswide in pursuit of world peace. He was immediately supported by sign ups from the Maes and beyond:

“At the National Eisteddfod , David Davies first suggested the formation of the Welsh League of Nations Union, saying that Wales had an important role to play in the campaign for world peace. As the Union was formed in 1918 it had 3,217 members, but by 1922 this had grown dramatically to over 200,000. In 1920, Davies donated £30,000 to set up an endowment fund to establish a Welsh National Council of the League of Nations Union. By 1922 it had 280 local branches, and by 1926 the number had grown to 652.” Elgan Phillips, ‘When Aberystwyth hosted a Peace Congress

In 1919, David Davies and his sisters endowed the Woodrow Wilson Chair at Aberystwyth University, setting up the world’s first Chair and Department of International Politics “in memory of those students who perished in the conflict, to foster the study of the inter-related problems of law and politics, ethics and economics, raised by the project of the League of Nations.”

WLoNU letterbox at the Temple of Peace today.

Although a Welsh League of Nations Union had started work in May 1920, by 1922 limited progress had been made – despite the post-WW1 clamour for peace. With his characteristic drive, David Davies in January 1922 appointed a new staff, brought in the legendary Rev Gwilym Davies as Honorary President to coordinate the league’s activities in Wales, called a founding conference in Llandrindod for Easter of 1922, and donated a £30,000 endowment fund that transformed it into one of the most influential civil society bodies in Wales throughout the 1920s.

By 1929 there were Welsh League of Nations Branches in most communities – 794 adult branches and 202 junior branches, according to the 1928-9 WLoNU Annual Report, with a combined membership of 56,606 peace campaigners. The Young People’s Message of Peace and Goodwill founded in 1922 continues to be broadcast annually today; the Women’s Peace Petition to America of 1923-4 attracted 390,296 signatories, and was presented to US President Calvin Coolidge in March 1924. In 1926, the North Wales Women’s Peace Pilgrimage saw 2,000 women march from Penygroes in Caernarfonshire to London, calling for “LAW NOT WAR.” The Welsh Education Advisory Committee, of which the Davies sisters were a driving force, had developed the world’s first ‘peace education’ curriculum “to teach the principles of the League of Nations in our schools.”

In 1926, Davies pulled off the remarkable feat of hosting the League of Nations International Peace Congress in Aberystwyth – cementing Wales’ role in the leadership of international peace building.

A full set of Welsh League of Nations Activity Reports from the 1920s and 1930s have been digitised by WCIA’s Wales for Peace project volunteers, and offer a rich source for future research into the social impact of the Union in Wales.

A ‘Temple to Peace’

Davies had originally proposed the idea of a ‘Temple of Peace’ on the site of Devonshire House in London, in 1919. However, by the late 1920s, through the peace building efforts of the Welsh League of Nations Union, he had a mass movement behind him.

Percy Thomas Architect’s Drawings for the proposed Temple of Peace, 1929

During the 1920s, the Davies family had supported the creation of a Welsh National Book of Remembrance to commemorate the fallen of WW1. Serving as the roll call for the 35,000 men and women recognised by the Welsh National War Memorial – unveiled by Edward, Prince of Wales on 28 June 1928 – the book is a work of art in Moroccan leather, gilt work, vellum and mediaeval calligraphy (in the style promoted by the Gregynog Press).

Davies announced his vision for a ‘Temple of Peace’ to house the Book of Remembrance in a purpose-built crypt, and to bring together future generations to work towards building a better world of peace, health and justice in memory of the fallen. By 1929, Welsh Architect Percy Thomas had been commissioned to design Davies’ vision, and he produced full architects drawings, a detailed report and even an architects model of what would become one of Cardiff Civic Centre’s most distinctive buildings.

However, in 1930 the Great Depression hit the UK – massively affecting both construction plans for the Temple of Peace, and also the campaigning work in support of the League of Nations, which started to lose public confidence, particularly following the Manchuria Conflict of 1931. Davies, rejected as ‘visionary and impracticable’ by many colleagues, was frustrated by the readiness with which people seemed to accept the rapid deterioration in international relations and rise in militarism that followed the economic crash.

“We are prepared to die for our country; but God forbid we should ever be willing to think for it.” David Davies, 1931.

Having stepped down from Parliament in 1929, Davies worked tirelessly to reverse the tide of pessimism against the League of Nations. He founded the New Commonwealth Society, and wrote prolifically for the Welsh Outlook, Manchester Guardian and The Times, penning a number of books which remain seminal works in the field of International Relations:

“We shall never get real prosperity and security until we get peace, we shall never get peace until we get justice, and we shall get none of these things until we succeed in establishing the rule of law by means of the creation of a really effective international authority equipped with those two vital institutions, an equity tribunal and an international police force.” David Davies, ‘the Problem of the 20th Century’, 1930

In 1933, Davies’ work in peace building was recognised by the national government of Ramsey MacDonald with his elevation to the peerage, as First Baron, Lord Davies of Llandinam.

Concerned at the escalation of rearmaments by nations across Europe, Davies sponsored the tremendous ‘Peace Ballot Campaign’ of 1934-5, in which – largely due to Davies’ influence – Wales attained the 12 highest returns for the counties of the UK, with turnouts over 90% in favour of stopping the arms race that was threatening to cause another World War.

In 1934, he also stepped in to the financial ‘breach’ by giving £58,000 (£4.04 million at 2019 values) to enable construction of the Temple of Peace to proceed apace.

On April 8th 1937, Davies led the ceremony for the laying of the Foundation Stone for the Temple of Peace, alongside Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax (view photographs and press cuttings). Following an incredibly rapid but high quality construction, made possible through Davies’ ‘Sink Fund’, the Temple was readied within 18 months.

On 23 November 1938, two weeks after the 20th Armistice Day, Wales’ Temple of Peace opened to tremendous ceremony and acclaim. In another of Davies’ brainwaves – following rejection of an invitation for the young Princess Elizabeth to open the building – he felt it more appropriate that ‘the poorest wife of an ocean workman’ (coal miner) should have the honour, representing the women, mothers and wives who had lost loved ones in WW1, and led peace building efforts in the years since. The search for the ‘most tragic mothers’ of WW1 gripped the press and garnered worldwide publicity for the ceremony. Minnie James from Dowlais became the ‘mother of Wales’, opening the Temple with a golden key and leading in 20 other women from across Britain and the Empire.

 

With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that the outbreak of World War Two in 1939 would have prevented such a project from going ahead. Without Davies’ foresight and financial intervention, the Temple – and all of the work it has gone on to do over the 80 years since – would never have reached fruition. Davies had a vision for this to be the first of a string of ‘Temples of Peace’ all around the world, mobilising civil society activism to avoid conflict and build understanding. We can only guess at what his vision might have achieved had the outbreak of WW2 not curtailed his great dream.

‘One Man and his Monument’: Lord Davies watches over the Hall of Nations in Wales’ Temple of Peace to this day.

“I can assure you, my friends, that this building is not intended to be a mausoleum, and because at the moment dark clouds overshadow Europe and the world, that is no reason why we should put up the shutters and draw the blinds. On the contrary, in a world of madmen let us display constancy and courage. Let us as individuals and as a nation, humbly dedicate ourselves anew to the great task still remaining before us.” David Davies at the opening of Wales’ Temple of Peace

 

In November 2018, WCIA staged a month long programme for Temple80 and WW100, celebrating the legacy of David Davies’ remarkable monument and the movements it has inspired.

 

The Tragedy of World War 2

Within a year, the Temple of Peace became ‘mothballed’ with the outbreak of World War 2 in September 1939.

Whilst Davies himself was now too old to serve in the army; his son Michael signed up to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Davies furiously advocated for initiatives that might turn the course of the war, or ensure a robust and enduring peace on cessation of hostilities. Fearing the possibility of losing his remaining family to invasion, with great sadness – and to the great reluctance of his devoted wife, Henrietta – he arranged passage for them to live in Canada for the remainder of the war. Their home, Plas Dinam, David gave over to Gordonstoun School which relocated from Elgin in NE Scotland to Powys throughout World Warv Two.

Lord Davies – the Last Mission by H Granville Fletcher is a fascinating account of one of Davies’ ‘last ditch attempts’ to avert the conflagration of World War 2, when he travelled to Switzerland in October 1939 – following outbreak of hostilities – to persuade German industrial magnate Thyssen to cut off the supply of arms to Hitler’s armies. His mission proved unsuccessful when he discovered that Thyssen had himself fled Hitler and was a wanted man; but he made it home to the UK.

The strain of the war and separation from his family took its toll on David Davies’ health, and by 1943 he was feeling actively unwell.

The Last Picture

David Davies (1880-1944), 1st Lord Davies of Llandinam, painted by Sam Morse-Brown; from collection of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

In February 1944, he sponsored (through his Welsh National Memorial Association at the Temple of Peace) the introduction of a fleet of mobile radiography units that would revolutionise X-Ray scanning for Tuberculosis and Cancer. Attending the launch of this cutting edge health provision at Sully Hospital, he volunteered to undergo the first scan. It picked up that he had advanced cancer of the spine. His wife and daughter were smuggled on a Navy freighter from Canada across the Atlantic, through U-Boat infested channels, to spend their final days together.

He died just four months later, on 16 June 1944, aged just 64, just 14 months before the end of World War Two. His ashes were scattered among the bracken on the hill he loved above Plas Dinam.

But David was spared the anguish of losing his son, Michael, just 3 months later. Michael Davies, who had briefly inherited the title of 2nd Baron Llandinam, was killed in action with the 6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 25 September 1944 during the liberation of Holland.

Working from Above

One cannot help but wonder if David Davies had been called to the ‘pearly gates’ to complete his mission from above. Within just a few years of his death, many of the causes and ideas he dedicated his whole life towards, saw fruition:

  • In 1946, the newly launched United Nations Association Wales – successor to the Welsh League of Nations Union – led by Rev Gwilym Davies (in whom David Davies had placed his peace building confidence from the 1920s), organised a Memorial Service for David Davies at the Temple of Peace, and the David Davies Memorial Appeal to rebuild his peace building movement for a new, post-war era.
  • 1946 the United Nations was setup – its secretariat established by Welshmen who had been contemporaries of David Davies – and his ideas became enshrined in UN Peacekeeping, in an Equity Tribunal in the UN Security Council, and in the International Educational organisation UNESCO.
  • The Temple of Peace and Health would become a powerhouse for Wales’ relations with the world through the United Nations Association and (from 1973) the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, as well as International Youth Volunteering through UNA Exchange.
  • In 1947 the Temple of Peace and Health also became the transitional home for the fledgling National Health Service for Wales, into which Davies’ Welsh National Memorial Association was absorbed -realising his ambition of providing universal health care to every man, woman and child. It went on to house the Glamorgan Health Board and latterly Public Health Wales.

Lord Davies’ bronze bust by Sir Goscombe John at the Temple of Peace

Today, within the Temple of Peace and Health, a beautiful bronze bust of David Davies by the great 1930s sculptor Sir Goscombe John is displayed above the entrance to the Hall of Nations, accompanied by a leather bound Memorial presented to him in 1935 in recognition of his contribution to Welsh public life and his mission for peace.

But on the 75th Anniversary of his passing, perhaps the greatest legacy of David Davies is the generations of peace activists and internationalists who have been inspired by his vision to build a better world, from WW1 to today – and no doubt his enterprising spirit will continue to live on in the Temple fo Peace for future generations to come.

Find out More

Join WCIA’s ‘Peace 100’ Gregynog Festival Lecture on 29 June 2019, marking the centenary of the Paris Peace Treaty following WW1.

About the Author

Craig Owen is Head of Wales for Peace at the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. He can be contacted on craigowen@wcia.org.uk.

Craig would like to express his gratitude to the Davies family, in particular Bea and Daniel Davies, for their inputs and permission to share David Davies’ story and materials from the family archive; and to WCIA’s Wales for Peace project volunteers and partners who between 2015-18 have gathered together the stories of Wales’ Peace Heritage.

Twitter: @WalesforPeace

Facebook: @Cymru dros Heddwch / Wales for Peace

Peace100: WCIA Gregynog Festival Lecture will mark Centenary of post-WW1 Paris Peace Treaty

Wales’ Temple of Peace and Health was built as the nations’ memorial to the fallen of WW1 – thanks to the vision of one family of philanthopists from Powys, who made it their mission to support the people and communities of Wales in building a better world.

David Davies (1880-1944), Gwendoline Davies (1882-1951) and Margaret Davies (1884-1963) were the grandchildren of the remarkable Welsh industrialist and entrepreneur, David Davies, Llandinam (1818-1890), and used their inherited wealth with imagination to sponsor numerous cultural, educational and social projects to benefit the people of Wales.

This year’s Gregynog Festival season, in the Davies family home of Gregynog Hall, Powys, celebrates the anniversaries of two institutions founded by David Davies: the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University and the Temple of Peace and Health in Cardiff.

‘A Dining Table Divided’ by war, yet united for peace, the Davies family are a microcosm of Wales’ WW1 story – and their peacebuilding legacy lives on today. Come to their home, to this year’s Gregynog Peace Lecture to hear their moving and inspiring story.”  

For Tickets, click on links below

Gregynog Hall, Powys, home of the Davies family who founded Wales’ Temple of Peace. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within weeks of the 1918 Armistice, David, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies made a bold offer to the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth. They proposed to endow the world’s first Chair in International Politics. Their vision was driven by the recognition of ‘the need for considering all the peoples of the world as one’. Dr Jan Ruzicka, Director of the David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies, explains how such a world view represented a fundamental departure from the existing practice and show the difficulties David Davies met in his quest to realize it.

Book now

 

Craig Owen, Head of Wales for Peace (Welsh Centre for International Affairs), marks the centenary of the post-World War I Treaty of Versailles – signed on 28 June 1919 – with a special lecture exploring the ‘peace legacy’ of the Davies family, Wales’ unique Temple of Peace, and the extraordinary stories of ordinary people who, over the last 100 years, have shaped Wales’ role in building a better world. Can they inspire a new generation of internationalists?

Book now

 

 

 

Bottom: David Davies during WW1 Military Service, as commanding officer in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (14th Battalion), before witnessing the horrors of the trenches; Gwendoline & Margaret (Daisy) Davies pre-WW1; cousin George M Ll Davies, WW1 conscientious objector.
Top: George M Ll Davies during his military service (prior to opposing WW1); Gwen & Daisy nursing at the front in Troyes, France; cousin Edward Lloyd Jones, killed in action in Gallipoli, 1915.

Women, War & Peace Exhibition in Bangor for International Women’s Day 2019

Women, War & Peace is on display at Storiel, Bangor from 1 March – 27 April 2019

Through March and April 2019, including International Women’s Day #IWD2019 on 8th March, Storiel in Bangor will be hosting ‘Women War and Peace’ – a moving exhibition by world renowned photo journalist Lee Karen Stow with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA).

  • Ifanwy Williams – lifelong peace activist from Porthmadog, born just 3 years after the end of WW1.
  • Reiko Hada – survived the atomic bomb that killed 80,000 in Nagasaki, and a peace teacher her whole life.
  • Krystyna Kosiba – fled the Nazi WW2 occupation of Warsaw and found sanctuary in the Penrhos Polish Community on the Llyn Peninsula. 
  • Francess Ngaboh-Smart – survived the genocide as a teenager in Sierra Leone, before working for the UN Special Court holding those responsible for war crimes. 
  • Hazar Almahmoud – fled Syria in 2014 with her young daughter. Offered sanctuary in Newport, Hazar now volunteers with the Welsh Refugee Council.

‘Women War and Peace’ explores the impact of war on the lives of women in Wales and across the world, through their personal portraits and stories – whilst also considering how Welsh women have inspired the search for peace in the 100 years since WW1 ended

The exhibition includes a number of inspiring Welsh women with differing perspectives on war and peace – from peace campaigners to serving military personnel, and refugees who have fled recent conflicts to find sanctuary in Wales. Lee’s work draws on stories and experiences of women worldwide, from Vietnam to Palestine.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is #BalanceforBetter – a call to accelerate gender balance. WCIA’s exhibition presents not only the disproportionate – and often uncommunicated – impact of war on women world wide, but also the importance many women have played in leading and inspiring peace building efforts from the local to the global.  

On 8th March (International Women’s Day) itself, from 12.30 Storiel will be hosting a free lunchtime lecture by Annie Williams presenting ‘Votes for Women – the Bangor Suffragists’ – celebrating International Women’s Day and formally launching the Women, War & Peace exhibition. A choir will assemble to sing the ‘Pankhurst Anthem’ at 1.40pm.

Lee’s portraits are accompanied by a unique document from WCIA’s archives in Wales’ Temple of Peace and Health, the ‘Women’s Petition to America’ of 1923. Signed by 390,296 women across Wales in the aftermath of WW1, and presented to US President Calvin Coolidge in Washington by 4 Welsh women, the petition to the women’s leagues of America called for the United States to join and lead the League of Nations, as a means of bringing an end to all war. Later, in 1926, over 2,000 women joined the North Wales Peace Pilgrimage from Penygroes, Caernarfonshire, to London’s Hyde Park, calling for ‘Law not War’ in the settlement of international disputes – calling for Britain to lead a European disarmament conference.

95 years later, these previoulsy hidden histories – uncovered by WCIA’s Heritage Lottery Funded ‘Wales for Peace’ project – has inspired a campaign led by Gwynedd women, ‘Heddwch Nain Mamgu’ – ‘Our Grandmothers’ Peace’ – to rekindle the vision of the generation who survived WW1,  for a world without war.

Among Lee Stow’s striking portraits, 97 year old Ifanwy Williams from Porthmadog is one of the founding members of Heddwch Nain/Mam-gu, and has been a lifelong peace campaigner with Cymdeithas y Cymod, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, founded at the outbreak of WW1. And a short film clip features Iona Price from Tanygrisiau, who said “My initial reaction to this amazing petition was shock and disbelief that I had never heard about it before. A group of us have come together to make sure that we never forget the voices of these women – and that the plea for peace and a world without war would never be silenced.”

Short Film from the 2018 launch of ‘Heddwch Nain Mamgu’  

As part of the exhibition, visitors to Storiel can play their own part in history by signing a new petition for a world without war, created by Heddwch Nain as a present day response to present to the United Nations in 2023-4 – 100 years after the original. Since its launch on International Womens Day 2018, it has already garnered 3,500 signatures.

Lee Karen StowPhotojournalist Lee Karen Stow – whose work has been exhibited from the Horniman and International Slavery Museums to the United Nations Headquarters in New York – said “When I began telling women’s stories of war nearly 20 years ago, I was told – if it isn’t documented, then in the eyes of the world it doesn’t exist. Well, these women do exist, their experiences are real. Their stories might have been lost to history, or to time, if they hadn’t been recorded. But these women can inspire all of us today to work towards a better world.”

Susie Ventris-FieldSusie Ventris-Field, who recently became the first woman to head the Welsh Centre for International Affairs at the Temple of Peace, added “Wales’ has an incredible heritage of community action on global issues, from supporting the creation of the League of Nations 100 years ago after the end of WW1, to building active town and country twinning links or becoming a Fairtrade Nation. We’re delighted to have worked with Lee to bring alive the stories of just some of these women affected by war and peace – to inspire a new generation of internationalists to shape Wales’ role in the world, to shape the future they want to see.”

Visit WCIA’s Women War and Peace exhibition at Storiel from 2nd March to 27th April 2019.

Sallie Davies Memorial Fund

mum and dad at Ruby wedding celebrations 14months before she died

by Sallie Slade, daughter of Bill and Sallie Davies

This fund was set up in 1980 . The story behind this is:

During James Callaghan’s premiership it was decided to hold a  national competition among Labour party members to build up the information in the Labour Party archives. The competition was held in 1979.  The secretary of each constituency was asked to seek out their longest serving members and ask them to make a tape recording for the Labour Party’s “Tape Archive Competition”. Dad was asked by the Secretary of the Monmouth Constituency Party Mr. Ray Hill to participate.  Dad duly spoke into the tape about his early memories of the early Labour party days in Ebbw Vale, and the people who were welcomed into his home such as early Labour party greats including Noah Ablett, Enoch Morrell, Keir Hardie, his parents standing surety in case there was  “crowd trouble “at the open air meetings. The ” soap box” people stood on to speak was kept under their stairs. As he said it took a great deal of courage to be involved in the Labour Movement during those early days.

at WCIA with Goronwy Jones and Lord Malcolm PillMuch to dad’s surprise he actually won first prize of £500 . Dad decided he wanted to do something worthwhile with the money. At the time he was heavily involved with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. (He had served as the Welsh representative on the UK executive of UNA for 5 years. In 1981 he was appointed president of Welsh National Council of the United Nations Association).

He decided to set up the Sallie Davies Memorial fund in memory of his late wife to be used presentation of cheque from UNA (Welsh Centre Trust)by C.E.W.C. (Council for Education in World Citizenship) to promote their aims. My dad, family members and other people contributed to the fund so that the sum available increased. The Wales TUC and Welsh UNA made significant contributions. In the early days the fund was used to provide prizes for a Sallie Davies Memorial Fund Competition to be held in schools. One early competition was a poster competition about peace. In 1989 schools that raised the most money for UNICEF were able to nominate young people to go to Lesotho to see how the  UNICEF money was being spent. Beth Appleton from Llandrindod Wells and Stephen Pearce from Neath were accompanied by Mandy Owen (CEWC officer at WCIA at the time ). They had a wonderful experience being seen off at the airport by the High Commissioner  of Lesotho and being welcomed at the other end by UNICEF officials and members of the British Consulate. They were able to witness how UNICEF donations were put to good use in a recipient country.

Later it was decided that the best way to use the money was to help support the Wales Schools Debating Team  which competed in  the World Schools Debating Competition. This continued for a number of years.

The family hope that the money will continue to be used in ways that continue to support education in Wales.

 

 

#Temple80 – A month celebrating Wales’ Peacemakers and movements

Through November 2018, the Welsh Centre for International Affairs organised an ambitious programme of events to mark the 80th Anniversary of the opening of Wales’ Temple of Peace on Nov 23rd 1938, as well as #WW100 – the centenary of the Armistice of 11th Nov 1918, and beginning of the post-WW1 “Peace Process” that shaped global relations over the century since.

WCIA delivered over 43 events with a wide range of partners, each exploring an area of Wales’ ‘Peace Heritage’, and the work of Temple organisations past, present and future – as well as showcasing through the Wales for Peace Exhibition the work of volunteers and communities who have contributed to the Wales for Peace programme between 2014-18. This blog aims to draw together links and resources from all these activities, as they become available.

Voices of 1938 – Clippings Projection

Voices of Temple80 – Film

Temple80 November Programme of Events (scroll down for recordings / outputs)

View full programme of events – English; Welsh; Eventbrite

View Temple80 Exhibition Guide – English; Welsh

Listen to ‘Assemble’, composed for Temple80 / WW100 by Iffy Iwobi and Jon Berry

Temple80 Anniversary Evening

Centrepiece of Temple80 was the Gala evening on 23rd November, attended by about 230 people and including:

Self-Guided Tours of the Temple of Peace, and Temple80 / Wales for Peace exhibition.

‘A New Mecca’ Performance in partnership with Dr. Emma West, Uni of Birmingham and British Academy; Being Human Festival; Gentle Radical Arts Collective; and 50 volunteers and participants from diverse community groups. View ‘A New Mecca for today’ Being Human Festival blog by Dr Emma West.

– Communal Rededication of the Hall of Nations (back to its original 1938 title, as discovered from the archives)

– Food, Drink and Fireworks

– Launch of ‘Voices of Temple80’ Documentary Film by Tracy Pallant / Amy Peckham / Valley & Vale Community Arts

– WCIA VIPs Reception and alumni reunion, with Cutting of a ‘Rainbow Cake’

Peace Garden 30th Anniversary

On Saturday 24th, this was followed by a #PeaceGarden30 Rededication and Family Fun Day, in which WCIA brought together UNA Exchange international volunteers and alumni and Garden of Peace Founder Robert Davies, with children from Roath Park Primary School

Together they unveiled 2 new colourful mosaics (created by international volunteers) on a new archway entrance in the Peace Garden; buried a Time Capsule in the Garden, to be opened in 50 years time; and unveiled a plaque on one of WCIA’s meeting rooms in honour of Robert Davies, and all international youth volunteers inspired by him from 1973 to today.

#Temple80 ‘Wales for Peace’ Exhibition

The Exhibition accompanying Temple80 sought to draw together the story of the Temple, with Wales’ peace heritage of the last 100 years – including hidden histories gathered by community groups and volunteers 2014-18 – along with responses from young people, schools and artists.

View Temple80 Exhibition Guide – English; Welsh

Artists in Residence showcased a range of responses for visitors to delve deeper into the Temple’s stories:

  • Jon Berry, Temple80 Artist in Residence composed a series of musical installations responding to the Temple spaces & heritage; and also collaborated with musician Iffy Iwobi to produce and perform ‘Assemble’, a 8 minute musical tribute for the BME Remembrance Service.
  • Ness Owen, collection of 5 poems responding to heritage materials in exhibition;
  • Will Salter, ‘Guiding Hand’ alternative tour of the Temple encouraging deeper spatial appreciation;
  • Hazel Elstone, crafted multicoloured wreath of red, white, black and purple Remembrance poppies
  • Lee Karen Stow, with her ‘Women War & Peace’ photography display;
  • Tracy Pallant & Amy Peckham, with their community films including Temple80 Rap by BME artist Jon Chase.

Recordings / Outputs from Temple80 Events

Event Photo(s) Video(s) Audio(s)
Exhibition – throughout November Flickr Album;

Building the Exhibition

Self-Guided Tour with Craig Owen
Exhibition Launch and ‘Temple of Memories’ Round Table Flickr Album FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – ‘Temple of Memories’
BAME Remembrance Service, 2nd Nov Flickr Album ASSEMBLE – by Iffy Iwobi & Jon Berry
International Development, 5th Nov
Schools Conference, 6TH Nov Flickr Album
War, Peace & the Environment, 6th Nov Article
Temple Tours Exhibition Walkthrough
Turning the Pages – every day through Nov Soldiers Stories FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – Turning of the Pages Thoughts from the Crypt
Story of the Book of Remembrance, 9th Nov Flickr Album FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – Story of the Book 1 and 2 Story of the Book of Remembrance
Armistice Day Services, 11th Nov Flickr Album
Campaigning for Change, 13th Nov FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – CAMPAIGNING FOR CHANGE Campaigning for Change
Refugees & Sanctuary, 16th Nov FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – REFUGEES & SANCTUARY
Peace Education, 20th Nov FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – PEACE EDUCATION
Legacy of WW100, 21st Nov Flickr Album Legacy of WW100 Audio
Women War & Peace, 22nd Nov FACEBOOK LIVE – LEE STOW WOMEN WAR & PEACE

FACEBOOK LIVE – WELSH WOMEN & PEACE

FACEBOOK LIVE – 1980S ANTI NUCLEAR CAMPAIGNERS

Women War & Peace x 6
Peace Garden Rededication & Family Fun Day, 24th Nov Flickr Album Peace Garden Rededication + Robert Davies

Media Coverage

A New Mecca for Today? Being Human Festival Blog by Dr. Emma West, British Academy

‘We Will Remember Them’ – BBC Documentary by Huw Edwards (Temple of Peace features in about 5 minutes of content, with Dr Emma West and Dr Alison Fell)

How Wales’ most Tragic Mother spread Peace and Hope – Western Mail / Wales Online

Cardiff’s Temple of Peace opens its doors to celebrate 80th birthday – University of Birmingham article

War Mothers as Peace Builders – University of Birmingham

Remembrance Weekend at Temple of Peace – The Cardiffian

Temple of Peace turns 80 – The Cardiffian

Social Media Archives

Twitter Feed & Media: https://twitter.com/walesforpeace?lang=en

Youtube Videos Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0G2l7QV_yPDU4RHB8hEEPg?view_as=subscriber

Soundcloud Event Recordings: https://soundcloud.com/walesforpeace

Flickr Photo Albums: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129767871@N03/albums

People’s Collection Wales archive collections: https://www.peoplescollection.wales/user/8498/author/8498/content_type/collection/sort/date

Facebook Community Page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/walesforpeace/posts