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’. DrJanRuzicka, 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.
CraigOwen, 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?
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.
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 petitionfor 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.
Photojournalist 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-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.
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.
Much 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 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.
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)
– 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.
The trustees of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (the WCIA) have decided that converting the charity’s status from a charitable trust to a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) best serves the charity’s interests. As a result, in May 2014, the assets, business and affairs of the original WCIA charity (registered charity number 259701), were transferred to a newly created CIO with the same name and logo (registered charity number 1156822).
A CIO is a new legal form for a charity. Whilst it is an incorporated organisation, it is not a company and has to register with the Charity Commission, not Companies House. The Charity Commission has more information.
Our Chief Executive, Martin Pollard says that the main advantages of a CIO over the traditional charitable trust form are that:
“The WCIA now has a legal personality of its own,which means it can conduct business in its own name, rather than in the name of the trustees.
Also, a CIO’s trustees are usually personally safeguarded from the financial liabilities the charity incurs, which is not normally the case for unincorporated charities.
Our change of status will have no external impact on the WCIA’s work. Becoming a CIO will not affect our aims, activity plans, membership structures, accounting arrangements or ability to fundraise; nor does it affect our ability to operate under the separate names of CEWC and UNA Wales.
This is an exciting time for the WCIA with our bid for Heritage Lottery funding to support our Wales for Peace project.
The WCIA is most grateful to Martyn Robinson of Geldards LLP Cardiff office for all his hard work and assistance in effecting a smooth transfer of operations and for his and his firm’s generosity in providing pro bono legal services.”
Giselle Davies (Head of Charity Law and Social Enterprise at Geldards LLP) said “I am delighted that my team was able to support the work of WCIA by dealing with their transition to a corporate body in order to provide a safe platform for the future development of the organisation and the excellent work they undertake for the people of Wales”.
Geldards has a Charities and Social Enterprise section that acts for all types of charitable organisations.
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.”