It is with great sadness that the WCIA team learnt of the passing of lifelong peacemaker Ifanwy Williams, 98, from Porthmadog in Gwynedd on 20th March.
Ifanwy may be familiar to Welsh internationalists beyond Snowdonia as the ‘face’ of the “Women War & Peace” Exhibition by WCIA, with international photojournalist Lee Karen Stow, which toured Wales over 2017-20 – and remains on permanent display in Wales’ Temple of Peace and Health in Cardiff.
Ifanwy shared her perspective as a lifelong peace campaigner in a moving interview with Lee, reproduced for International Women’s Day 2018 in her blog post ‘Remember Me: the Changing Face of Memorialisation’, in which she shared Ifanwy’s story:
“At age 96, Ifanwy Williams (pictured here) has been a member of the peace movement in Wales for seven decades.
Born in Liverpool, Ifanwy was evacuated during the Second World War to Denbigh in Wales. She studied social work and on her gap year went to live in Dinmael, a village occupied by many radicals and non-conformists.
Influenced by those around her, and particularly her older brother Glyn, a conscientious objector and pacifist, she also became a conscientious objector.
For ten years Ifanwy has chaired the Glaslyn and Dwyryd Branch of Cymdeithas y Cymod (Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales). It was Ifanwy who coined the phrase Adar Angau (death birds/death drones) when the Fellowship began a campaign to raise awareness of plans to test and develop unmanned drone aircraft at the Llanbedr airfield in Snowdonia.
“I aim to be a Christian. I am a pacifist. I don’t believe in killing. There are other ways of meeting difficult situations.’’
Ifanwy was instrumental in setting up Heddwch Nain Mamgu, a community-led group inspired by the 1923-4 Welsh Women’s Peace Petition to America (which was signed by 390,296 women in households Wales-wide, in through a remarkable door-to-door campaign by the Welsh League of Nations Union) – who aim to mobilise a new generation of women peacemakers in the leadup to the centenary of this incredible movement.
- Cambrian News article, 18 May 2018
- Bangor Exhibition feature for International Women’s Day March 2019
Despite the current lockdown UK-wide, friends and networks in the Porthmadog and wider Peace community are organising virtual and online tributes to Ifanwy. WCIA will aim to add links to these tributes as they become available.
N Wales Daily Post Funeral Notices, March 23rd 2020:
“WILLIAMS Ifanwy Mawrth 20fed 2020. Bu farw Ifanwy Williams o Borthmadog yn 98 oed yn dawel yn Ysbyty Gwynedd ar ôl salwch byr. Mam gariadus a ffrind arbennig a ffyddlon i nifer fawr o gyfeillion a pherthnasau. Ymgyrchwraig brwd ar hyd ei bywyd dros Heddwch, Cymru a’r iaith Gymraeg ac yn erbyn Anghyfartaledd o bob math. Cristion i’r carn. Ysbrydoliaeth i lawer. Bydd colled enfawr ar ei hol. Trefniadau angladd i’w cadarnhau eto, ond mae’n orfodol cyfyngu ar y nifer. Gwasanaeth coffa i’w gynnal yn nes ymlaen yn y flwyddyn a chasgliad er cof amser hynny. Manylion pellach drwy law’r ymgymerwyr Pritchard a Griffiths Cyf., Heol Dulyn, Tremadog – 01766 512091”