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.