Mrs S A Richards


A LARGE number of family and friends who attended the recent funeral of Mrs Sarah Ann Richards, formerly of Lon Hywel, Whitland, at the town’s Tabernacl Chapel, bore strong testimony to the respect and affection in which she was widely held.

Mrs Richards died only eight months after her husband John, who was also well known as a local fireman, a driver for the Whitland Dairy and a driver/handyman for Riverlea Tractors at Crymych.

A devoted couple, much loved by their family, they were married in Cana Chapel, Bancyfelin in 1955.

Ann was brought up at Llysonnen Cottages, near Meidrim, the eldest child of Jonnie and Sarah Raymond, she was predeceased by her brothers John and Brian.

She went to school at Bancyfelin Primary and later at Whitland Grammar School, lodging in Whitland during this time.

Her first job was with Mr Griffiths the Chemist in Whitland, and she followed him and his wife when they established their newsagents, working for them and the next owners, Mr and Mrs Skone, for many years.

She also spent some time, once a week, as a Security Assistant with Lloyds Mobile Bank on its regular visits to Llanboidy and later worked at The Pot Board in Carmarthen.

A faithful member and Sunday School Superintendent at Tabernacle Chapel, Whitland, where she also organised the flower list for 40 years, she was also an active member of Merched y Wawr.

Extremely proud of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, she rejoiced in their achievements and personalities, being a beloved Mam, Mam-gu and Gu and will be sadly missed.

The funeral service was officiated by the Rev Guto Llewellyn, assisted by the Rev Beti Wyn James, Priordy, Carmarthen and the Rev Jonathan Kirk of Ebenezer, Haverfordwest, with the Rev Jill Hayley Harries, Minister of Bethel, Sketty, and Trinity, Swansea and former Minister at Tabernacl also in attendance.

Her granddaughter, Elin Llwyd, read a piece of prose especially written for her by Tudur Dylan Jones, Chaired and Crowned Bard, entitled “Mam-gu,” while grandson Ben Richards sang “Ei Gwmni Ef,” by the eminent Welsh composer, Eric Jones.

Interment was made at Soar Cemetery, Whitland.

The bearers were three serving firefighters and three retired Fire Brigade colleagues of her late husband.

The principal mourners were Chris and Huw Lloyd (daughter and son-in-law); Stewart and Jill Richards (son and daughter-in-law); Ceri and Elin Llwyd, Ben and Joe Richards (grandchildren); Cai and Llew Rees (great grandchildren); Val Richards (sister-in-law); Ken and Liz Richards (nephew and niece); Gaynor and John Lewis (niece and husband); Richard, Emma and David John (great nephews and partner); Gillian and Arwyn Edwards, Glenys and Dylan Jones.

Unable to attend were Yvonne John (niece), Peter and Glenys Raymond and Abbie Richards (nephew and great niece), Brian and Kitty Raymond and Aled Edwards.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Ken Davies and Sons, Clynderwen.

There were family flowers with donations for Diabetes UK.

The Revd Canon W Watkin


Formerly of Uzmaston, Haverfordwest

THE Revd Canon William Hywel Watkins CStJ was born in Aberystwyth on September 1 1936 and died there of pancreatic cancer on July 13.

He was 81.

For forty years he served the Church of Wales as a parish priest, rural dean and Chapter Canon in what he fondly called 'the periphery of the periphery'.

Raised in Llanbadarn Fawr, an important centre of early Welsh Christianity, Watkins was schooled at Ardwyn Grammar School Aberystwyth. He read history at St David's College Lampeter, before proceeding to Wycliffe Hall, Oxford in 1958 to read theology as an ordination candidate for the Diocese of St Davids. Deaconed at St Davids Cathedral in May 1961 and priested the following June by Bishop John Richards, he served a seven-year curacy in Llanelli, before being appointed vicar of Llwynhendy in Carmarthenshire in 1968.

Ten years later, in 1978, he was made vicar of the Benefice of Uzmaston with Slebech and Boulston where he ministered until his retirement. From 1987 he was rural dean of Daugleddau and, in 1993, was made a member of the Chapter of St Davids Cathedral, occupying the stall of St Nicholas. In 2001, he retired to his family home and was delighted to be able to rekindle old friendships in Cardiganshire.

Watkins was an active member of the Most Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem and, in 2000, was invested as Commander of the Order. From the twelfth century until the dissolution of monasteries, Slebech had served as the West Wales headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller of St John. During Watkins' incumbency, the village's ancient association with the Order was reinvigorated by regular St Johns-tide outdoor services in the picturesque ruined Hospitaller church on the Eastern Cleddau River. A gifted hymnodist, Watkins contributed many modern hymns' contemporary words to traditional tunes' for use in worship by cadets and members throughout the Priory for Wales. Until his death, he served on the Priory's Liturgical Committee.

A regular visitor to Germany and eager student of German, Watkins was profoundly committed to the work of post-war reconciliation. He maintained close friendships in Germany since university and later, as a priest, would build similar links with church leaders in the Evangelische Kirche of Bavaria and Baden. Watkins was profoundly moved by the lasting impact of the aerial bombings of Dresden and Pforzheim. He shared in ecumenical worship and preached at Pforzheim's Church of the Resurrection. Built from the rubble of the city ruins, the church was named for the new and liberated life that was able to emerge following the fall of the Nazi regime. His principal contribution to the work of international understanding, though, was by opening his Vicarage to countless overseas visitors, many from Germany, and by forging life-long friendships.

Watkins loved his whippet dogs and, until the final weeks of his life, would without fail take his daily two-mile constitutional to the National Library of Wales. A life-long lover of classical music, he had a fine tenor voice and was an enthusiastic member of his West Wales Baroque recorder ensemble. His hymns celebrated the joy of salvation and the gladness that can be found in Christian service, and echoed the melodies and poetry of his own rich life.

Mrs E Slark

Milford Haven

Formerly of Llangwm

THE funeral took place at Galilee Baptist Chapel, Llangwm on Wednesday July 4 of Mrs Elizabeth Slark, affectionately known as Betty, of Elizabeth Venmore Court, Milford Haven, formerly of Llangwm, who passed away peacefully on June 20, aged 91 years.

Betty was the last surviving member of her generation of the Trevithick family which was a long-standing part of the Llangwm community.

After completing her education at Taskers Grammar School for Girls, Haverfordwest, Betty worked for a short time at the Royal Navy Arsenal, Milford Haven and then at Saises Clothing Shop, Haverfordwest, before devoting her life to raising her family of five children with her beloved late husband, Bert.

The family left to mourn are her five children, Derek and Liz (son and daughter-in-law); Gary and Jenny (son and daughter-in-law); Robert and Marian (son and daughter-in-law); Catherine and Geoff (daughter and son-in-law); Andrew and Bethan (son and daughter-in-law); ten grandchildren Matthew and Laura, Adrian, James and Andrew, Kelly and Jonathan, Kate and Gareth, Thomas and fourteen great grandchildren, along with her nieces and nephews.

The bearers were her seven grandsons.

The service was officiated by Rev Roger Hart.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Tom Newing and Sons of Milford Haven, who were very supportive throughout this time.