TRIBUTES TO LABOUR STALWART
Dedicated councillor ‘respected across Wales’
TRIBUTES have been paid to a “hugely respected” former Gwynedd councillor who has been described as a backbone of local politics.
Tecwyn Thomas, from Caernarfon, passed away peacefully last weekend at Ysbyty Gwynedd, aged 81.
He was described by friends and colleagues as a “Labour party member through and through”.
Mr Thomas served as a member of Gwynedd county council and Caernarfon town council, and as an election agent in parliamentary and Welsh Assembly elections, as well as holding many other roles within the Labour Party and trade union movement.
His son, Ian Thomas, said: “My father served as chair of Welsh Labour at the critical time when Rhodri Morgan was negotiating the One Wales coalition agreement, and held many senior roles in Welsh Labour, campaigning hard for Welsh Labour’s message during election campaigns.”
Alun Pugh, a former Welsh Culture Minister, said: “Tecwyn Thomas was hugely respected across our nation.
“He was deeply committed to public service and his loss will be felt keenly by the whole Labour movement in Wales.
“Like so many other colleagues, I am grateful and thankful to Tecwyn and his wife Iris for their welcome to their family home, the tea we drank, the sandwiches we ate and the gossip we shared.”
Cllr Sion Jones, of Bethel near Caernarfon, said: “I am absolutely devastated that Tecwyn Thomas, former chair of Welsh Labour, secretary of Arfon Labour and my agent during my last three elections, has died.
“He was a true working class man, and Labour through and through.
“I am thinking about his family and friends. Diolch Tecwyn am bob dim. (Thank you Tecwyn for everything.)”
Cllr Ioan Thomas, mayor of Caernarfon, said: “It was with great sadness I received the news of Tecwyn’s death, although with no surprise.
“His health had deteriorated recently and he had been a patient at Ysbyty Gwynedd.
“Tecwyn had been a very loyal member of the town council.
“You could have an argument with Tecwyn. Arguments are never pleasant but he would never be aggressive and certainly never bore a grudge.
“He respected views of opponents but would not waver from his beliefs. He was a very proud Welshman and proud of his socialist roots.
“He came to the house just before Christmas with a contribution to the mayor’s Christmas fund. It had been a real effort for him.
“This was a small example of his great loyalty towards the fund and its aim of making Christmas more enjoyable for some of the town’s less fortunate inhabitants..”
Catherine Owen, clerk to the town council, said Mr Thomas’s death would be a “huge loss” to the council.
“He was a real gentleman and a backbone of this council,” she said.
“He never had a cross word to say about anyone, but he always had a strong opinion on matters of importance.”
Mr Thomas’s funeral will be today, May 2, with a public service at Capel Seilo in Caernarfon at 1pm.
He will then be laid to rest at Llanbeblig Cemetery. Family flowers only, but donations will be accepted towards Cancer Research UK.
Tecwyn Thomas (main) was ‘Labour through and through’. Caernarfon mayor Cllr Ioan Thomas (top inset) said he was ‘a very loyal member of the council’ while Alun Pugh (left) described him as ‘deeply committed to public service’