Following questions to the Economy Secretary and a petition to the Assembly, a proposal to commemorate William Williams Pantycelyn has now been drawn to the attention of the Welsh Government.
This year marks the tercentenary of the birth of the prestigious hymn writer (1717-1791). Although Williams is so important to the religious story of Wales, there is also a lot more to his history as he essentially was one of the architects of Modern Wales.
Many were disappointed therefore that Welsh Government had not organised anything to commemorate the 300th anniversary this year, and over 1,100 people signed a petition organised by two from the Presbyterian Church of Wales, Tim Hodgins from Port Talbot and Aled Gwyn Jôb from Caernarfon, calling on the government to act.
In a debate held on the matter in the Assembly on October 11th, and in response to a question from Rhun ap Iorwerth, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Ken Skates, said he was now ready to consider commemorating Pantycelyn if a fitting plan was brought to his attention.
A proposal has now been presented to commemorate Pantycelyn in his hometown, Llandovery. There are two parts to the proposal – the first is to commission a piece of creative and ambitious art in the form of a memorial that would be a tribute to his life and work and his tremendous contribution to Welsh national life. The suggestion is that the work should be based on a theme that might characterise the life and work of Pantycelyn: for example, “The Power of Words to Inspire and Move a Nation”.
The second part proposes the development of a Pantycelyn Life and Work Interpretation Centre, as well as other prominent local figures.
Aled Gwyn Jôb, a co-ordinator of ‘Cyfeillion Pantycelyn’, who has brought together the plan, said:
“We believe that commemorating Pantycelyn like this in Llandovery would be an acknowledgment of an important part of our national history. It would also help us to re-connect with our country’s rich spiritual heritage.
“In a period that is full of political and economic challenges for Wales – this new inspiration would offer us a very valuable resource as we look to the future.”
Rhun ap Iorwerth AM added:
“William Williams is really one of the giants of our history, and I hope that the Government will now be ready to work with this organisation to look at how their wish to create a fitting commemoration can be realised.”