A Tribute to our Past President (2015-2018) Marion Owen, who preferred to be known officially as Mrs Bryn Owen.

Sadly Marion “to her friends” passed away quietly on the 10th February 2020 following a short illness triggered by a fall at home, thus breaking her wrist and arm.  She was admitted to Shrewsbury hospital, but being unable to cope at home due to her injuries she spent her last couple of months in a residential home in Welshpool.

A brief resumé of her life was published by the Society on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

She was born on the 19th March, 1931, in the village of Llanllechid where she spent her childhood.  In 1949 she carried on her studies at Bangor University from where she went for teacher training at Coleg Cartrefle, Wrexham. It was during her career in education that she met and became a life-long friend to Owen Huw.

Her first teaching post was at Craig y Don School, Llandudno.  However, it was during one of the early dance courses held by the Welsh Folk Dance Society (WFDS) at Pant-y-Fedwen, that she first met her husband and companion in life, Bryn Owen. Upon their marriage, Bryn and Marion moved to Rhiwfelen, Foel.

Marion put her teaching career on hold and devoted her time to the family. Three daughters and a son were born to Marion and Bryn, and as they grew slightly older and were less reliant on her attention, Marion returned to the teaching profession, accepting a post at Ysgol Banw. Upon the retirement of Mr. Emrys Roberts, she accepted the post of headteacher at the school.

Marion, together with her late husband Bryn (who sadly passed away in 2001), were prominent members of their local community. Both she and Bryn were instrumental in promoting Welsh folk dancing in Maldwyn for many years. In accordance with Marion’s caring nature for others, she founded the “Meals on Wheels” service in her local area. In 1971, Bryn, Marion joined with other members of the community to form Aelwyd Y Banw, Bryn as leader and Marion as musician.

As a family they had also been very involved with Dyffryn Banw Y.F.C. and were very committed to supporting eisteddfodau and other Y.F.C. events.

Over 20 years ago Marion had a request from her group of “Welsh Learners” asking if they could learn some Welsh folk dances, and in 1998 a new group formed by Marion and Bryn, “Dawnswyr Llangadfan”, became members of the Welsh Folk Dance Society. Sadly, this disbanded 7 years ago due to family commitments and the pressure of work on the members of the group, something Marion always grieved over as it was a happy, lively group of people.

Those of us who attend the festivals organised by other Welsh groups will know Marion well, as over the years she had faithfully supported Gŵyl Caernarfon, Gŵyl Cadi Ha in Holywell; The Day of Dance at the National Botanic Garden of Wales; Gŵyl Ifan, and any festival organised in Aberystwyth. She was also involved in the organisation of the Llangadfan dance festival. In recognition of all the work Marion (and Bryn) did to promote the Welsh language and the traditional culture of Wales, including Welsh folk dancing, for so many years in Maldwyn , she was duly honoured by being elected our President in 2015.  No-one deserved the honour more than the quiet, homely, gentle lady that we knew.

She will be greatly missed by her family, friends and the community she served for so many years.

Her funeral took place on the 24th February, 2020, and she did not go quietly as the weather was one of the stormiest days of 2020, but that did not prevent over 200 people filling the small Chapel in Foel to honour this lovely lady.

The WFDS was well represented by members from Caernarfon, Ynys Môn, Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, Oswestry; and of course, Llangadfan. Other members were prevented from attending due to the floods closing several roads in the Maldwyn area. In particular, our current President, Rhiain Bebb, who was so loyal to Marion, was unable to travel. Rhiain was always willing to play for Marion at the annual Llangadfan Festival and the Annual trip around Maldwyn with the Mari Lwyd.  Marion very much appreciated this kindness.

The Welsh delegation of the Pan-Celtic Festival was also represented by her good friends Tegwyn and Marged Williams who despite the dreadful floodwater on the roads drove from St Asaph to say their goodbyes. Another gentleman who Marion knew from the Pan-Celtic years also braved the long haul from the North to say his final farewell to a good friend.

Condolences from her old dancing friends who were not well enough to attend were given to the funeral directors at the end of the service.

Marion now rests alongside her beloved husband Bryn in Llangadfan Cemetery.

Dafydd Evans