Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Undeb Cymru a'r Byd Wales International

  I attended the Oral Evidence Sessions held at the Monsanto Suite, Llangollen International Eisteddfod Pavillon as an observer on Tuesday 30 January.

  Undeb Cymru a'r Byd/Wales International was formerly known as Undeb Y Cymru ar Wasgar (The Union of Welsh people living outside Wales) which was founded in 1948. The roots of the movement go back to Cairo during the Second World War, when Welsh servicemen decided that wherever they settled after the war they would maintain a link with Wales. Meetings were held with several Welsh organisations and a movement was founded. Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards founder of the Urdd-Welsh League of Youth was a strong supporter. It is a non-political, non-sectarian movement which links Wales with people of Welsh descent and friends of Wales (whether Welsh speaking or not) throughout the world.

  At the Royal National Eisteddfod held at Bridgend in August 1948 a Ceremony of Welcome for Welsh people and people of Welsh descent from overseas took place. Ever since that year an annual Welcome Ceremony has been held at the National Eisteddfod, together with an International Reception.

  The aims of Wales International are:

    1.  To forge close and abiding world-wide links between Wales and the people of Welsh descent and friends of the language, culture and traditions of Wales.

    2.  To promote present-day Wales, its work and culture outside Wales and to encourage and assist in the establishing of Welsh Societies outside Wales wherever this is possible. Many Societies Worldwide are already affiliated to the movement.

    3.  To provide a meeting place every year at the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales for its members and its friends from all over the world.

    4.  To co-operate with the Eisteddfod Court in all its arrangements for the Annual Welcoming Ceremony on the Eisteddfod platform.

    5.  To develop and maintain a register/database of worldwide Welsh contacts for individuals, cultural organisations and public bodies.

    6.  To act as a source of information about Wales and the Welsh people for friends outside Wales and to supply on order literature, tapes, discs and other Welsh products.

  The membership of Undeb Cymru a'r Byd/Wales International is open to individuals, societies, choirs, companies, entertainers etc, within Wales and worldwide. The membership fees include a regular copy of our quarterly magazine "Yr Enfys" (Rainbow).

    During the period 1943 to 1945 a newspaper known as "Seren y Dwyrain" (Star of the East) was produced and edited in Cairo by Mr Griffiths from Llandybie. "Seren y Dwyrain" was distributed to the Welsh service men in the Middle East. Mr Griffiths now lives at Caeathro near Caernarfon and was for over 40 years the Editor and Publisher of "Yr Enfys" the quarterly journal of Undeb Cymru a'r Byd, and also the Hon Secretary of our movement. He has devoted his life to the movement and is now Honorary Life President. The "Enfys" is distributed to members in over 50 countries worldwide. This includes several well-known Libraries. You received a copy of our latest issue of "Yr Enfys" at Llangollen.

    Wales International has been fortunate to enjoy the support of the Wales Tourist Board in the publication of "Yr Enfys" in recent years, and also its sponsorship of the International Reception on the day of the Welcome Ceremony at the The National Eisteddfod.

  Our current efforts as a movement are directed this year towards establishing through the 2001 Census the number of Welsh people who reside outside Wales in the UK.

  We now have our own web page and many enquiries are received regularly.

  As mentioned at the Oral Evidence Session by Mr Roger Guest of Hicks, Randles of Mold, we are mentioned as a Voluntary Organisation Partner under Click-Cymru.

  Having spoken to Mr Chris Ruane MP, for Clwyd after the meeting in Llangollen and being advised by him, I am forwarding this letter as evidence to be considered by your committee. I hope that its contents will of interest to you. However, if there are any points on which you require further clarification please do not hesitate to contact me.

J Bryan Jones

Honorary Secretary

Edward Morus Jones


9 February 2001

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