Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ALBAN DAVIES , JENKIN ( 1901 - 1968 ), business man and philanthropist .

Born 24 June 1901 , in Walthamstow , London , the eldest son of David Alban Davies and Rachel (née Williams ) his wife, both of Cards. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School , and gained a scholarship to St. John's College , Oxford , but could not afford to go there. He went to Cornell University , U.S.A. , for two years to study agriculture and dairying and worked for a short while in American firms to study their business methods. He entered the family business in 1925 and in due course became chairman of Hitchman's Dairies, Ltd. , which was selling 20,000 gallons of milk a day and employing over 500 men when it was sold to United Dairies, Ltd. , in 1946 . He was also a Lloyd's underwriter . On 6 Dec. 1939 he m. Margaret , daughter of John Davies , master mariner , Aberaeron and they had two sons. He d. 26 May 1968 in Brynawelon , Llanrhystud, Cards. , his home since 1963 .

He played an active part locally, becoming president of the Liberal Association and of the Rotary Club at Walthamstow and worked with the Association of Youth Clubs there, being himself a sportsman . When Moriah (Welsh Presb.) chapel , Walthamstow , became too small he instigated the building of a new chapel , Moriah , Leytonstone , which was a convenient meeting place for the many young Welshmen who flocked to London at that time. Several Welsh societies in London received generous donations from him. He did his utmost to further the Welsh language and was a founder-member of the London Welsh School which opened in Sept. 1961 in temporary premises in St. David's church hall . Later he provided a bus to take children to the Welsh class at Hungerford Road primary school in Islington before the class moved to Willesden Green . He had many years earlier, in 1948 , founded a residential preparatory school for boys at Abermâd , Llanilar, Cards. , where they were taught through the medium of Welsh up to the age of nine. The school remained open till about 1971 . In 1965 he led a deputation to Patagonia .

He served many institutions in Wales . As treasurer he gave valuable guidance to Urdd Gobaith Cymru ( Welsh League of Youth ) c. 1950 , to U.C.W. ( 1954-68 ) and to Coleg Harlech ( 1957-68 ). He became chairman of the Council for the Protection of Rural Wales ; was a member of the Councils of U.C.W. and N.M.W. ; and Welsh representative of the Independent Television Authority for two terms, 1956-64 . He made donations to Urdd Gobaith Cymru , contributed £10,000 to the building fund of U.C.W. , Aberystwyth and provided a generous subvention towards the cost of producing The Oxford book of Welsh verse . His outstanding services to various aspects of Welsh life were recognised when he was appointed high sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1951 and was awarded an honorary LL.D. of the University of Wales in 1964 .

Sources:

  • Western Mail , 27 May 1968 ;
  • information from his widow.

Authors:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Dr Mary Auronwy James, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001