MBE honour for Anglesey WI stalwart

Reporter:

Dale Spridgeon

“A WONDERFUL surprise!” is how 75-year-old Clara Audrey Jones described the news that she had been honoured by the Queen.

Mrs Jones of Plas Gwyn, Llangefni, has been appointed MBE in the Queen’s birthday honour’s list for services to the Women's Institute and her community.

“I couldn’t have done it without having the help of a good team and the help of my fellow WI friends and members,” said Mrs Jones.

Mrs Jones has been active at UK, Welsh and local level in the WI. She has been a representative for Wales, she served on the UK board for the WI and has acted as a trustee.

She was a trustee for 15 years for the Anglesey federation of Women's Institutes and was national federation Women’s Institute chair for Wales from 2001 to 2005. She was also federation chair from 1994-2000 and again from 2008 to 2016

She has represented the WI in the media, particularly when the institute celebrated its centenary in 2015. She also started a museum in the Toll House, in Llanfairpwll, the birthplace of the WI in Britain.

It tells the story in bilingual panels of how the WI was originally formed in Canada in 1897 – but came into being in Llanfairpwll in September 1915.

Mrs Jones said: “It has been wonderful to get the honour. I do a lot in the community - I am a member of Llanerchymedd WI. I am thankful to everyone. It is always the team behind people, it’s not all me.

“I have had help, both on a local level and with the federation. I couldn’t have done it on my own. But, I am delighted to be honoured. Although I have been to Buckingham Palace before to several garden parties, this time it will be different.”

Mrs Jones has also worked with Bangor University’s archive department to ensure photographs, minutes and other records are protected and secured.

Her work as a WI adviser includes opening many new WIs in areas where there were no opportunities for women to meet, learn new skills and be active in the community.

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