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“Indestructible” political pioneer dies

Created on 07/02/2013 @ 12:25


Montgomeryshire has lost one of its most prominent sons, following the death of David Rowlands, aged 78.

Mr Rowlands, a retired Llanerfyl farmer, is best known as the former chairman of Montgomeryshire District Council, but he also fought several general elections, the first in 1983 as an independent and the last in 2010 when he stood as the UKIP candidate.

Glyn Davies, the victor at that election for the Conservative party, was one of the first to pay tribute to a man he described as “indestructible”.

“David was Chairman of Montgomeryshire in 1978-81, and was a huge support to me when I was elected to the same position from 1984-87,” said Mr Davies. “We shared many interests, and he still wrote to me regularly or called in my Welshpool office to share his opinions. He was a startlingly honest man, and despite his extensive public involvements, kept his private life to himself.

“Over recent summers David has been one of that intrepid group who man the UKIP stand at local shows. I spent so much time chatting to him that it would not have been unreasonable for people to think I was a UKIP supporter! His last attempt to secure election was at the General Election in 2010, when I was elected an MP. It was odd contesting an election against a good friend. He garnered over 1000 votes for UKIP in Montgomeryshire.

“He will be remembered with affection by the many people who befriended and worked with him throughout his incredibly active life.”

Born in 1934 of a longstanding Montgomeryshire family, Mr Rowlands was educated in Shrewsbury School and Trinity Hall Cambridge, gaining an MA in Rural Estate management and post graduate diploma Economics of Land Use. He spent 20 years within the water industry before becoming a successful farmer.

As well as being Chairman of Montgomeryshire council and its finance committee he also chaired many other local bodies including the Primary and High School Governors Association, the governing body of the Church in Wales, the Montgomeryshire Football League, and he was also a member of the Broadcasting Council for Wales. 

He was UKIP’s first candidate in Wales, contesting Mid and West Wales in the 1994 European elections. Since then he contested Westminster, European and Welsh assembly elections for the party.

Away from politics, Mr Rowlands was an avid local historian and was a long standing director at both the Powysland Club and the Clwyd-Powys Archaeologocial Trust.

Mr Davies added: “Despite his recent ill-health DWL Rowlands (as he was often referred to) seemed to me indestructible.”

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