Owen John Thomas
Owen John Thomas MA (born in Cardiff, 1939) is a former Plaid Cymru politician who represented the South Wales Central region in the National Assembly for Wales from 1999 to 2007.
He was born at 110 Albany Rd were his father, John Owen Thomas had a pharmacy from 1928-1985. His father moved to Cardiff from Treorchy were he had a pharmacy after being educated at London and was the youngest pharmacist to graduate in the British Isles. His father's roots go back to North Pembrokeshire where his family were prominent Baptists. His mother, Evelyn, was a farmers' daughter from South Carmarthenshire. Has two older sisters Martha and Elizabeth. He was a pupil at Malborough Rd school and Howardian Grammar School. He left school and 16 to work down the docks and various other jobs such as a Chemical Analyst. Later attended the Glamorgan College of Education and did a masters at the University of Wales, Cardiff about the history of the Welsh Language in Cardiff.
He worked as a deputy head teacher at Gladstone School before being elected to the National Assembly for Wales. Former chairman of the Cardiff region of UCAC. He has been active in Plaid Cymru since his teens, filling a variety of posts from branch secretary to vice president. In the 1981 Plaid Cymru conference, he succeeded in having 'socialism' included amongst the party's main aims. He is longstanding champion of the campaign for leasehold reform and a founder member of Clwb Ifor Bach (Cardiff's Welsh Language club) whose president he was from 1983-89. Learned Welsh in his late twenties. He is married to headmistress Sian Wyn Thomas and has six children.
Member of the National Assembly for Wales, representing the South Wales Central region for Plaid Cymru from 1999 to 2007.
His proudest achievements as an AM include an unsuccessful campaign to have St David's day recognised as a bank holiday, his role in the creation of the Wales Millennium Centre, an arts venue which opened in 2004, and his campaigns for the Allied Steel and Wire pension fund and to bring brachytherapy, a cancer treatment, to Wales.
He has also stated that he hopes to see the Welsh Assembly gain the same powers as the Scottish parliament by 2011.
He was the National Assembly for Wales Shadow Minister for Culture, and decided when he stood for election in 2003 that this term would be his last. However, he has stated that in next May's Local Elections that he will stand in Cathays ward in Cardiff. His name has also been mentioned to be a Plaid Cymru peer in House of Lords.
Mr Thomas, who learned Welsh in his late 20s, has argued for increased promotion of the language, writing in the Western Mail: "The language is a national asset and its revitalisation can play a central part in the larger process of nation building and economic and social regeneration." The former deputy head has also complained that Welsh children are taught "the history of England, not the history of Britain".