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Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society


Vol. 4, nos. 1-4 1960-1963

A village worthy : Evan Isaac Thomas of Llandysul, his days (1823-1908) and diary (1876-1885) /

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Diary (1876-1885)
AN unaccountable lapse in the Triads, that otherwise comprehensive
and detailed guide to conventional conduct, is the omission of any
reference to the qualities which distinguish a village worthy. Line
upon line, item after item relating to the correct thing to be expected of
everybody and everything from cats to kings, is tabulated, but there is
no triad for a village worthy. However, a triad is unnecessary as it has
always been obvious that the three indispensable qualities of a village
worthy are an adventurous mind, a distinctive individual character,
and an enterprising disposition. But this is not enough. There are
three further indispensables to a worthy. There must be the village
with established traditions as his stage there must be the opportunity
and time for him to play his part there must be the community
capable of drawing forth, using, and appreciating his distinctive
All these essentials came together between 1823 and 1908 when
Evan Isaac Thomas was born and bred and lived and died at Llan-
dysul. And this is what his fellow villagers thought about him at the
end of his four score years and five. It is taken from a cutting out of an
un-named newspaper. Described as a cabinet-maker and undertaker
who had recently died as the result of old age and asthma, the deceased
is acclaimed as an outstanding personality, with an intelligence and
erudition rarely met with in a workingman'. He had an inordinate
desire for wholesome literature' and, being blessed with a wonderful
memory, he was able to converse on innumerable topics and events
both past and present. But theology was his favourite subject and his
knowledge of the Bible, which was' through and through', made him
a right formidable opponent in an argument on religion. He was
regarded as a tower of strength at Penybont Baptist Chapel', of
which he was senior deacon for many years, and one to whom every
member had to look for guidance and advice'. This they did all the
more readily because of his kind face and cheery voice which the
congregation will greatly miss But the appreciation of his character
and good qualities was far from being merely sectarian. As a neigh-
bour he was all that could be desired, being kind, courteous and
thoughtful and we can safely say that he walked as guileless and
irreproachable a path as any mortal man could, with his footsteps
always tending to that great goal in the Great Unknown'. This is a
genuine testimony to the worth of this notable Llandysulian, evidence
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