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Remembering Megan Rees

January 20, 2021 2:30 PM

Megan HughesWe recently learned with great sadness of the death of our long-standing member Megan Rees from Newport. Thanks to her family, I am now able to reproduce the obituary which was written on the order of service at Megan's funeral, which took place at St Woolas Cemetery on 13 January.

Megan Joan Rees (Webb) Life-long Liberal Democrat campaigner and Lloyd George Society stalwart Megan Joan Rees died peacefully, aged 96 at The Royal Gwent hospital in Newport on 13th December 2020. An active supporter at both local and national level, she was a familiar sight at annual party conferences and, through her role as official steward, formed long-standing friendships with party luminaries such as former Welsh LibDem leader Lord Carlile, Paddy Ashdown, Charles Kennedy, Simon Hughes and Lembit Opik. Although first and foremost a businesswoman, she never lost her enthusiasm for politics and in 2008, aged 83, fought for a seat on Newport City Council as LibDem candidate for Allt-yr-yn. A life-member of the Lloyd George Society, she played a major role at local and national level and was a regular at events.

Lord Navnit Dholakia OBE, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, who first met Megan while he was President of the party, said she would be dearly missed. "She was a firebrand of a sort and we continued our friendship during all these years. I was frequently invited to celebrate Lloyd George events and she visited me in the Lords whenever she was in London," he said. Megan was born Megan Joan Waite in Cwmtillery, South Wales, to Harold and Cissy and had one sister, Marjorie. She showed entrepreneurial flair from early on, launching a hairdressing business at the age of 14, and in later life running a fashion boutique and an antiques business. After marrying Woodbury Webb in 1941, she joined the thriving family butcher shop business based in Newport, and the couple had two sons, Barry and Martyn. She and Woodbury Webb divorced and Megan remarried to local estate agent Douglas Rees. Megan spent most of her adult life in Newport and was well-respected in the local business community. As an active member of the International Friendship League, she travelled to America and the Ukraine.

There was a further quotation from Lord Dholakia with which it is impossible to disagree - "She was an out and out Liberal who cannot be replaced" Lord Navnit Dholakia OBE, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords.