Son of Gwent: Remembering Steffan Lewis

In January 2019, the promising young politician from Gwent, Steffan Lewis, died. Almost a year later, a new book, Son of Gwent: Cofio Steffan Lewis, in Welsh and English, celebrates the life of the politician and family man, with contributions from his family and friends, as well as politicians such as Elin Jones AM, Leanne Wood AM, Carwyn Jones AM and Adam Price AM.

 

Steffan Lewis was elected Assembly Member for Plaid Cymru in 2016, aged 32 – on of the youngest AMs. His interest in  politics and desire to improve things for Wales started at a very early age, and as a young teenager he went on work experience with Jocelyn Davies AM. He was a clever politician with a big heart, a great speaker and an even better listener. Sadly, he died of cancer aged 34, leaving his wife Shona and their young son.

 

He has been described by Rhuanedd Richards, the editor of the book  ̶  former journalist and a close friend to Steffan  ̶  as “an old head on young shoulders.” The book contains material in both Welsh and English, speeches made by Steffan and the remembrances by those who knew him best, including some of the most well-known politicians in Wales, as well as close friends. As well as the speeches and eulogies, and Steffan Lewis’ interview with Martin Shipton of the Western Mail, there are letters, photos and newspaper clippings which give a more personal account of the politician, son, husband and father. The man from Gwent was a Welshman through and through, and in the words of Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, “he himself [was] a gem of a man.”

 

In the foreword to the book, politician Dafydd Wigley remembers:

“There are some people who create an impression from the very first second; and that meeting stays in the mind throughout the year. The first time I met Gwynfor Evans and Dr Phil Williams were all examples; and the electrifying effect of these moments have stayed with me until today. Meeting the dear deceased Steffan Lewis is one of those very few but special moments. And what is more incredible is the fact that Steffan was barely twelve years old when I met him for the first time in the House of Commons.”

 

A percentage of the royalty fee from the sale of Son of Gwent: Cofio Steffan Lewis will be given to the Velindre Hospital which looked after Steffan during his illness.