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A Tribute to Tegai Roberts (1927-2014)

(From right to left: Tegai  and Luned Roberts)
It was during my first trip to the town of welsh settlers called Gaiman, in Patagonia, when I first met dear Tegai Roberts. She and her sister keep in my memory as a cute remembrance of how Welsh Culture was rooted and honored in Patagonia, where the first Welsh settlers arrived in 1865. I had the pleasure to be interviewed by her at the local Radio Chubut in Trelew where she was responsible for a weekly show for over 40 years. As a humble tribute to her tireless work....
I repost hereby some excerpts of the relevant lines written by the languages and history student Megan Powell-Williams Susan by Megan Powel Williams.

July 2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of the first Welsh settlers disembarking upon the shores of Puerto Madryn in Argentina aboard the Mimosa.
Tegai Roberts and Luned Gonzalez are great-granddaughters of Rev. Michael D Jones, who dreamt of establishing a Welsh colony in the Americas, and Lewis Jones, the first leader of the settlement and whose name is given to the neighbouring town of Trelew.
Aside from the pioneering efforts of their forefathers, the sisters have had a profound effect on the Welsh speaking community and devote much of their time to ensure that the language is continued to be learnt.

Luned was the headteacher at Colegio Camwy, Gaiman from 1963 to 2002 and oversaw the integration of Welsh as a second language subject in the school since 1996, even though the Argentine government do not recognise this as part of the curriculum.

Her collaboration with committees and individuals based in Wales also saw the introduction of a project in to bring teachers to Patagonia in 1996 which continues to be an integral part of maintaining the language.

Luned is also now part of the local education committee which organises lessons and activities in Welsh for children and adults across towns in the Chubut valley of Patagonia.

Tegai has been responsible for a weekly show on Radio Chubut de Trelew for over 40 years, which features Welsh music and local news.

Nowadays her sister helps writing the news and occasionally interviewing Welsh visitors.

As well as this, Tegai has been the chief curator of the Welsh regional history museum in Gaiman since its opening in the 1960s.

Considering their impressive heritage and hard work, I’d heard the sisters being referred to as the “Queens of Welsh Patagonia,” and really this could not be any more true.

Related Sources:
Wales On Line



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