WALES’ latest Purple Plaque was unveiled today (6.3.2020) as part of Chwarae Teg’s International Women’s Day celebrations, paying tribute to the life and missions of a veteran peace campaigner.
Eunice Stallard’s commemorative Purple Plaque was revealed by family members at The Welfare Ystradgynlais and followed by a celebratory gathering at the venue.
A fiercely political and passionate figure in the community, Eunice was one of the founders of Greenham Common’s women’s peace camp in 1981, fighting for the disarmament of nuclear weapons. With a group of women, she marched 100 miles from Cardiff to Newbury where they chained themselves to the fences of RAF Greenham. The women created a worldwide impact and the camp remained active for 19 years.
The part Eunice played in the Women for Life on Earth group inspired many others to get involved in the fight against nuclear bombing. She was also part of the ‘Grannies for Peace’ group later in her life, who gathered at RAF Fairford in 2003 to protest against the Iraq War. A firm believer that more women in politics would lead to greater peace, at the time she said: “It’s heart-breaking what they’re doing. What we need is more women in government, women wouldn’t send their children to war.”
Eunice passed away in 2011 at 93 having lived around the Ystradgynlais area her whole life and owning a shop in the community. She was also involved in many Labour party activities which took place at the Miners Welfare Hall.
Emma Tamplin, Chwarae Teg said: “We are proud that this Purple Plaque was unveiled by Eunice’s family. It’s fitting that it took place for International Women’s Day 2020 and will cement her legacy in Welsh history.
“As a gender equality charity, at Chwarae Teg we know that women deserve to be recognised at the same scale as men have been throughout history. There are so many female success stories just waiting to be put in the spotlight and inspire future generations.”
Megan Martin, great-granddaughter of Eunice Stallard, said: “When I heard that Chwarae Teg were looking for inspirational women for their Purple Plaque scheme, I just knew I had to nominate my great-grandmother. She was a woman whose resilience and strength knew no bounds and I’m so glad her achievements as a peace campaigner are being recognised in such a way. It was important to her to use her identity as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to protest against nuclear weapons, in order to safeguard children and the future. As a family, we are very proud to be part of the unveiling.”
Wynne Roberts, Executive Director, The Welfare Ystradgynlais, said: “It’s a real honour to have the Purple Plaque displayed on the exterior of The Welfare. Eunice spent much time here, attending CND meetings, supporting community activities and encouraging other women to get involved in the peace movement.
“She played a key role in the Women’s Section of the Labour Party and during the 1984/1985 Miners Strike, when the Hall was focal centre for fundraising and food distribution centre in the Upper Swansea Valley.
“Eunice provided support and encouragement to many local women. She was a true enabler, keen to encourage others to get involved. The Plaque will serve to remind people of her hard work and dedication to campaigns for peace and community involvement. ”
Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, said: “It’s crucial we recognise the important work of women from our past and highlight their achievements to future generations. I’m delighted as a government we are able to provide funding to the Purple Plaque campaign to commemorate the unwavering contributions women have made to our nation and our people. Eunice Stallard serves as a role model to us all and I am delighted that she has been honoured with a plaque – a fantastic and fitting way to celebrate International Women’s Day.”
Julie Morgan, Assembly Member for Cardiff North, said: “The idea behind the Purple Plaques campaign, which was started by a cross-party group of women Assembly Members in 2017, is to improve the visibility of women’s achievements right across Wales. Eunice Stallard embodies the essence of the Purple Plaques campaign – she was a remarkable woman, a peace campaigner who stood up for what she believed in, and I’m glad to see a fitting tribute to her.”