FAMILY and friends were left devastated after the sudden and untimely death of a young father from Llanelli.
Geraint Fowler was only 38-years-old when he passed away, leaving his young son, Matthew.
His brother Gareth and father Rhodri were devastated by the unexpected death of their brother and son.
Friends of Geraint described him as ‘a force of nature, ‘a true individual’ and ‘a one off’.
Alex Watson, who knew Geraint for the last 25 years said: “He was generous, thoughtful and mischievous in equal measure, but had sincerity and a good decent upbringing provided by his parents made him truly an individual, a one off, our friend.
“He will be missed sorely by all who knew him, no matter if it was only for a minute, an hour, a day, a year or 25 years.”
Playing in orchestras across Llanelli and in several Craig School musicals, Geraint was a talented musician achieving his grade seven in violin.
He was a qualified solicitor and worked for the Morgan Cole law firm, before setting up his own sports agency in Cardiff and becoming Commercial and Legal Director at QOL LTD who make re-usable waterproof covers for limb injuries and casts.
Colleagues from QOL have stepped in to take his place at a sponsored skydive for which Geraint had raised funds to go towards the George Thomas hospice and the Tenovus Cancer Care.
Chris Jones one of his other close friends said: “Geraint had an infectious character, and was always in the thick of it, be that in playing or watching sport, business dealings or leading the singing at a Llanelli or Wales rugby match. He wasn’t afraid to get stuck in, to get involved.
“His lack of fear included him adding bungee-jumping and sky diving to his long list of ‘firsts’.”
Rhys Walters said that Geraint was: “A force of nature, hard to forget”, Rhys also added: “He didn’t walk into a room, he strode in.”
Friends recalled a particular incident where Geraint did the last leg of the 4 x 100m relay for Craig Comprehensive School in an inter-schools championship.
They told of how a cheering crowd had gathered at the finish line for the last race of the day. He ran with a baseball cap on backwards and as he was really sprinting, the wind blew it off his head around 20m from the finishing line, and he somehow managed to catch it behind his head, while running without taking his eyes off the line, and finally won the race, wielding the baton and cap.
Joanna Winslade and Sarah Pemberton from QOL said: “He was a character in and out of the office. When Geraint was on form he has boundless energy, and always committed to the team. We are deeply saddened by his passing.”
Speaking about the guide dog, Geraint was sponsoring for his son they added: “QOL are continuing his sponsorship of a guide dog for his son.”
A celebration of his life is being planned for Radyr, with the date yet to be confirmed.
Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach
THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.
Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.
The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.
Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.
The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.
The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.
In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.
If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.
With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.
If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.
If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.
The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.
Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.
The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.
During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.
They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.
A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.
“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”
Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler
Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her.
As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts.
Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford.
She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.
Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too.
She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.
She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”
Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed!
Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.
“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”
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Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash
A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.