Her Example Will Live On

by Jill Morgan

Sister Rosina Howells in 1966
Sister Rosina Howells in 1966

Rosina Howells died on April 27th, 1970, aged eighty-three. She was born in Abertillery, Monmouthshire in 1888. Her parents, James and Jane Douglas, were members of the Church. She was baptised at the age of eight and was active in the Church throughout her life. It is believed that Sister Howells was the oldest serving member of the Church in Britain when she passed away.

When she was a little girl, she had to travel to church with her mother from Abertillery to Talywain- a distance of twenty miles each way by road, or eight miles each way over the rough mountain track. When they arrived at Talywain they would hold a cottage meeting at the home of Brother Biggs, and the grandmother of the Forward family, who are also long serving members. Every week, Sister Howells would have to walk from Brother Biggs' home back over the mountain to Abertillery.

Sister Howells married non-member Thomas Howells, and resided in Abertillery for a while, and then moved to Pontypool. She had ten children, and throughout each pregnancy she continued to walk miles each way to the Varteg Branch, quite often carrying one or two small children in her arms.

In 1945 her husband joined the Church, at age 69, and was the organist for the Pontypool Branch until he died in 1966.

When the LDS Chapel was opened at Cwmbran, Sister Howells was wheeled in in a chair, and sent a note to President Pulman, the Presiding Officer, asking that she should have the opportunity of bearing her testimony.

This request was granted, but when called upon to do so she did not have the strength to stand.

President Pulman lifted her up, and held her in his arms; in a clear voice she declared to all present her knowledge of the truthfulness of the Gospel.

Her example will live on in the hearts of all those who had acquaintance with her.

Adapted from the Millennial Star July 1970 article of the same name.

Source: Millennial Star; 1961-1970 (Volumes 123-132); 1970 (Volume 132); 1970 July (No. 7); Church History Library, pp. 30.