Family and friends of the late Iwan Huws are launching a memorial fund by recreating a cycle ride from Penygroes to Galway.
The Yucatan drummer died in January after slipping on the west face of Tryfan while on a walk. An inquest earlier this month returned a verdict of accidental death.
Cronfa Iwan Huws is aimed at raising money for causes close to his heart and towards building a memorial for the musician.
To launch the fund, his brother, Rhodri, and twelve of his friends will set out on a three day cycle next Thursday (28th June) from his home village in Gwynedd to the heart of the Gaeltacht – a route Iwan cycled himself in 2010.
The team will stop in Kildare and Shannonbridge overnight before arriving in Galway City – on what would have been Iwan’s 35th birthday – for a celebration with his partner, Elin Gwyn, and family members.
They’re also planning to visit Glanquin House near the village of Kilnaboy in County Clare for afternoon tea. It’s best known worldwide as the Craggy Island Parochial House featured in the classic sitcom Father Ted – one of Iwan’s favourite TV comedies.
Elin Gwyn said: ”Iwan was an adventurer and was passionate about everything he did. He was a brilliant drummer and a dedicated member of many bands over the years including Yucatan and Afal Drwg Efa. He hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the Annapurna Trek in the Himalayas, and he cycled from Amsterdam to Basel with a tent on his back.”
”We spent a year traveling the world together, and I’ll always be grateful for my time with him. He often made films about his adventures, including one about Wales in the Euros, which he described as the best month of his life.”
”It is a testament to Iwan that so many of his friends are retracing their journey with him from Penygroes to Galway. I’m so grateful to them for all their fundraising and for their hard work whilst setting up a charity in his name.”
”He was lucky to have such an incredible group of friends, and I’m very fortunate to have their help and support as we grieve for him. We hope that the fund will enable others to achieve some of the things that Iwan was passionate about.”
Among the causes being supported by the Iwan Huws fund will be new musical instruments at Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle (his secondary school), WATERisLIFE – a charity aimed at protecting water from contamination by the fossil fuel industry, the Volunteer Society in Nepal and the recently revived Mountain Rangers FC, where Iwan began his football career.
One of the cyclists – Stephen Campbell, a firefighter from Caernarfon, said: ”This cycling journey from the west coast of Wales, across the Irish Sea, to Ireland’s west coast is a fantastic opportunity for myself and Iwan’s good friends to re-ride the same tracks he rode the last time the journey was undertaken, along with the group of good friends who are taking part again this time around.”
”It is also a fitting way to raise awareness of the charity that has been set up in his memory…this journey may be missing one key member, but hopefully those of us who are taking part can emulate the sense of fun and inherent adventure he brought to the ride last time around.”
Meanwhile, one of Iwan’s films – about his experiences as a Wales fan at Euro 2016 – is currently being shown as part of Owain Fôn Williams’ Arwyr exhibition at Oriel Môn in Llangefni until Sunday 5th August.