Tributes paid to a ‘true friend of Narberth’

By Observer Reporter in Local People

Tributes have been paid to former Mayor of Narberth, Clr. Henry Langen, who passed away last week.

Born in Narberth, Clr. Langen was a well-known local figure and campaigner on disabled issues.

He attended Narberth Secondary Modern before becoming a builder.

In his 20s, the onset of Muscular Dystrophy forced him to give up his building business.

He has owned a number of businesses in the county and has been closely involved with local politics. He contested the 2010 General Election as an Independent Democrat candidate.

Aged 64, he passed away at Withybush Hospital last Thursday, just 24 hours after returning from a holiday in France with his partner, Yvelaine Armstrong.

Mayor of Narberth, Clr. Mrs. Ruth Platt, paid tribute saying: “It was with deep regret that the Mayor and members of Narberth Town Council learnt of the death of Henry.

“I have known Henry for many years and since he has been on Narberth Town Council he has been a great asset and has worked tirelessly for Narberth and will be greatly missed.

“Narberth has lost a true friend and a good councillor.

“Our extended sympathy goes out to his family.”

Clr. Langen was also well-known for his work with Pembrokeshire Access Group, of which he was a member for almost 20 years, serving as an ordinary member, several times as chairman and recently as honorary president.

“Henry’s driving ambition and mission was to promote the rights of disabled people, always putting the needs of others before himself and always in a caring and diplomatic way,” said Beryl Thomas-Cleaver, chair.

“He was a truly unique and inspirational character who took every opportunity to further the cause of improved access to services and facilities for disabled people. His passing has left a huge void, almost impossible to fill, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace Henry.”

Staff and volunteers at Narberth Museum were also sad to learn of the death of Clr. Langen, who had been a member of the board of trustees since January 2004.

“The museum had just vacated its premises in Market Street and was about to undertake the restoration project that would culminate in its re-opening in the Bonded Stores in 2012,” said curator Pauline Griffiths.

“Henry brought fresh perspectives and experience to the role and his experience as a builder was especially relevant when he oversaw the renovation of the Museum Bookshop in Market Street as a temporary base for our activities. He also provided valuable advice and expertise on accessibility in the new museum.

“Henry’s love of Narberth and its history meant that the ongoing sustainability of the museum was a subject very near to his heart. As a town councillor, he was a powerful advocate for its support.

“He was proud to speak at the opening of the new museum which he called Narberth’s ‘very own time-capsule.’ His contribution to its continuing success should not be underestimated.”

Clr. Langen’s funeral takes place on Wednesday, June 28, at 1.45 pm, at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth, and afterwards at the Plas Hyfryd Hotel, Narberth. There is no dress code.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Muscular Dystrophy UK, c/o the funeral directors, E. C. Thomas and Son, Zoar Chapel Funeral Home, Llanteg.

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