Hwyl Fawr Fluffy Dragon
I first met the Reverend Christoper Davies back in the late 90‘s. I was a newly elected Plaid Cymru councillor in Bridgend C.B.C. and Chris was a practicing Baptist minister with a parish in Sheffield England. He was also running a website called Welsh Republican Comment on an MSN platform (the platform was withdrawn by Microsoft years ago).
He would often return to the Bridgend area on his time off from church duties because he grew up in Maesteg where his aunt still lived. He considered it ‘home’.
Chris was an uncompromising radical egalitarian, vehemently opposed to the monarchist pecking order of British society. Although he had his ups and down, his commitment to republican principles never wavered.
But don’t think Chris was just another angry lefty moaning about all the injustices. He never lost his sense of humour and liked to act the ‘class clown’ at times.
And he had his bumps, including spending a year in hospital for acute depression in 2003. They kept him drugged up to the teeth for months, but he came through to fight again, resuming the position of treasurer of the Independent Wales Party (now called Cymru Rydd).
He was a committed monetary reformer and together we were the only two delegates from Wales at the annual Bromsgrove Conference in 2004.
Around that time, one of his campaigns was against the setting up of British Army recruitment offices in the deprived areas of the Welsh valleys. He had to appear in court a number of times for spraying anti-war messages on these offices.
Despite his unswerving commitment to Welsh republicanism, Chris remained ‘organisationally challenged’. He spent a month or more organising a big Welsh Republican meeting in Cardiff University in 2006. We all showed up at the designated time and place and waited for him to show. He never did!
In the last few years Chris had taken to dressing up as a red dragon calling himself Fluffy Dragon, or Comrade Fluffy Dragon, or Lord Comrade Fluffy Dragon. Despite his trials and tribulations his humour would always shine through.
The last time we got together was at the Queen’s diamond jubilee visit to Merthyr Tydfil in April this year. I picked him up from his place and drove him to the costume rental shop downtown Cardiff. Five minutes later he comes back with a cow costume! They had rented out the only red dragon costume so he opted be be a cow instead. Cows against Monarchy!
This summer I was in Canada working on a boat project but we kept in touch via Skype. We were planning a campaign of political public art (aka graffiti), having already dropped off stencils at his place. He sounded positive and seemed to be looking forward to my return. So when I heard of his sudden death in August I was stunned.
Whether you agree with Chris’ politics and actions or not, I think everyone would agree that he was a character, and the world is a poorer place without him.