Margaret Thomas, UNISON’s Cymru/Wales secretary, is saddened to announce the sudden death of one of UNISON’s most talented trade union organisers.
Roger Bevan, a UNISON area organiser based in Swansea, tragically died on Tuesday evening in a fatal road incident in Ceredigion. He was just 50 years old.
Roger was a long-time activist with NUPE and then UNISON, before becoming an area organiser in June 2008.
In his current role Roger mainly organised and represented public sector workers in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire dealing with UNISON members in local government, health and further and higher education.
Roger will be particularly remembered as the face of UNISON for student nurses as he was responsible for recruiting into UNISON, hundreds of students training for this key profession in the health service.
As well as being a talented trade union activist, Roger was a passionate political activist with a particular interest in international solidarity, in particular with Cuba and more generally Latin America.
Roger was a fluent Spanish speaker, having spent a year studying in Cuba, and was responsible for establishing and maintaining the twinning links between public sector workers in the Guantanamo province of Cuba and UNISON Wales.
But Roger also found time to have interests outside of work and politics and was well known, in the Swansea area where he lived, as a keen open water swimmer, body boarder and water polo player.
Margaret said “This is an extremely difficult time for colleagues and Roger’s dad Ken. Roger was a talented organiser with a promising future who will be missed by colleagues, members and the wider trade union movement.”
Dominic MacAskill, a close friend and UNISON comrade of Roger’s said:
“Roger was a person who lived life to the full, he was a man of passion and morals who loved his work because he knew that it made a difference. Roger was a comrade, friend and support to many and he will be dearly missed.”
UNISON officials will be supporting Roger’s father Ken Bevan through the painful days ahead.
Messages can be sent and will be collated by UNISON Wales via Gail Cordrey firstname.lastname@example.org
The picture shows Roger addressing a UNISON Wales sponsored international event in the Senedd, marking an anniversary of the 1973 overthrow of the democratically elected socialist Chilean government of Salvador Allende.