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Sir Goronwy Hopkin Daniel (1914-2003) was a high ranking civil servant, Principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1969-1979, and the inaugural chairman of the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority in 1982.
Sir Goronwy was born at Ystradgynlais on 21 March 1914, the son of David Daniel, a mining official who became a colliery manager. He was educated at Pontardawe Secondary School, Amman Valley County School, the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Jesus College, Oxford. At Aberystwyth he received a first class honours degree in geology and distinguished diplomas in anthropology and education. At Oxford, where he held a University of Wales Fellowship and a Meyrick Scholarship, he gained the degree of D.Phil for a thesis on aspects of economics and statistics. In 1940 Goronwy Daniel married Valerie Lloyd-George, the grand-daughter of David Lloyd-George. There were three children of the marriage: Anne, Gwyneth and David.
A short stint as a lecturer in the Department of Economics at Bristol University, 1940-1941, preceded his entry into the civil service, where he served in the Ministry of Town and Country Planning, 1943-1947, and the Ministry of Fuel and Power, 1947-1955, where he became chief statistician. Other high ranking civil service positions preceded his appointment to the newly established Welsh Office as permanent under-secretary in 1964. By this time he had earned an enviable reputation as an administrator with a deep affection for his native country.
In 1969 Sir Goronwy Daniel, who had been made KVCO that year, was appointed Principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he remained until his retirement ten years later. His period at Aberystwyth coincided with the post-Robbins expansion of higher education, and he presided over a number of new initiatives at Aberystwyth, including the Welsh medium hall of residence and the Aberystwyth arts centre. He combined a firm international outlook with a devotion to things Welsh.
In his leisure time Sir Goronwy enjoyed sailing, and in the 1970s he and Lady Valerie bought a farm at Letterston in Pembrokeshire. He had already been appointed as Lord Lieutenant for Dyfed. In retirement he added to his public offices: President of the West Wales Association for the Arts, the first Chairman of the Welsh Fourth Channel, Vice-Chairman of the Commercial Bank of Wales and of the Prince of Wales Committee. During 1988 and 1989 he chaired an important working group on the reformation of the powers and functions of the University of Wales.
Sir Goronwy died at Cardiff on 17 January 2003 aged 88.
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