Full of Years and Honour – Mr John Wilks
Little Mill Engineering Works Founder
60 years Deacon of Chapel Ed
Born at Penpellenny, Goytre on April 9th 1842 Mr John Wilks passed away at his residence there Friday April 17th 1931 full of years and of honour amongst his own people and of good repute amongst all of his acquaintances far and wide.
Mr Wilks has spent a long, active and useful life and won the affection and esteem of a large number of friends. The son of a smith, he commenced work at an early age, as was common in the days of his youth, and his first job was on the railway at the time when bridge work was in progress.
At the age of 22 he left Goytrey for Pandy, but at the age of 24 he returned home to start a small business of his own, from which has developed the engineering works of Messers Wilks and sons, Little Mill.
Mr Wilks helped the late Col. H Byrde in the works of building of the British School Penperllenny, and served on the committee of management. He was the first chairman of the Parish Council, a position he held for many years, and one in which his intimate knowledge of parochial affairs and business like qualities were of great value. For many years he was a trustee of the Council School.
The Oldest Deacon
For about 60 years Mr Wilks had been deacon at Chapel Ed, he was the oldest deacon of the Presbyterian Connection in the County and by his generosity and loyalty he had been able to keep the work going through storm and sunshine.
His house was an open home to ministers of all denominations and he was ever ready to help any good cause. His uprightness, integrity and good works placed him among the noblest and best of those professing the Christian faith.
In recognition of his great services at Chapel Ed in June 1923 Mr Wilks was presented with an illuminated address as a slight token of the affection and esteem in which he was held.
He took an active interest in the work at Little Mill practically up to the last, but in the latter months his failing health prevented him leaving his Penpellenny home. Amongst letters of condolence received by the family were one from Mr E J Bagley, secretary of the Hope Presbeteryn Church Pandy, and the Parry family at Glannant, and Col. R B Ford of Pontypool.
The funeral took place on Monday afternoon, and was attended by a very large number of friends of the family from far and near who knew and revered Mr John Wilks as a man of Christian worth and a man of outstanding character in the countryside.
At the house a short service was conducted by the Rev. Thomas Probert, Pontnwynydd, and the Rev. Thomas Cooper, Abertysswg, after which the coffin was borne on the shoulders of relay men to Chapel Ed, which failed to accommodate all who attended.
Mr Charles Merrick presided at the organ and played ‘O Rest in the Lord’ as the cortege entered and ‘Handels Large’ as it left. The service which was conducted by the Rev William Jones of Mozerah commenced with the signing of the hymn ‘O God’.
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