Well-known Cardigan accountant Dai Davies finally ended his long professional career yesterday (Thursday) after more than half a century working in the city.
After starting in the profession in November 1970, he started his own business DMB Davies Accountants nine years later which continues to thrive over four decades later.
Asked about his future plans, Dai, 79, said: “My wife Wendy bought me a t-shirt saying, ‘I tried to retire, now I work for my wife’!”
Reflecting on the changes he has witnessed, he said: “For me the biggest thing was the loss of a personal touch – I used to be able to do so much more for my clients.
“It seems that we no longer have bank managers while the tax offices have practically disappeared.
“We used to use two in Haverfordwest, one in Carmarthen and one in Aberystwyth – and any issues that arose could be resolved easily.
“Now there are only two tax offices left in the whole of Wales.”
Outside of office, Dai served Cardigan as a city and county councilor for several years.
Yet his only year as mayor was clouded by the terminal illness of his first wife, Olwen.
“It was very sad,” he recalls. “Invitations for the mayoral appointment were sent out on May 4, 1992, but because Olwen was so ill, I didn’t take over until the following year.”
Perhaps his most lasting contribution as mayor was planting hundreds of daffodils along the new Cardigan Bypass.
“Three-quarters of a ton of them,” laughed Dai. “And they’re still here – and still growing!”
But Dai’s political aspirations extended far beyond his hometown. In the 1997 general election, he stood as the Ceredigion candidate for the Liberal Democrats, coming third behind Cynog Dafis of Plaid Cymru and Hag Harris of Labor with 6,616 votes.
“If Olwen had still been alive, the idea of running for Parliament would never have crossed my mind,” he told the Tivy-Side.
“But there was such a hole in my life at that time that I decided to give it a shot.
“When I started I felt like the Liberal Democrats were actually to the left of Labor in the same way we stood up for ordinary working people.
“I no longer vote Lib Dem because the party is pro-EU.
“It was a very interesting time and I learned a lot – but it also left me very disappointed with politicians.”
A passionate singer who still performs in three choirs, Dai plans to devote more time to gardening in his retirement – in addition to working for his wife…