This distinctive gravestone marks the last resting place of a famous Welsh Prima Donna, Madame Megan Telini. The inscription reads:-
Welsh Prima Donna
Beautiful voice great artist
Lifelong worker for charity
Including Penrhyn Quarry strike
Miners relief fund
And with-all a most loving
and devoted wife and mother.
She was born Margaret Jane Parry at Bethesda in 1878 and was an accomplished singer, winning over 350 prizes and accolades at various concerts and eisteddfodau and eventually winning the Open Soprano competition at the National Eisteddfod in 1898. Her father Robert Parry (known as Trebor Llechid) worked at the Penrhyn Slate Quarry and became involved with the strike fund committee during the great quarry strike of 1898-1902. She helped to raise a significant amount of money with a ladies choir in support of the quarry workers during this very difficult time.
When the strike ended many Bethesda families moved away from the area and the Parry family came to live at 8 Moreton Road, Holyhead. Megan married David Huw Jones in Bethesda in 1902. After marrying she spent eight years in Edinburgh before going to Italy where she had further training and took up the name of Madam Telini.
On returning to London she was kept busy on the ‘Concert Scene’ for several years, singing on many world stages such as La Scala in Milan. She released over sixteen records (a great accomplishment for the time). During the great depression of the 1920/30’s she performed numerous concerts to raise money for the miner’s families of South Wales. She also supported many good causes at her adopted town of Holyhead, particularly for Capel Tabernacl, Thomas Street, where the Parry family worshiped. Madam Telini eventually retired in 1934 to keep a small hotel in London. When WW2 broke out Megan and David moved to Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, where she died in 1940.
Returned by her family to Holyhead to be buried, her grave at Maeshyfryd is close to that of her parents and two of her siblings.
From research undertaken by Peter Scott Roberts.
Peter Scott Roberts is keen to continue his research into Madam Megan Telini and would be pleased to hear from anyone with information to offer – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01407 740246.
© Holyhead Maritime Museum