Wales

Griffith John: Swansea-China missionary memorial garden opens

John Griffith in later years
Image caption The garden will be opened in Griffith John's home city of Swansea

Centenary celebrations marking a Welsh missionary's work in China have culminated in the opening of a memorial garden.

Griffith John spent more than 50 years working in Wuhan province before his death in 1912, aged 80.

The garden was opened in his home city of Swansea and a memorial stone and plaque were unveiled in the grounds of the Griffith John flats.

After learning Chinese, he set up schools and hospitals in China.

John arrived in the country in 1855, establishing training colleges and pioneering the recruitment of Chinese people for missionary work in their own country.

He translated the New Testament into a number of Chinese dialects and became a notable orator.

In later life, John was a leading opponent of the opium trade.

He returned to Britain early in 1912 - only the third time he left China - and died in July that year after 56 years of service.

He is buried in Sketty, Swansea, and a street is named after him in the Dyfatty area of the city.

Last year a delegation from Union Hospital, which John founded and which is now a major medical research centre, visited Swansea.

They brought a bust of John made by Chinese artist Xiang Jinguo, which went on display temporarily at Swansea Museum.

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