Noreen Edwards (née Thomas), who has died aged 85, was active in the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) for many years, chairing the college’s council and Welsh board. Her name will live on through the Noreen Edwards chair at Bangor University in north Wales.
Daughter of the vicar of Conwy, Noreen undertook her nurse training at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and midwifery training at Queen Charlotte’s in London and St David’s, Bangor.
She was matron at the Nant-y-Glyn Maternity Hospital, Colwyn Bay, then Denbighshire Hospital – now Colwyn Bay Community Hospital – and finally Abergele Hospital.
Noreen was appointed chair of the RCN’s Welsh board and went on to become chair of RCN council from 1969 to 1971, and deputy chair until 1973. In that year she married Geoffrey Edwards, the town clerk of Colwyn Bay.
A nurse member of Gwynedd Health Authority, she was its deputy chair in 1979 and chair in 1982. Noreen also served on the Warnock committee on human fertilisation and, in 1987, chaired the Welsh Office committee that reviewed community nursing.
Noreen was the first woman to be appointed deputy lord lieutenant and high sheriff of Gwynedd. She was a justice of the peace, member of the council of the school of medicine at Cardiff University, president of the local branch of Soroptimist International, a governor of Rydal School in Colwyn Bay and member of the National Trust’s north west committee.
A lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, she was awarded the Territorial Decoration and appointed to the Order of the British Empire in 1970. In 1988, Noreen was created a commander of the British Empire.
This obituary appeared in the Nursing Standard on January 23rd, 2012 (page 33) and is reproduced here with their kind permission.