The Welsh Connection
At the side of a busy road in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, there is a carved stone dedicated to the memory of two Welshmen, David Jones and David Griffiths. Madagascar seems an unlikely place to have any connection with Wales. How did this happen?
In 1818 the London Missionary Society sent two young men, with their families, from West Wales to Madagascar but, within a few weeks of landing on the island, all but David Jones had died of fever. In 1820 another courageous young Welshman named David Griffiths volunteered his services and he and his young wife reached the capital safely in 1821.
The two Davids learnt the Malagasy language very quickly and started teaching and preaching. With the active support of King Radama they set up a system of schools for both girls and boys and, with the help of their more able pupils, they translated the Bible and a number of other books into Malagasy.