Gwen Hester Gwen with her eldest grandaughter Jilisa

Above, Gwen with her second eldest granddaughter Emira, and below Gwen with her eldest grandaughter Jilisa

Gwen Hester

“The undercurrent [of racism] is still there now, to this day…”

Gwen Hester, a member of the Broodie family, was born in St Kitts in the Caribbean. She came to Newport to join her parents as a young girl.

“All I remember about St Kitts was grapes, black… ‘sea grapes’ and they’re only grown by the sea.”

“My parents were already here. My mum worked as a nurse in Britain… my grandmother, my father’s mother, looked after me.”

“She used to take me everywhere with her… she was a church lady and she’d take me to church with her in the evenings and on Sundays and during the week.”

“She was a big influence on me, she used to say to me ‘if you’ve got a pound, make sure you save 50 pence, always save half of whatever you’ve got’.”

“I was in junior school when I came over to the UK.”

“I’m the eldest of nine siblings… we came over to Britain two at a time… I was the second lot [to come]. “

“It was typing and shorthand in those days, I worked [as a typist] there for 25 years. There I had a lot of racism…[but] I got my dream job as a child.”

“The undercurrent [of racism] is still there now, to this day…”

“My friend, if she went to church, they’d move her out of her seat…the reason the West Indians started their own church is because they weren’t welcome in the churches anywhere… they don’t see you as equal to them.”

“I’ve been in Newport now for 50 odd years, long time, isn’t it, very, very long time.”


“Mae [hiliaeth] dal yma dan yr wyneb, hyd heddiw...”

Ganed Gwen Hester, aelod o’r teulu Broodie, yn St Kitts yn y Caribî. Daeth i Gasnewydd i ymuno â’i rhieni pan roedd hi’n ferch ifanc.

“Y cwbl rwy’n ei gofio am St Kitts yw’r grawnwin, rhai du... ‘grawnwin y môr’ a dim ond wrth y môr maen nhw’n tyfu.”

“Roedd fy rhieni yma’n barod. Roedd fy mam yn gweithio fel nyrs ym Mhrydain... fy mam-gu, mam fy nhad, oedd yn edrych ar fy ôl.“

“Âi hi â fi i bobman gyda hi... dynes yr eglwys oedd hi, ac roedd hi’n mynd â mi i’r eglwys gyda hi gyda’r nos ac ar ddyddiau Sul ac yn ystod yr wythnos.”

“Roedd hi’n ddylanwad mawr arna i, arferai ddweud wrthyf, ‘os oes gen ti bunt, gwna’n siŵr dy fod yn cynilo 50 ceiniog, cynila hanner faint bynnag sydd gen ti’.”

“Roeddwn i yn yr ysgol iau pan ddois draw i’r Deyrnas Unedig.”

“Fi yw’r hynaf o naw o frodyr a chwiorydd... fe ddaethom i Brydain fesul dau... roeddwn i yn yr ail set [i ddod yma].”

“Teipio a llawfer oedd hi yn y dyddiau hynny, roeddwn i’n gweithio yno [fel teipydd] am 25 mlynedd. Fe gefais i lawer o hiliaeth yno... [ond] fe ges i’r swydd a freuddwydiais amdani fel plentyn.”

“ Mae [hiliaeth] dal yma dan yr wyneb, hyd heddiw ...”

“Fy ffrind, pan roedd hi’n mynd i’r eglwys, roedden nhw’n ei symud o’i sedd... y rheswm y gwnaeth bobl India’r Gorllewin sefydlu eu heglwys eu hunain yw am nad oedd croeso iddyn nhw yn yr eglwysi yn unman...dydyn nhw ddim yn eich ystyried yn gyfartal â nhw.”

“Rwyf wedi bod yng Nghasnewydd nawr ers tua 50 mlynedd, amser hir, on’d yw e, amser hir iawn, iawn.”