Today (4 May), the names of those from Anglesey honoured by the Gorsedd of the Bards at the Anglesey National Eisteddfod, have been announced.
These honours, presented annually, are an opportunity to recognise individuals from all parts of the country for their achievements and their commitment to Wales, the Welsh language and to their local communities across the whole of Wales. This year’s individuals will be honoured at special ceremonies on the Eisteddfod Maes in Bodedern on Monday 7 August and Friday 11 August.
In line with the Gorsedd of the Bards’ arrangements for honouring new members, all new members enter the Gorsedd on the same level, irrespective of whether they are honoured into the Blue or Green robes.
Those who have succeeded in the fields of Law, Science, Sports, Journalism, Media, local / national activities become Honorary Druids – Blue robes - for their services to the nation.
The Gorsedd also honours new members to the Green robes for their contribution to the arts.
Those who have succeeded in the Gorsedd examination or are eligible because of their degree in literature, music, drama or art, also receive the Green robes, as will the winner of the Osborne Roberts Memorial Prize every year and the winners of the Urdd Crown and Chair.
Only the winners of the main competitions at the National Eisteddfod are honoured with White robes.
The Anglesey National Eisteddfod is held in Bodedern from 4-12 August. For more information go to www.eisteddfod.wales.
Originally from Staffordshire, Bob Daimond, Menai Bridge, came to work for Gwynedd County Council in the early 80s, where he learned Welsh, and became Director of Highways at the council. Since his retirement, he has been very active with the Menai Heritage Trust, responsible for the Thomas Telford Centre in Menai Bridge. He represents north Wales on the Institution of Civil Engineers’ panel, and is a regular contributor on engineering on the radio. He has also worked tirelessly to ensure that engineering is an integral part of the Eisteddfod’s Science and Technology Pavilion every year, and is a member of the local Science committee for the festival in Anglesey this year.
Elwyn Hughes, Llanfairpwll, worked in the Welsh for Adults field in north Wales for over 30 years. He developed the service, leading by example at all times. He received the Elvet and Mair Elvet Thomas Trophy for his contribution to the field in 2005. Although now retired, he continues to work as a tutor, and is Chair of this year’s National Eisteddfod Learners’ Committee. He also conducts Côr Dros y Bont, a choir which includes Welsh speakers and learners, and Criw Bangor, who have won the choir competition in the Eisteddfod’s learners’ section six times.
Huw John Hughes
Some people will know Huw John Hughes, Menai Bridge, as a part-time minister, others are aware of his work as a lecturer in education, and others associate the name with Pili Pala, the well-known attraction on the outskirts of Menai Bridge. He was also a football referee who rose to serve in the National League of Wales. Very few people have a background as interesting as him, and very few have also made such a contribution to their community and local area. He is a prolific author, an authority on nature and an avid campaigner for developing the use of Welsh in tourism. He is a bright and energetic scholar and his contributions to community life are very broad.
Mari Jones, Llanfaethlu, has been a great supporter of the National Eisteddfod for many years, working voluntarily at the festival for twenty-five years, with her sister, Dwynwen Hawkins. Working in the ticket office in the main entrance during the day, the also worked as stewards in the Pavilion and the Theatre during festival week. She will ‘retire’ from this work this year, with the Eisteddfod held locally in Anglesey. Dwynwen was also to have been nominated to the Gorsedd, but she sadly died earlier this year. Mari will be honoured for all her work and in loving memory of Dwynwen.
One of Ysgol Bodedern’s first teachers, June Moseley, New Plymouth, New Zealand, may have moved away, but Wales and the language remain an important part of her life. Originally from Mostyn, Flintshire, she has worked diligently to ensure that Welsh people living locally to her have a chance to get to know each other, and the door of her home, ‘Plas Mawr’ is always open to welcome visitors from Wales. She is active in the Welsh Society, and managed to generate the support needed to invite the New Zealand Welsh Cymanfa Ganu to New Plymouth. She is also interested in the the Maori National Festival, the Geidhealtacht, encouraging people to embrace their language and culture.
Alun Mummery, Llanfairpwll, is a village man through and through, and has contributed much to the area over the years. A Community Councillor for half a century this year, he also served as a county councillor for Llanfairpwll, Menai Bridge, Star and Penmynydd, and is a governor at the local school. But this is a man who is happiest on the football field, and has been involved with Llanfairpwll FC for 45 years. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Awards for his work by Sport Wales in 2012.
Although born in King’s Lynn, George North, Northampton, was brought up in north Anglesey, and was educated in Ysgol Bodedern, a stone’s throw from this year’s Eisteddfod Maes. He is one of the brightest rugby players of his generation, having started his journey to the Lions squad at Llangefni Rugby Club, before moving to Llandovery College and then on the Scarlets, before winning his first Welsh cap when only eighteen years old . He is one of the most outstanding international rugby wingers, a hero to thousands, and although he plays in Northampton, he remains faithful to his old county and to the language.
Donald Glyn Pritchard
Born and bred on Anglesey, Donald Glyn Pritchard, Llannerchymedd, worked as a teacher and head teacher prior to his retirement, and was actively involved with the Urdd, responsible for several branches. He spent many years, from 1965 until 2003, working with the Gaerwen Youth Club and ‘Aelwyd’, influencing generations of young people. A staunch supporter of Eisteddfod Môn and a regular presenter at the famous Marianglas Eisteddfod, he was also a member of the committee that established ‘Yr Arwydd’, the local community paper, playing an important part in the cultural life of his area. He has also been a Sunday school teacher at Capel Ifan, Llannerchymedd for forty years and is the founder of the Youth Club.
Originally from Anglesey, presenter, Nia Roberts, Cowbridge, is the daughter of the late actor and teacher, JO Roberts. She is one of S4C's most familiar faces and a much-loved voice on Radio Cymru, with extensive experience of presenting live events and cultural events of all kinds, including the National Eisteddfod, the Urdd and Côr Cymru. She also presents Radio Cymru’s weekly arts show, Stiwdio. Last year, she received an honorary Fellowship for her contribution to the field of broadcasting by Bangor University.
With his roots deep in Bodffordd, Anglesey, football has been Osian Roberts’ life from a very young age. Following a period in the USA, he returned to Wales to work in the football world, and has been part of the Wales training team for a number of years. His experience and expertise was vitally important in Wales’ footballing success at last year’s European Championships, when the team reached the semi final round. He was key to ensuring Welsh was seen and heard during the competition, raising the language’s profile on the international stage. He has already been named at the Honorary President at this year’s Eisteddfod.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada may have been Carol Sharp’s address for over forty years, but she remains committed to her roots in Anglesey. She enjoyed accomplished law career in Canada, was a Judge, specialising in civil law, and representing minority and linguistic rights. She has contributed much to Welsh life in the area over the years, ensuring that the Welsh Society reflects what is happening in Wales today. She returns to Wales regularly, especially for the Eisteddfod, and goes home to Canada full of ideas on how to further develop the Society in Winnipeg.
Robyn Williams, Valley, has contributed greatly to the community life of his native town, Holyhead. He is a partner in a law firm with an office in the town, and he is the honorary lawyer for this year’s Eisteddfod, and has done much in the world of law to help local organisations and institutions. He played a major role in the work to get the local nonconformist chapels to meet jointly, and his valuable contribution in chapels across the island is appreciated by many people. He has contributed much voluntarily and in the community and his passion for the language and our culture is unsurpassed.
Emyr Wyn Jones, Gwalchmai, and Trefor Wyn Jones, Holland Arms, are twins, known for their service to music in Anglesey for years. They have entertained audiences in hundreds of concerts and singing festivals, and have been members of several choirs, including the Colin Jones Singers, over the years.
Elen Wyn Keen
Originally from Rhosygwaliau near Bala, Elen Wyn Keen, Llangristiolus, has lived on Anglesey for many years and has contributed to the musical life of the island. She is a talented harpist and pianist, giving her time to many eisteddfodau, concerts, organisations and schools both locally and more widely. She has been the official accompanist for Ysgol Glanaethwy since 1997, and has served as an accompanist for the Urdd at national level and the Young Farmers’ National Eisteddfod. She also works as a peripatetic piano teacher for the William Mathias Schools Service, as well as teaching piano to her own pupils. She is also happy to help at the local primary school, leading Urdd activities and coaching groups and individuals competing on behalf of the school.
Derec Owen, Llanfairpwll, is known to everyone as ‘Derec Tyres’, having worked as the manager of the tyre store in Llangefni for many years. In 1982, he set up Cymdeithas Hogia Paradwys, which raises money for charities in Anglesey and Gwynedd, and he has served as Secretary, Chair and President of the society over the year, raising thousands of pounds. He presented programmes on Radio Ysbyty Gwynedd for almost 30 years, and has been taking photos for local community papers on Anglesey since the mid 70s. He now has a huge archive of fantastic photos he shares with everyone. He is universally popular within his community and plays an active role in many activities.
Huw Roberts, Llangefni, has made a significant contribution to the folk scene in Wales, both musically and through his research, for many years. A member of the Cilmeri and then 4 yn y Bar, Huw is an excellent fiddle player, with folk melodies and Welsh music history close to his heart. He has inspired many young people by coaching on fiddle and violin courses over the years. With his wife, Bethan , he has played an important part in the folk dancing world in Anglesey, with the success of Ffidl Ffadl, and later Dawnswyr Bro Cefni, in competitions and dance festivals in Wales and beyond. He is also one of the great expert on the Welsh national costume.