Today (4 May), the names of those from north Wales 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.
Ronald Dennis (deferred until 2018)
Although he hails from Provo Utah, Ronald Dennis’ ancestors were from the Halkyn area in Flintshire. He set about learning Welsh to be able to read the work of his great great grandfather, Captain Dan Jones, chief Mormon missionary in Wales, and learn more about the Welsh contribution to the growth of this unique faith. His advice and support have been readily available for decades for anyone interested in the field, especially the website he developed tracing the history of the Mormons. He managed to rediscover an important and forgotten piece of history, transforming our knowledge and awareness about the contribution of Welsh Mormons to the history of Utah.
Phyllis Ellis, Penisarwaun, is one of the community leaders in the Caernarfon area. She is a Community Councillor, school governor, Chair of the community hall committee, and Chair of the village eisteddfod committee. A former head teacher, she chaired the language pressure group, Cefn, and is a Trustee and Board Secretary at the language centre in Nant Gwrtheyrn. She has been an avid supporter of the Eisteddfod for many years, was part of the Executive Committee when the Eisteddfod was held locally in 1979 and 2005, is a member of the Court and Council of the Eisteddfod, and she has also worked in Maes D since 1997. She is always ready to help, and the continuation and development of her community in shadow of Snowdon is very close to her heart.
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.
Hugh Price Hughes
Hugh Price Hughes, Bethel, Caernarfon’s main interest is fishing, and he has been the secretary of the Seiont, Gwyrfai and Llyfni Fishing Society for many years. He is also one of the main campaigners for the conservation and preservation of the char, a rare fish living in some of the lakes of Snowdonia. He has a column in his local community newspapers, Eco’r Wyddfa, writes regularly in Yr Herald, and is the local correspondent of the magazine ‘Trout and Salmon'. He regularly speaks to societies and groups across north Wales, and is one of the main promoters of the Welsh heartland and its culture.
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.
Arwel Lloyd Jones
Every neighbourhood and community has its leaders, and Arwel Lloyd Jones, Llanuwchllyn, is definitely one of these. He is an active member of his community, an intuitive organiser and has spent decades helping individuals in times of need, as well as offering support to a number of organisations and associations. If there is ever a local campaign being organised, he will be part of the work, always working to the best of his ability. He has contributed greatly to Welsh culture in the Penllyn area throughout his life.
Geraint and Meinir Lloyd Jones
Geraint and Meinir Lloyd Jones, Penrhyndeudraeth, have both contributed greatly to their community over the years. They both worked in the education sector, and generations of children have been inspired by their commitment to the language and culture, with Meinir coaching pupils at Ysgol Bro Hedd Wyn, Trawsfynydd to sing as soloists, in groups and choirs in local eisteddfodau and with the Urdd. Both are active in the chapel and with organisations both locally and nationally. They are both staunch supporters of the National Eisteddfod.
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.
Mary Jones, Trefor, receives the honour because of her work organising the Aelhaearn Eisteddfod, keeping the local event viable over the years. The future of the event would have been in danger without the support and volunteer work of Mary Jones. She has already been honoured by Cymdeithas Eisteddfodau Cymru for her contribution, and is now honoured by the Gorsedd. She has also been active with Antur Aelhaearn for years, and has also served as the Clerk for the Llanaelhaearn Community Council for twenty years, working diligently for the benefit of the community.
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.
Although Phil Mostert, Harlech, is originally from Anglesey, he has lived in the Ardudwy Valley for many years, and it is the local community there which has benefitted from his contribution. A former education consultant and school inspector, he is a talented lecturer who always manages to entertain the audience. He was one of the founders of the local community paper, ‘Llais Ardudwy’, and has been one of its editors for almost forty years, as well as the paper’s typesetter. He is a member of the Ardudwy and Prysor male voice choirs. He was one of the founders of the Harlech Eisteddfod, and is Chair of the Nantcol Valley Society. An excellent word-maker, he created the name ‘Hafod Eryri’ for the building at the summit of Snowdon.
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.
Gwerfyl Roberts, Groeslon, Caernarfon, has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of bilingual health care provision for years. She has published innovative work on various topics, outlining the Welsh experience and setting the international context. A Senior Lecturer at the School of Healthcare Sciences, Bangor University, she represents the health care disciplines on the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Academic Board, and has played an important part in the development of national subject plans. She has also contributed to the work of various boards and task groups, often advising the Welsh Government, and her expertise has had a positive influence on public policy in Wales.
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.
Ifor Williams, Llanfaglan, Caernarfon’s commitment to his local area is special on a number of levels. A highly respected councillor on Bontnewydd Community Council, he set up Canolfan Bro Llanwnda, which remains a vibrant centre of cultural importance locally. He is a key part of the national digital project, Llên Natur, and is one of the founders, an active member and the treasurer of Cymdeithas Enwau Lleoedd Cymru. He organises local workshops across Wales to collect and record local place names and places them on a digital map to protect them.
During his time working for the NHS, Irfon Williams, Bangor, showed dedication and passion in his work, receiving the Child Nurse of the Year Award for Wales in 2012. In 2014 he discovered he was suffering from cancer, and having seen the effect of chemotherapy on some women, he set up the 'Team Irfon' charity, to raise money for the Blue Sky Appeal to pay for wigs, alternative treatments and mental health support for patients and their families. He is also responsible for the Hawl i Fyw (Fighting Chance) campaign which ensures that individuals suffering from cancer have the same opportunities for treatment in Wales as patients in other parts of the UK. He is a man in a million, and his campaign have made a real difference to the lives and dignity of patients in Wales.
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.
Linda Brown, Gerlan, Bethesda’s name is synonymous with the world of drama in Wales as she has been a pivotal part of Welsh theatre for over forty years. Best known for her work with Theatr Bara Caws from the outset, she has managed to create a completely unique relationship with communities across the country, attracting people to experience Welsh theatre at grassroots level. Linda is a cornerstone of her local community in Gerlan and Bethesda, sitting on numerous boards and committees. Her contribution both in her community and at national level has been invaluable in so many years, with her friendliness and enthusiasm always shining through.
Originally from Newport, Pamela Davies, Acton, Wrexham, has lived in the north east since childhood. A talented singer, winning at the National Eisteddfod in 1958 and 1970, as well as winning several other singing competitions. After a successful career as a primary teacher and deputy head, she went on to learn Welsh, and attended creative writing courses. Again, she managed to reach the top at the National Eisteddfod, winning numerous awards for her work, including the Learners’ Trophy in 1998, and the Learners’ Chair when the Eisteddfod was held in her home city, Newport, in 2004.
Siân Wyn Gibson
Originally from Deiniolen, Sian Wyn Gibson, Llanwnda, Caernarfon, is well known to the Eisteddfod audience as a singer as well as the coach of some of our brightest young singers. Following a successful professional singing career with several companies, she returned to North Wales where she focuses on oratorio work, concerts and offering singing lessons in her home and to children in the Conwy area through her work. She has inspired many young singers to study and pursue a professional career in music in Wales and further afield.
Emyr and Trefor Wyn Jones
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.
Rhian Roberts, Bangor, has taught and inspired generations of young people for many years due to her and her husband Cefin’s vision, setting up Ysgol Glanaethwy over 25 years ago. As musical director of the junior choir, Rhian has created special experiences and memories for many young people, led them to national and international victories, as well as providing an opportunities for the youngsters to travel the world performing. Today, the school is highly regarded around the world, its name synonymous with quality and talent. Rhian is also mainly responsibility for administration and organises all elements of the school’s work.
Anwen Williams, Denbigh’s name is known to everyone involved in the cerdd dant and folk singing world in Wales. She has contributed her life to serving her community, her language and her nation. A national adjudicator, volunteer with the YFC in Nantglyn and the National Eisteddfod when held locally, many people have benefited from her tireless enthusiasm, coaching many individuals and cerdd dant and singing groups. Active in the chapel for years, she is also an active member of Merched y Wawr, the Development Officer for North East Wales, a member of the Language and Care Sub-committee, and is responsible for making sure Y Wawr magazine is taped for blind members across Wales.