Glyn Roberts. Glyn Dylasau. Glyn FUW President. And now Heusor o Gwm Eidda. This year's Conwy County National Eisteddfod was one to remember for our President as he was honoured with the blue robe by the Gorsedd of Bards. This is an honour for those who have given outstanding service to their local community or nation. After an extremely busy week at the Eisteddfod, Cornel Clecs caught up with Glyn to ask him about his experience with the Gorsedd:
What is your bardic name?
My first reaction was to keep it simple and use Glyn Dylasau, but as I felt this was one of the greatest honours for a Welsh person to receive, I had to think more imaginatively. You have to appreciate when you work with people that they influence you, and what went through my mind was what Nick always says, which is that everything has to be proportional. At one point I thought of using my full name in Welsh, William Glyn Roberts and adopting Gwilym Glyn ap Sion. I inhereted the William after my grandfather and today one of my grandchildren is Gwilym and Gwilym Glyn ap Sion would have included four generations, but I was looking for a name that conveyed the importance of keeping the country pure rather than a more personal one, and after much thought, a name was finally found after being asked twice by the Eisteddfod authorities!
My Bardic name is 'Heusor o Gwm Eidda' - it means the keeper of animals such as sheep, cattle, pigs, not only the husbandry side but the watching, guarding, protecting and leadership element.
Describe what it is like to be honoured by the Gorsedd?
The experience of being honoured on the day is hard to describe, there was a fine line between laughing and crying, at times I was close to tears. At the ceremony, I was proud to see Beca and Mirain carry the Gorsedd flag on behalf of Snowdonia YFC and remembering who carried it on behalf of Snowdonia YFC at the Caernarfon Eisteddfod in 79. However what was going through my mind was whether I deserved such an honour, and felt that I know a great deal in rural Wales that have done more than me to keep the wheels turning, by supporting countryside activities, working in the background with no honour or personal gains.
Also I’m indebted to other people in my area (family and friends) and more widely, those who have influenced me and made me who I am, this is the rock from which I was carved, 'the mark of the valley on me is like a mark on a sheep' (Y Ffynhonnau Rhydwen Williams), some who are no longer with us, but would be so proud, and others who made an effort to attend the event despite being of a fair age. As a Union you have often heard me say that our true wealth in rural Wales is our beauty and the beauty of our area, and what I felt when I was honoured confirms that.
What will you remember from Llanrwst Eisteddfod 2019?
As I mentioned earlier about the emotional feelings, this happened again when the result of the Chair competition was announced and Jim Parc Nest walked so dignified to the stage. I was so proud of him because I had the privilege and honour at the Abergavenny National Eisteddfod to be in his company one evening to discuss the poetry of Waldo, TH Parry Williams and Gwenallt over a pint or two. He was accompanied by his wife and they both left me deeply impressed and it is one of the experiences that I will cherish. I was deeply proud of the fact that a splendid chair designed and crafted by Gwenan Ty’n Rhos and presented by FUW Denbighshire and Caernarfonshire branches was going to a such a well deserving home.
Another thing I remember about the Llanrwst Eisteddfod was the ethos of breaking boundaries, Welsh speakers and non Welsh speakers, skin colour not important, the children, young people, the middle aged and the elderly. Strangely, one of the competitions before the Chair ceremony was the Folk Song Party with Hogia Berfeddwlad winning, and their conductor Catherine Watkin (Gwynedd's mother) on the stage receiving the prize at a grand age of 89 and Jim Parc Nest at 85.
It was a proud experience to see Erfyl Jones winning the Blue Ribbon, and although he lives in Rhiwgam, Aberhosan, his roots are at Plas Ucha Ysbyty Ifan, one of ten children and two of the brothers have won the Blue Ribbon. Another brother is Hywel, the husband of Ela, Mistress of the Robes at the Eisteddfod, it was a privilege to be their neighbour years ago.
On a lighter note, it was heartwarming to see Gwynedd Bryn Bras on the unique character of Dafydd P performing their sketch (two rams) in the folk house.
The Conwy County National Eisteddfod for me was an unforgettable experience, something I will remember for the rest of my life.
Thanks Glyn for sharing your experiences with Cornel Clecs, and we welcome Heusor o Gwm Eidda... a name that fits perfectly.