PRYNHAWNDDYDD o Ebrill ydoedd. Minnau’n ciniawa yn y Llyfrgell Genedlaethol ar wahoddiad Merêd. Braint oedd cael rhannu bwrdd â’r ebol ifanc a oedd yn ei nawdegau. Doedd dim pall ar ei sgwrs. Prin fod angen i mi ei borthi. Roedd y cof yn loyw a’r chwerthiniad yn iach. Yn ôl ei arfer, ac fel prawf o’i ddiddordeb ysol mewn pobl, holai fy hynt a pha brosiect oedd gen i ar y gweill.
Mentrais ddweud fy mod yn ymchwilio i hanes Niclas y Glais. Os do, cefais wybod am gysylltiad Tomi’r Llety, Pentregalar, â Blaenau Ffestiniog cyfnod plentyndod Merêd. Fe’i cofiai’n pregethu yn un o’r capeli lleol a’r lle dan ei sang ac un gŵr dieithr, anesmwyth ei olwg, yn y gynulleidfa. Neb yn ei adnabod. Ac roedd pawb yn adnabod pawb yr adeg hynny. Wel, aelod o’r gwasanaethau cudd, wrth gwrs, yn clustfeinio ar y comiwnydd yn y pulpud i gasglu tystiolaeth rhag ofn y byddai’r sefydliad am ei gyhuddo o deyrnfradwriaeth rhyw ddydd.
Clywais hanes cymeriade megis Dafydd Canada a Johnny Coparet a’r criw eraill o Sosialwyr fydde’n ymgynnull bob tro y deuai T. E. Nicholas i’r parthau. ‘Bydde’n fater o chargo’r batris wst ti pan fydde Niclas yn dŵad i seiadu. Mi fydde’r hogia yma’n darllen y ‘Daily Worker’ ac yn selogion yr Ysgol Sul’, meddai. Addawodd ymchwilio ymhellach ar fy rhan ymhlith ei gysylltiade yn ardal Stiniog. A dyna a wnaeth. Daeth galwad ffôn yn y man.
Meddyliwch. Gŵr a oedd dros ugain mlynedd y tu hwnt i oed yr addewid yn barod i wneud gwaith caib a rhaw o’r fath ar fy rhan. Ond dyna’r dyn ydoedd y Dr Meredydd Evans. Clywsom yn ei angladd yng Nghwm Ystwyth ei fod yr un mor ymholgar a chymwynasgar ynghylch materion yn ymwneud â’r genedl Gymreig ychydig ddyddie cyn ei farwolaeth.
A gwyddai’n dda am y Coparet yn Stiniog am mai yno’r aeth i weithio ar ôl gadael yr ysgol yn 14 oed. Ond ni fu yno’n hir. Mentrodd ar lwybr addysg a’i harweiniodd i Princetown a Boston yn yr Unol Daleithiau. Cyfeiria’r Dr at ei ddoethuriaeth mewn Athroniaeth. Tra oedd yno recordiodd ganeuon gwerin Cymraeg ar label Folkways a ddyfarnwyd ymhlith y gorau o’u bath i’w cyhoeddi yn 1954 gan y New York Times. Roedd yn ddyledus i’w fam am feithrin ei ddiddordeb mewn canu gwerin gan y byddai hi’n canu degau ohonyn nhw oddi ar ei chof.
Dychwelodd i Gymru ar ôl i gyfaill iddo ei gyfarch ar faes yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol trwy ddweud ‘sut wyt ti’r Ianci? Teimlodd i’r byw. Daeth yn ôl gyda’i wraig o Americanes, Phyllis Kinney, a’u merch, Eluned. A bois bach, am gyfraniad a wnaeth i fywyd athronyddol, gwleidyddol ac adloniannol Cymru.
Am ddeng mlynedd, fel Pennaeth Adran Adloniant BBC Cymru, bu’n gyfrifol am sefydlu rhaglenni fel ‘Disc a Dawn’ a ‘Fo a Fe’. Ond cefnodd ar y sefydliad er mwyn gweithredu ar lawr gwlad dros yr hyn a gredai oedd yn hanfodol er mwyn ffyniant ei genedl. Ni fu neb mor weithgar dros y Gymdeithas Alawon Gwerin na Merêd a Phyllis.
Gwnaeth ei farc cynt fel aelod o Driawd y Coleg pan oedd yn fyfyriwr ym Mangor. Roedd ‘Triawd y Buarth’ yn un o ganeuon mwyaf poblogaidd y math newydd hwn o ganu ysgafn Cymraeg llawn harmonïau. Balch oedd o gael ei gyflwyno’n aml fel llais y ‘cwac, cwac’ yn y gân honno! Diffoddodd y cyflenwad trydan ym mast Pencarreg fel rhan o ymgyrch Cymdeithas yr Iaith i sefydlu sianel deledu Gymraeg.
Ymddeolodd y ddau i Gwm Ystwyth gan fyw yno’n hwy nag y buont fyw yn unman arall. Nid Boston mo’r pentre. Ond Afallon oedd enw’r aelwyd. Gwelsant ddirywiad y bywyd Cymraeg yno dros 30 mlynedd. Mynnodd Merêd gynnal fflam yr achos yn Siloam gan gredu fod yna obaith lle bynnag y bo ychydig o oleuni. Doedd dim ofn marw arno, meddai mewn rhaglen deledu ddiweddar. Wrth gwrs, mae’r sawl sy’n ofni marw yn ofni byw. A doedd dim ofn byw ar Merêd. Cofleidiodd fywyd.
Ond y ddelwedd arhosol sy gen i o ddiwrnod ei angladd yw’r cloc uwchben y pulpud. Roedd wedi rhoi’r gore i gerdded am hanner awr wedi dau ers slawer dydd. Felly mae yng Nghwm Ystwyth. Ond cofiaf hefyd y cinio yn y ffreutur a’r chwerthin iach yn Aberystwyth.
Praise for seamless services provided to Ukranian families in Ceredigion
THE USE of the Urdd centre at Llangrannog as a welcome centre for Ukrainian refugees has been praised.
Following the surge in refugees fleeing war in Ukraine in early 2022, the first Welcome Centre of its kind was quickly set up in Ceredigion.
The Urdd Gobaith Cymru Gwersyll at Llangrannog was selected as a location by the Welsh Government and it was opened on 28 March.
During the next four months, up until 31 August when the centre was officially closed, 72 Ukranian families were supported through a multiagency delivery group.
A paper compiling Ceredigion County Council’s contribution to the Welcome Centre was presented to cabinet members on 4 October, as well a letter of appreciation by the First Minister of Wales.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Together with partners, you have played a critical role in ensuring Wales has lived up to our ambition of being a Nation of Sanctuary. The Llangrannog Welcome Centre was a real example of the extraordinary warm Welsh welcome we have been able to offer to our new Ukrainian friends.
“Your efforts have demonstrated the Team Wales approach so characteristic of our joint effort to support people seeking sanctuary.”
‘Tears when they left’
Councillor Bryan Davies, leader of Ceredigion County Council praised the “integrated and seamless way” that agencies worked together to support the 72 Ukrainian families.
“Most were worried about their families in Ukraine, their future, how they would be able to find a job in this country and secure permanent accommodation. They were also very concerned about getting their children into school.
“We received consistent feedback that the Urdd and Council staff at the Welcome Centre were helpful, friendly, and always there to help. They valued the quality of the accommodation, felt safe and that the help with obtaining key UK documents was invaluable to them.
“Some stated that they were in tears when they arrived from Ukraine, and were in tears when they left Llangrannog, having received such excellent care and support.”
Lowri Jones, director of the Llangrannog Urdd Gobaith Cymru Centre, added: “Humanitarian support has been at the core of the Urdd’s work since our establishment in 1922. The Welcome Centre at Llangrannog would not have been possible without the support of Urdd members and schools enabling us to open our doors to families from Ukraine.
“The partnership working with Ceredigion Council, Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda University Health Board meant that the multiagency team allowed us to offer the best support for the families in their time of need.”
Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt has thanked Wales households who have come forward to offer their homes for Ukrainians fleeing the war and has encouraged more households to provide this vital support.
Ammanford suffer narrow loss against Newport
AMMANFORD suffered their third successive defeat at home to second placed Newport by the narrowest of margins, just three runs separating the sides in a 500 run thriller at the Park.
Newport won the toss and elected to take first knock. Their innings was defined by a 148 run middle order partnership between Imran Hassan (112no) and Mujahid Ilyas (57).
Ammanford were looking down the barrel of another 300+ target until the return of Saihaj Jaspal (3-26) and Dan Roberts (1-32) to the attack slowed down the run rate. Owen Davies and Josef Davies also picked up a wicket each as Newport closed on a hefty 259 for 6.
Ammanford’s response began perfectly with a 131 run opening partnership between Kurtis Marsh (78) and Andrew Salter (44).
Dan Roberts continued the good work but four wickets fell in quick succession before the arrival of skipper Alun Evans at the crease.
The match was well within Ammanford’s grasp had these two managed to stay together but the departure of Roberts (39) left the burden firmly on Evans’s experienced shoulders.
An unbeaten 43 from the captain wasn’t quite sufficient and Ammanford fell an agonising three runs short of their target on 256 for 8.
Ammanford have now lost against the top three clubs in Premier 1, but in each case have shown an
eagerness to challenge and the talent to support that eagerness.
The rest of the summer beckons encouragingly, beginning with a visit to Port Talbot Town next Saturday, May 28.
Ammanford seconds earn six wicket win
AMMANFORD seconds returned from Stradey Park with a straightforward 6 wicket victory over Llanelli.
Having put Llanelli in to bat, the Ammanford bowlers made short work of dismissing the Llanelli batters for 100 in 27 overs.
Sara Phillips (22) provided Llanelli’s main resistance. Chief wicket taker for Ammanford was Matthew Davies with 4 for 37, whilst Fin Jeffries, Sam Potter and Iwan Matthews picked up a couple each.
Ammanford overtook the Llanelli total within 23 overs for the loss of four wickets, thanks in the main to opener Eirian Morgan (25), with support from Fraser Benjamin (17) and Tiaan Evans (16no).
Player of the match was undoubtedly Llanelli’s Sara Phillips who crowned a fine all-round performance
with figures of 3 for 29.
Thirds suffer heavy defeat
AMMANFORD thirds suffered a heavy 135 run defeat at the hands of visiting Dyffryn at the Rec.
Dyffryn scored a formidable 245 from their 40 overs, due to fine knocks from Phil Paisey (95) and Rhodri Morgan (47).
Toby Davies took 3 wickets for Ammanford, whilst Jac Davies and Dafydd Evans picked up a couple
Ammanford’s reply never really got off the ground, and they collapsed to 110 all out in 27 overs, thanks to impressive bowling from Lloyd Jones with 7 for 22. Opener David Lumb top scored with 20.
JON COURTENAY: Live in Carmarthen
Jon Courtenay’s 2021 UK Tour “WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT” which is coming to The Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen on Monday 1st November.
“WONDERFUL…YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO HAS WORKED HARD FOR YEARS AND NEEDS A BREAK AND I’M SURE YOU WILL GET A HUGE REACTION FROM THIS, I PROMISE YOU.” Simon Cowell
Following his enormous success as the first Golden Buzzer act ever to win Britain’s Got Talent, Jon Courtenay is delighted to announce that he will be setting out on his debut tour of the UK in 2021.
“ONE OF THE BEST GOLDEN BUZZERS WE’VE EVER HAD ON THE SHOW.” Amanda Holden
Long before triumphing in the 2020 final, Jon was a powerhouse live performer with decades of experience touring the world. Become part of Jon’s journey of a lifetime where you will roar with laughter, maybe shed a few tears and definitely be inspired by his music and the hilarious tales of his family, relationships and life on tour. With a soundtrack including all his Britain’s Got Talent songs and music spanning the classics to rock n roll, Jon’s side-splitting show will leave you with a happy heart and a huge smile on your face.
This will definitely be a rip-roaring night of music and comedy that you’ll never forget!
“IT’S FUNNY, IT’S TOUCHING, IT’S UNIQUE TO YOU…THAT WAS UNBELIEVABLE.” David Walliams
Jon Courtenay originally hails from Ipswich but now lives in Mossley, Greater Manchester with his wife Emmah and two sons Nathan and Alfie. He started his stage career as a comedy magician but gradually the magic made way for the piano. Even before he won Britain’s Got Talent, Jon was already a powerhouse live performer with decades of experience touring the world. He is also one of the rare British performers to be asked time and time again to perform in America. His originality and remarkable stage presence have led to hugely successful shows in the corporate market as well as on all the major luxury cruise lines.
Although Jon’s show is continually evolving, his sense of humour remains the same and he has now created a truly original experience for every audience.
“MAGICAL…YOU NAILED IT MY FRIEND. YOU TICKED EVERY SINGLE BOX.” Alesha Dixon
For more information go to theatrausirgar.co.uk or call 0345 226 3510
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