the National Eisteddfod announces this year’s honour

Written by on 10th June 2024

Cennard Davies, Treorchy, a great advocate and campaigner for the language and learning Welsh, was invited by the festival’s local executive committee.

Cennard Davies

He will speak from the Pafiliwn stage at the festival held in Parc Ynysangharad, Pontypridd from 3-10 August.

Apart from a period at Swansea University and a year living in Cardiff, Cennard Davies has lived in Treorchy throughout his life.

After graduating from Swansea University, he returned to his old school, Porth Grammar School, as a teacher for a time before going to Barry College to lead a course in Welsh for teachers. He then taught Welsh to adults for the rest of his career. He taught generations of local people and became head of the University of Glamorgan’s Centre for Language Studies.

As well as teaching adults locally, he’s also played a vitally important role in the development of learning Welsh for Adults nationally. He created ‘Catchphrase’ on Radio Wales and was one of the successful series’ presenters.

He was also involved in developing activities for Welsh learners at the National Eisteddfod, one of the early pioneers in Nant Gwrtheyrn, and the author of several books.

Alongside a successful career, he has always been a keen and conscientious campaigner. He was chair of Mudiad Meithrin in the seventies and campaigned tirelessly to establish Welsh language schools in the area. He is the Honorary President of the Glyndŵr Trust to promote Welsh medium education.

He edited ‘Y Gloran’, the Rhondda’s papur bro for decades, was a councillor on Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, and a deacon and secretary of Capel Hermon, Treorci. He is delighted that Côr Cwm Rhondda rehearses in Capel Hermon and that Hermon is the home of the Rhondda Eisteddfod.

Chair of this year’s Eisteddfod Executive Committee, Helen Prosser, said,

“It’s a privilege to honour Cennard Davies as the President of the Eisteddfod here in Rhondda Cynon Taf. He’s immensely proud of his roots who has also contributed much to the whole of Wales.

“His contribution to the Learning Welsh sector – locally and nationally – is invaluable. He’s a gentleman and such excellent company. I’ve been extremely lucky to spend much time with Cennard, and always feel invigorated in his company.”

He follows a number of prominent Welsh people as the Eisteddfod’s Festival President, including presenter and DJ, Huw Stephens, historian Elin Jones, and the former assistant manager of the Wales men’s football team, Osian Roberts.


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