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Tribute paid to former Trinity lecturer

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PROFESSOR JOHN ROWLANDS, former Professor at Aberystwyth University’s Department of Welsh, has recently died aged 76.

Originally from Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd, Professor Rowlands graduated with first class honours in Welsh from the University of Bangor in 1959. He continued in Bangor for another two years where he completed an MA on ‘Delweddau Dafydd ap Gwilym’ (The Images of Dafydd ap Gwilym).

He received a University of Wales Fellowship for further study at Jesus College Oxford between 1961 and 1963, and he was awarded his DPhil (Oxon) for ‘A Critical Edition and Study of the Welsh Poems Written in Praise of the Salusburies of Llyweni’, which was published 1967.

Between 1963 and 1974 he lectured at Swansea University, Trinity College Carmarthen, and St David’s University College Lampeter, and in 1975 he was appointed lecturer for the Department of Welsh at Aberystwyth. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1976, to Reader in 1992 and Professor in 1996. He continued to work at Aberystwyth University until his retirement in 2003.

Between 1960 and 1978, Professor Rowlands wrote six Welsh language novels, of which the best-known was Lle bo’r gwenyn, or Where Bees may Be.  He also translated Federico Garcia Lorca’s play Blood Wedding into Welsh.

Paying tribute to Professor Rowlands, Dr Robin Chapman, Acting Head of the Department of Welsh said: “Everyone in the Department has been shaken by the news of John’s death, and we have spent the day recalling our own personal memories of him. We are agreed on one thing; we have lost a friend as well as a colleague. Many could be justly proud of having achieved just a fraction of what he did.  He was a talented musician (we will long remember his piano accompaniments in departmental Christmas parties). He knew and wrote with insight on food and wine. He was a ground-breaking novelist – almost the only example of an Angry Young Man in Welsh literature – at the beginning of his career, and a master of tragic and comedic fiction in later years. As a critic, he taught generations of students to look beyond the personality of writers to concentrate on texts and contexts. He was a painstaking, creative editor who enhanced every piece of writing he touched. As a lecturer and professor, he had a profound influence on dozens of Wales’s leading writers and academics. And he was, of course, a loving husband and father. We extend our sympathy to Eluned, his children and grandchildren.”

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Wizardry night a success at Aberystwyth Library

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The fourth Harry Potter Book Night was held at Aberystwyth Library on Friday, 07 February.

After dark, it was a time for fans to celebrate the iconic series of books with events all around the World.

Ceredigion Library Service held the event at Aberystwyth Town Library, which was decorated with all things Harry Potter.

Emyr Lloyd and Delyth Huws, both Assistant Librarians organised the night. They were very pleased with the success and turnout. Emyr Lloyd said, “We enjoy putting on the Harry Potter Book night. The fourth one was no different with 86 children attending the free event and very positive feedback. We hope events such as these spark a joy of reading in the young and old.”

Three Owls from New Quay Birds of Prey came by and Luke the close-up magician entertained the audience. The children were also entertained with a reading from one of the books and also a crafts and activities area.

Follow the events of the Ceredigion Library Service on Facebook @llyfrgellceredigionlibrary. The next event will be a sale of stock on 22 February between 10am and 4pm at the Bandstand in Aberystwyth.

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Stage set for post-apocalyptic phenomenon

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On Monday, 2 March, Cwmni’r Frân Wen, in partnership with Galeri will bring the theatre adaptation of Manon Steffan Ros’ post-apocalyptic novel to Theatr Felinfach as part of its tour of Wales.

‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’ is a Welsh language literary phenomenon.

The novel has made an enormous impression since its publication in 2018. A week after winning the Prose Medal in the 2018 Cardiff National Eisteddfod, a reprint was being prepared. It swept the boards at last year’s Wales Book of the Year awards and has already been named as a set text for GCSE.

The novel follows the amazing story of Siôn, his mother Rowenna, and his younger sister, Dwynwen as they attempt to survive after a nuclear accident – a nightmare that had a devastating effect on the inhabitants of the village of Nebo and beyond.

Tara Bethan plays the mother, with Eben James playing her son, Sion. Tara said: “It’s a huge honour to play a part in adapting ‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’ for the stage – there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most exciting Welsh novels in recent years.”

As the dust settles after a nuclear apocalypse, Rowenna and her children Siôn and Dwynwen are facing a world where signs of life are quickly disappearing. Their story is recorded in a little blue book as the family tries to survive the devastating effects of the incident.

‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’ is an unflinching story about life, death and hope. You will laugh. You will cry. But above all, you will question how we live, love and care about the world around us. Frân Wen and Galeri are proud to bring Manon Steffan Ros’ beautifully harrowing novel to stage.

Tickets are selling fast. Contact the Box Office on 01570 470697 or go online to theatrfelinfach.cymru. Tickets are £12 for adults, £10 for OAPs and members and £8 for students, young people and children. Age Guidance is 12+.

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Oldest St. David’s Procession in Wales?

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Gorymdaith Gŵyl Dewi Aberaeron (Aberaeron’s St David’s procession) was founded by the late Alun Williams, the former headteacher of Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron in 1979 and is possibly the oldest procession of its kind in Wales which continues to this day.

The date of the 2020 Gorymdaith Gŵyl Dewi in Aberaeron is Monday 02 March with the procession due to start at 9.30 a.m. The 2020 procession will be a little different to that of previous years as Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron pupils will join Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron pupils to walk around the town. The two schools will walk from their sites to Alban Square where both schools will join and walk together to Pwllcam where a short ceremony will bring the event to a close at 10 a.m.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn is Ceredigion County Council’s Leader. She said, “St David’s processions have become more and more commonplace in recent years. There are now processions held in towns and cities across Wales such as Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Cardigan. Just as in these other locations the aim of Gorymdaith Gŵyl Dewi Aberaeron is to draw as many local people together to celebrate the day of the Patron Saint of Wales, Welsh identity and the Welsh Language in a sea of song and colour in the town centre.”

40 years since the first procession, Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron is still the organiser of the procession and this year they have been co-operating with Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron and Cered, the local language promotion initiative to develop the event. As part of this cooperation the Welsh Council at Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron and Cered’s Welsh in Business Officer Siriol Teifi will distribute information to the town’s businesses in order to give them ideas on how to be a part of the event.

Anyone is welcome to join the procession – individuals or groups. If you would like to take part or if you would like further details, contact Cered on 01545 572 350 or cered@ceredigion.gov.uk.

As well as Aberaeron, remember the other four parades in the county to celebrate St. David’s Day.

· Tregaron, Friday 28 February, 2:00pm.

· Cardigan, Saturday 29 February, 10:30am.

· Lampeter, Saturday 29 February, 11:00am.

· Aberstwyth, Saturday 29 February, 1:00pm.

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