Thousands flocked to Carmarthen on Saturday to celebrate the National Eisteddfod’s imminent return to the county next year and to see Dr Christine James honoured as the new Archdruid of Wales.
Dr Christine James, Associate Professor in Welsh at Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University will be responsible for the Gorsedd and all its ceremonies for the next three years.
The Ceremony, held in the town park, was preceded by a procession, which included members of the Gorsedd or the Bards and the 2014 Carmarthenshire National Eisteddfod List of Competitions was published for the first time.
Dr Christine James was admitted to the Gorsedd of Bards in 2002, and has been a member of the Gorsedd Board since 2010. Christine is not only the first woman to hold the post, but also the first Archdruid to have wholly learned Welsh as a second language.
She was born in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley, and brought up in an English-speaking family. After learning Welsh as a second language at the Rhondda County School for Girls, Porth, she proceeded to study Welsh at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
She won the Crown at the Eryri and District National Eisteddfod in 2005, for her collection of poems, ‘Llinellau Lliw’, inspired by some of the most famous works of art at National Museum Cardiff.
Dr Christine James said: ‘‘Being honoured Archdruid is a great privilege and I look forward to doing everything within my power to promote the Welsh language, the Eisteddfod and the Gorsedd over the next three years.’’
Professor Iwan Davies, Swansea University Pro-Vice-Chancellor added: ‘‘I would like to congratulate Christine and wish her the best of luck over the next three years. History was made as a member of our staff here at Swansea University was elected the first ever female Archdruid of Wales. We are very proud of Christine and look forward to seeing her lead the Gorsedd next month and in Llanelli in a year’s time.’’
The Carmarthenshire National Eisteddfod is held on Festival Fields, Millennium Festival Park, Llanelli from 1-9 August. For more information visit www.eisteddfod.org.uk
Picture: The National Eisteddfod of Wales
- Tuesday 2 July 2013 13.45 BST
- Thursday 4 July 2013 14.23 BST
- Swansea University, Tel: 01792 513454