The community-spirited, humourist and proud Welshman, Glan Davies, has been chosen to lead Aberystwyth’s 2017 Parêd Gwyl Dewi (St David’s Day Parade) held on Saturday 4 March. Glan is known throughout the town and Wales for his contribution and support of Welsh language culture, his humour and impressive charity work.
The honour of ‘Tywysydd’ (guide) is give every year at the Parêd to a local Aberystwyth person or persons for their commitment and dedication to Wales and the Welsh language and life.
It may surprise many that Glan isn’t a Cardi.
He was born, a son to a miner, and staunch Labour party official, in Brynaman, at the foot of the Black Mountains in Carmarthenshire. He left school at 15 and became a surveyor before moving to Aberystwyth in 1970 to work for various building companies. His brother, Eurig, was at one time a policeman in Goginan.
He’s spent his life entertaining people – first with drama companies at the Chapel and Urdd and then with the popular ‘Pinaclau Pop’ and nosweithiau llawen of the 1960s and 70s. He’s worked with Sian Phillips, Ronnie Barker, Ken Dodd, Little and Large, Mike Doyle and Max Boyce. He also presented Hob y Deri Dando for tv in the 1960s. Ironically, Glan presented the programme twice from the old King’s Hall, site of today’s Llys-y-Brenin where Glan will give a short speech as part of the Parade. He’s also published two joke books in Welsh, ‘Jôcs Glan’ and‘Hiwmor Cefn Gwlad’.
His charity work is legendary in the Aberystwyth area. He’s raised money for Children in Need, health charities, Aberystwyth rugby and football clubs. He’s one of three people who’ve trained 700 people across Ceredigion on how to respond if a colleague has a heart attack and has worked and raised money to get 70 life-saving defibrillator machines for the county.
Siôn Jobbins, Chair of the Parade said;
“We’re very glad Glan Davies has accepted our request for him to be the Tywysydd and lead the 2017 St David’s Day Parade. Our anthem says that Wales is the “land of poets and singers” but it’s also the land of natural entertainers and generous charity workers. Throughout his career as an entertainer and working to raise money for charity, Glan has been consistently proud to use and celebrate the Welsh language and culture. He always uses Welsh naturally without apologising and brings a quiet dignity to the language and to his work. He’s an example of how to use the language naturally whilst presenting it to non-Welsh speakers,” said Siôn.
Glan is very proud to have been chosen as the Tywysydd to lead the 2017 St David’s Day Parade.
“There are three things which are very close to my heart; Rugby, collecting jokes and raising money for charities. I also believe that we now have to look after our own communities and the Welsh language and encourage others to learn the language. It’s also extremely important that rural and coastal areas like Aberystwyth get what’s right for them as well as our cities. I’ve now joined Calonnau Cymru (Welsh Hearts), a charity which raises money to support treatment for people with heart conditions here in Wales. I’m very proud to work with Calonnau Cymru.”
The 2017 Parade will be held on Saturday 4 March, and, as in previous years, will start at the town Clock and then proceed along Great Darkgate St and Baker Street before finishing at Llys y Brenin. The parts of Bath St and Marine Terrace which border Llys-y-Brenin will be closed to traffic for the duration of the ceremony for safety reasons.
The Parade will be a musical and colourful event and individuals and local groups are invited to join the parade and show their support for the Welsh language, St David and Welsh culture.
The organising committee is extremely grateful to our main sponsors – Aberystwyth Town Council, the Big Lottery Wales with Cered organising free events and workshops during the day in the new Bandstand, They are also grateful to the support of individuals and other clubs and societies in Aberystwyth who have made it possible to hold this vibrant and uplifting event again this year.
Glan will follow in the footsteps of artist Mary Lloyd Jones (2016); author and first headmaster of Penweddig, Gerald Morgan (2015); Megan and Gwilym Tudur, founders and proprietors of Siop y Pethe (2014) and the late academic and musician Dr Meredydd Evans of Cwm Ystwyth in 2013. As the ‘Tywysydd’ (guide) Glan will wear a specially commissioned Parêd sash by Caroline Goodband of Borth, which includes the names of previous Tywyswyr. He will also be awarded a specially commissioned walking stick by Capel Dewi resident, Hywel Evans.