Very few individuals have extended their contributions to the cultural and social lives of their communities in Wales to Welsh American life as Edward Morus Jones has done. By now, he is a familiar presence and contributor at our gatherings, particularly at the North American Festival of Wales and in Philadelphia.
The North America Wales Foundation is particularly pleased that he has accepted an invitation to receive our Foundation’s highest honor, its Heritage Medallion – Y Tlws Treftadaeth. In one of his many internet citations, he is described as a folk singer, school headmaster, campaigner, and political candidate. That only begins to describe this gentle, kind person whose personal warmth makes him no stranger to anyone he meets. He is a universally admired Welsh American.
Edward Morus Jones is a farmer’s son born in Llanuwchlyn, near Bala in Meirionnydd. He discovered his passion as an educator early in life. His activities as a teacher spans many years at schools and institutes of higher education in several locations in both North and South Wales. Beyond his leadership in formal education Edward’s passion and talents as a musician and sublime communicator has led to a career of entertaining, performing on-stage and in radio and television programs. He and his good friend Dafydd Iwan, look back affectionately at their contribution to children’s music with the songs recorded for the “Cwm Rhyd y Rhosen” series. He has conducted many Cymanfaoedd Canu over the years. Today, Edward stays busy in his church, as an ecumenical preacher in Welsh language chapels around Wales, and as the current chair of the annual Llandegfan Crown Eisteddfod. He extends his extensive social and cultural commitments to his community in Sir Fon where he has lived for many years. An example is a wonderful video of his leading the children at the local Henblas School, “Canu Gyda Mr. Edward Morus Jones,” to be seen at https://www.flickr.com › photos ›. And yes, that’s the same guy who leads the late night singing at NAFOW. He is a President of the Court of the Sir Fon Eisteddfod and was an honorary President of the National Eisteddfod held in Sir Fon in 2017. There is so much more to tell, we must at least mention his long-time leadership of the Urdd and Cymru a’r Byd (Wales International).
Edward and his late wife Gwyneth, who also contributed much to Welsh cultural and educational life, received a unique recognition at the National Eisteddfod at Meifod in 2003. This is the only time that a husband and wife have been invested on the same day with the White Robe Order of the Gorsedd of Bards, its highest honor.
You may ask how did Edward, so busy in Welsh life, come to be a familiar and active part of Welsh life in North America. It began in 1984 with Edward and Gwyneth’s participation in the first of many Welsh Heritage Week courses (the most recent in Scranton in 2021), as language tutors, hymn-singing leader- conductor, folk-music tutor and light-hearted poetry-literature adjudicator! As Edward in his modest way says “It helps strengthen the Welsh Heritage Week link with Wales where it visits every few years”
Edward (with Gwyneth until 2012) has participated in ten North American Festivals of Wales (NAFOW). He has contributed in many different ways. Among them he has conducted the informal hymn-singing, performed in the Noson Lawen, (NAWF director Steve Jones has happy memories of their duets), adjudicated at NAFOW Eisteddfodau, conducted Cymanfa rehearsals, participated in the ‘Sunday Services’ and given lectures. Recently he has co-operated with NAFOW to arrange a ‘Song from Wales’ competition for children at St David’s Day time. 2023 will be its third year! Edward is now serving his second term as the Welsh North American Association Board of Trustees member from Wales. These are some examples of how he brings his talents and deep love of his culture to us in North America.
When we go to Wales the warmest greeting for Welsh Americans visiting the National Eisteddfod come from the booth of Cymru a’r Byd. Edward has been a leader of this organization for nearly half a century, serving it in many capacities over the years. His welcome has always made us feel at home away from home. Now that we have our own booth, namely Cymru Gogledd America, no need to ask who we wanted our booth to be sited next to. Edward is always among the first to come to say hello and help out with the logistics.
The transatlantic link in Edward’s life has been greatly enhanced by his marriage to Mary Roberts Glassman in 2016. She has 1600’s Quaker roots in Wales, only ten miles from where Edward grew up! Born of a long-standing family friendship and the loss of their respective spouses this has brought great happiness to them with joy and admiration to their large circle of friends on both sides of the Atlantic. Another good reason why Edward receives his award in Mary’s home city.
Dr. Philip Davies is presented the Robert Morris Award by the Welsh Society of Philadelphia.
With a strong and distinguished Welsh population, the Welsh Society of Philadelphia continued to meet and to assist needy Welsh immigrants throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
More recently, the Welsh Society has led the way among Welsh American organizations in cultural, philanthropic, and educational programs.
The prestigious Robert Morris Award is presented to a distinguished Welsh-American at the Society’s St. David’s Day banquet.
Lloyd Jones Award
NAWF Grant Award 2019
Lloyd Family Travel Scholarship 2019
Exchange Scholarships 2019
NAWF Grant Awards 2018
Exchange Scholarships 2018
Jonathan Morgan has been awarded the Foundation’s Philanthropic Order of True Ivorites award in recognition of his long service supporting our work. A former member of the Foundation’s Wales Board for over twenty years, he was an indefatigable fund raiser and organiser of special events until his retirement last year.
Educated at Christ College, Brecon; the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; Aberystwyth and Glamorgan Universities, Jonathan is a former lecturer at the now Cardiff Metropolitan University and author of several books including The Welsh Warrior Through the Ages (2016) and The Tragedy Of War, Essays on the Welsh War Poets (2014). His book Rags to Riches: Entrepreneurs of Welsh Origin (2010) reflects his long standing interest in links between Wales and America.
The original Ivorite Order was a friendly beneficial society established in Denbighshire in 1836 by Robert Jones with the motto Cyfeillgarwch, Cariad a Gwirionedd (Friendship, love and truth). It prospered on both sides of the Atlantic and was active in America until the late 1900s. It was revived by the NAWF in 2006 to honour Welsh and Welsh-Americans who epitomise the ideals of the original Ivorites.
On a sunny day in West Wales. Student Amelia Williams received her bursary cheque from NAWF Vice President Prof Jon Roper and said it would help her chase her dreams. Amelia is studying BA Acting at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s and has been accepted by California State Fullerton for a study abroad module.
“I am so excited at the prospect of living and studying in California. It will be an amazing experience and I will have the opportunity to study modules that aren’t available here. I am particularly interested in scriptwriting for example, and hope in the future to write and produce Welsh dramas.”
Amelia, who hails from Llanelli, is the first member of her family to study at University and admits that she was nervous about the financial commitment of studying so far away from home.
“It’s certainly a long way away and the trip is expensive to fund so I was delighted to be awarded a NAWF bursary. It will cover the costs of my flights and help with other things so it is amazing. I am so grateful”.
The NAWF Wales board was unanimous in selecting her application, and particularly impressed at Amelia’s ambition to teach a “Welsh word of the Day” to her fellow students.
“I am proud of being Welsh and Welsh speaking. I know the American students we have had here have been amazed to find out there is a Welsh language that is spoken day to day and fascinated by our ancient history. I’m hoping to take a bit of that out with me to show others and I;m already thinking about a Welsh night."
Jon Roper, who made the presentation, said he was delighted the NAWF had been able to help Amelia. “She is exactly the sort of student we wish to support. Amelia's bright and ambitious and enormously proud of her Welsh heritage. I am sure she has a bright future ahead of her and I am delighted we can play a small part in helping her realise that.”
t is a great pleasure the NAWF has honoured Catrin Brace with the 2017 Heritage Medallion which was presented by NAWF President, Stacy Evans, at the North American Festival of Wales in Rochester, New York on September 1st.
The Foundation chose Catrin as this year’s recipient because of her dedication in promoting business, trade and the arts for Wales and the Welsh.
She was appointed project manager for the Welsh Development Agency’s office in New York in 2002, later transferring to the Welsh Government to represent the Office of the First Minister in North America.
Based on her vision and leadership she established partnerships with hundreds of organizations in Wales and North America. This resulted in a transformative elevation of the recognition of Wales as a nation in North America.
After fifteen years she recently left the post to return to Wales leaving behind her many friends and a significantly heightened profile for all things Welsh in North America.
The NAWF proudly announces three new grant awards .
Arvonia Historical Sociecty in Kansas is supported to restore its town hall, a vital part of its Welsh heritage.
Welsh actor, Tom Chandler, has been selected to join the American Academy of American Arts' 2017-2018 acting company and has been awarded a grant.
It has also been decided to help fund James Sevitt, an educator at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, who plans a visit to Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil in Wales to research the divisions and resentments between metropolitan centres and neglected peripheries following the financial crisis of 2008 and the Brexit vote.
The picture shows Paula Evans (center) of the Arvonia (Kansas) Historical Society, accepting a check from Hefina Phillips, NAWF Scholarship Chair and Stacey Evans, NAWF President.
Every year the NAWF awards scholarships to North American students wishing to study in Wales. There is an Exchange Scholarship of $5,000 and, thanks to the Lloyd family, a travel scholarship of $1,000. Grants of up to $1,000 are also awarded to individuals or organizations, all, of course, with Welsh connections, be they cultural, educational or their heritage. In the past scholarships have been awarded to musicians, historians, linguists, and entrepreneurs. We have been extremely proud of these young people and they, in turn, are grateful for the support received from the Foundation.
This year the applications for scholarships was overwhelming and the standard of the applicants quite outstanding. How does one choose a "winner” from such an elite group? Fortunately this year the Foundation received two unexpected windfalls - via a donation from the Welsh Women's Club of America and from the estate of the late Marjorie Owen. This enabled us to give not one but three Exchange Scholarships to three outstanding young women.
Elizabeth Green of Pennsylvania, is a superb musician and already enrolled in the Composition programme in Bangor University. Her goal is to compose for films and art installations and also for ensembles. She has already composed for a local television company and is currently working on an orchestral work to be performed at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, bringing together Welsh, American and Taiwanese performers in an expression of peace and goodwill.
Brooke Martin of Georgia, is also a musicologist doing her postgraduate degree at Bangor University, with a focus on Welsh music. Her passions are reed organs and brass bands. Her research will focus on the impact of brass bands on the mining town of Wales. She also hopes to nurture the growth of brass bands in the U.S.
Claire Oldfather of Alabama, already a student at Aberystwyth University, is an Archivist focusing on Classics and Folklore and Mythology. Her major interests are the Arthurian romances, comparing those in Wales, England and France. Her aim is to read for a Doctorate in Celtic and Mediaeval Studies. All three of the above are learning Welsh.
The Lloyd family Travel Scholarship is awarded to Keri Lawrence of Ohio. Keri will study for a term at the University of Wales, Trinity St David's. Her aim is to connect cultures by developing a website, blog and sketch album in order to guide other students wishing to study abroad in Wales.
This year $2,500 was available for Grants. These monies were divided between Arvonia Historical Society, Kansas, Tom Chandler, a Welsh actor based in NY City and James Sevitt, an educator researching social injustice and focusing on the post global financial crisis of 2008 and Brexit . According to James, these events have exacerbated the deep divisions and resentments between metropolitan centres and the neglected peripheries, i.e. the "haves" and the "have-nots". His research focuses on Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil.
The Lloyd Jones Award winners are Danielle Williams of Penygroes and Daniel Avis of Llanidloes. Both are outstanding designers, with Daniel focusing on jewellery and Danielle hoping to design an alternative Oxygen Mask and Nasal cannula.
We congratulate all of our successful applicants and wish them well. I am certain that you have all been impressed by these winners. However, our on-going support for worthy North American Welsh students depends totally on our having the necessary finances. Please consider helping us by donating to our Scholarship Fund. Please contact Dr. Philip Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hefina Phillips-NAWF Scholarship Committee
North America Wales Foundation
Protect, promote and enhance our history and culture in Wales and North America.