The Revd Dr R Alun Evans, President of the Union of Welsh Independents, is Festival President of this year’s National Eisteddfod, Montgomeryshire and the Borders. He’ll be addressing the audience from the Pavilion stage during the festival week in Meifod, August 1-8
A familiar face and voice to generations of Welsh people, he grew up in Llanbrynmair. He graduated in Welsh at Bangor University. Dr Evans was ordained as minister in Seion Llandysul, before turning to broadcasting and joining BBC Wales’ Religion Department in 1964. During a varied career with the BBC, he presented the daily magazine program Heddiw from 1969-1979. During this period he also covered Eisteddfod ceremonies and was the Corporation’s first soccer commentator. In 1979, he became Head of BBC Broadcasting in Bangor. After retiring in 1996, he achieved a PhD for his work on ‘The Beginning and development of broadcasting in North Wales’.
He’s no stranger to the Eisteddfod stage! In his younger days, he took part in music and drama competitions, and was a stage presenter from 1969-1996. A member of the Eisteddfod Council for forty years, he was Chair from 1999-2001. Dr Evans was elected as President of the Eisteddfod Court for 2002-2005. He was the first Chair of the Eisteddfod’s Management Board and in 2007 was honoured as a Fellow of the National Eisteddfod. After retiring from the world of broadcasting, he returned to the ministry as pastor with Independent churches in Caerphilly and Gwaelod y Garth until retiring last year. He lives in Cardiff, is married to Rhiannon, is father of Rhys and Betsan Powys, and has four grandchildren.
R Alun Evans follows several notable people as Eisteddfod President in recent years. They include the prominent scientist, Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas, Judge Nic Parry, former First Minister Rhodri Morgan, and theatre director and actor Daniel Evans.
For more information about the Eisteddfod go online: www.eisteddfod.org.uk