Former Archdruid Robyn Léwis dies, aged 89

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image captionRobyn Léwis led ceremonial proceedings at the National Eisteddfod between 2003 and 2006

The former Archdruid Robyn Léwis has died, aged 89.

A writer, barrister and local politician, he won the prestigious prose medal at the National Eisteddfod in Gowerton in 1980.

He went on to became the first prose winner to be elected as archdruid by the Gorsedd of Bards in 2002.

The Gorsedd said he would be remembered for his "outstanding contribution to the world of literature here in Wales".

Dr Léwis had been living at a care home in Nefyn, Gwynedd, when he died on Monday.

He adopted the bardic name of Robin Llŷn, reflecting his upbringing on the Llŷn Peninsula.

He later qualified as a solicitor and barrister after attending university in Aberystwyth.

image copyrightWales News Service
image captionDr Robyn Léwis died on Monday

Dr Léwis was also active in Welsh politics, first standing to be an MP for the Labour Party in Denbigh in 1955, then won a third of the vote when he stood for Plaid Cymru in Caernarfon in 1970.

He could be a controversial figure at times, and resigned from Plaid Cymru in 2006 in protest at the decision of Elinor Bennett - the wife of the then-party leader Dafydd Wigley - to accept an OBE honour from the Queen.

In 2012, police were called to a shop in Pwllheli in a row over an assistant not speaking Welsh to him.

The Gorsedd, which hosts the ceremonial proceedings at that National Eisteddfod, and promotes Welsh language poetry, prose and cultural life, said Dr Léwis as a "colourful character, who was always willing to voice his opinion".

"He took pride in his role as a former archdruid and enjoyed being involved in all Gorsedd ceremonies and events," said a Gorsedd official.

The National Eisteddfod also paid tribute: "We thank him for his vast contribution to Welsh life, and send our deepest condolences to the family during this difficult time."

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