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Date: 22/02/15

Y Dyn Amryddawn

England flag indicating that there's an English translation of this piece

Photo of Dr. Meredydd Evans/Llun o'r Dr. Meredydd Evans

Meredydd Evans
Athronydd, canwr, casglwr caneuon gwerin, darlledwr, gwladgarwr, ymgyrchydd
g. 9 Rhagfyr 1919, f. 21 Chwefror 2015.

Meredydd Evans
Activist, broadcaster, folk song collector, patriot, philosopher, singer
b. 9 December 1919, d. 21 February 2015.

Yn aml, gall Mis Chwefror fod yn fwy creulon nag y mae ei faint yn cyfiawnhau. Y mae'r Chwefror hwn yn profi hynny i'r dim lle mae ein cenedl fach dan ystyriaeth. Yn sgl colli ein prif hanesydd ar ddechrau'r wythnos, y mae'r Mis Bach wedi rhoi sleifar o ergyd arall i ni cyn iddo fo ei hun fynd i ebargofiant efo marwolaeth Merd.

Efallai yr ydw i'n edrych ar y peth o'r cyfeiriad anghywir, ac y dylem lawenhau yn y ffaith fod cystal dyn wedi treulio oes hir a chynhyrchiol yn ein mysg. Ond un anfantais o berthyn i ddiwylliant 'lleiafrifol' (a defnyddio'r term nawddoglyd Eingl-Americanaidd hwnnw) yw bod yn rhaid i aelodau a chynhalwyr y diwylliant hwnnw fod yn aml-ddoniog o reidrwydd ac, felly, pan nt o'r byd, y mae cymaint mwy yn ein gadael ni, ac y mae'r bwlch wedi eu hymadawiad yn troi'n agendor.

Felly efo Merd. Nid oes angen ond ystryried yr holl ffyrdd y cyfranodd i'r genedl. Yn athronydd, mi roes gefndir meddyliol cryf i'r mudiadau gwladgarol (ef anad neb, efallai, a bwysleisiodd pwysigrwydd mabwysiadu y dull di-drais ar gyfer brywdrau'r iaith); fel casglwr caneuon gwerin, arbedodd rhan bwysig o'n hetifeddiaeth ddiwyddiannol rhag mynd yn angof yn sgl yr ymosodiadau cyson arni nid yn unig gan ormes Seisnigrwydd ond hefyd gan gulni cysetlyd a hunan-gyfiawn Anghydffurfiaeth; fel canwr, mi drosglwyddodd y gwaddol hwnnw i'r genedlaethau ddaeth ar ei l; fel darlledwr - ac yn bwysicaf oll efallai, fel pennaeth adloniant ysgafn BBC Cymru yn negawd cyntaf holl-bwysig y gwasanaeth hwnnw - ymdriniodd 'r dwys a'r digrif efo'r un brwdfrydedd wrth ddod 'r math trysorau Ryan A Ronnie i ni; ac fel gwladgarwr ac ymgyrchydd di-ildio dros yr iaith, Y Pethe a'r genedl, yn gweithio'n ddyfal ac yn ddi-baid i fynd 'r maen i sawl wal, boed ym myd darlledu, addysg neu'r gyfraith.

Efallai y cyfan y gellid ei wneud wrth geisio cyflawni'r gorchwyl ofer o gwmpasu'r dyn amryddawn hwn ydy rhestru ei ddoniau yn nhrefn yr wyddor fel y gwneuthum ar ben y darn hwn, gan nad oedd yr un ohonynt yn taflu cysgod dros y lleill. Ond y mae cysgod dros ein cenedl gyfan heddiw.

Ni welwn ei debyg eto.

**********

The Versatile Man

February can often be a crueller month than its size could ever justify. This February has proven that in spades as far as our small nation is concerned. Just after losing our leading historian at the beginning of the week, the Little Month Of Horrors has given us another kick in the tripes before it too passes into oblivion with the death of Merd (as he was most frequently known to us).

Perhaps I'm looking at it the wrong way, and that we should rejoice in the fact that such a man spent so long and productive a life amongst us. But one disadvantage of belonging to a 'minority' culture (to use that patronising Anglo-American phrase) is that the members and upholders of such a culture have, perforce, to be multi-talented, and so when they go from the world, so much more is lost and the gap they leave behind widens to a chasm.

So it was with Merd. One only has to consider the many ways he contributed to our national life. A philosopher, he provided a strong intellectual underpinning to the patriotic movements (he, more perhaps than anyone, emphasised the importance of adopting non-violent methods in the fight for the language); as a collector of folk song, he saved an important part of our cultural inheritance from passing out of mind following the concerted attacks on it not only from the oppression of Englishry but also from the self-righteous, conceited narrowness of Nonconformism; as a singer, he then passed on that legacy to the generations which came after him; as a broadcaster - and perhaps most importantly as the head of light entertainment at BBC Wales during that service's crucial first decade of existence - he treated the serious and the light-hearted with the same enthusiasm, bringing us such treasures as Ryan And Ronnie in the process; and as an unyielding patriot and campaigner for our language, our culture and our nation, working with a ceaseless commitment to put the final stone in many a wall, be it in the world of broadcasting, education or the law.

Perhaps all one can do in a vain attempt to sum this versatile man up is to list his talents in alphabetical order as I have done at the top of this piece, as no one of them ever cast any other into the shadows. Except that there is a shadow over our whole nation today.

We shall not see his like again.