D Geraint Lewis honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University

D. Geraint Lewis was presented by Dr Mari Elin Jones, Director of the Centre for Welsh Language Services at Aberystwyth University, during the first of the 2014 graduation ceremonies which was held on Monday 14 July. Dr Jones said:

"Geraint Lewis has made an invaluable contribution to Welsh lexicography, and his numerous publications are a labour of love and testament to his mission and enthusiasm in presenting the Welsh language and its grammar to children and adults alike.

"Geraint was born in Ynys-y-bŵl, a coal mining village near Pontypridd, South Wales. Welsh was replaced by English as the language of the home following his sister’s experience as a patient in a prestigious children’s hospital in England where no one understood her when she asked for a drink of water in Welsh.

"His experience as a Welsh learner has made him very aware of aspects of the Welsh language which may appear completely obvious to first language speakers, but which are mystifying for Welsh learners. This is what drives him to provide support and explanation through his work.

"Geraint is a talented French Horn player, and one of the founding members and currently Vice-President of Philomusica, Aberystwyth’s Symphony Orchestra. During his time as Chairman of the Philomusica he made an important contribution in bringing the orchestra under the auspices of the University – bringing town and gown together, and assisting in providing music bursaries for students. He has published a Kindle E-book, satirising the art of horn playing, entitled “’When all else fails’ – a Horn players vade mecum” in which he writes:

'Striking the correct note on the horn is akin to the strategy for winning a battle.  In order to achieve one’s objective, one must first occupy a good deal of the surrounding territory.'

"After completing a degree in Welsh on an innovative course for Welsh learners in the Department of Welsh, in Aberystwyth, Geraint gained professional qualifications as a Librarian in the College of Librarianship Wales, here in Aberystwyth. He worked as Ceredigion Schools Librarian, Dyfed Education and Children’s Librarian and latterly as Assistant Director of Education responsible for cultural services in Ceredigion.

"Geraint has some sixteen publications on Welsh grammar and lexicography to his name and even though he has now retired he is not idle! He is currently working on three new dictionaries which will be published this summer – Geiriadur Pinc a Glas Gomer and Geiriadur Mor, Mwy, Mwyaf Gomer for children, and A Welsh Reading Dictionary which lists the 10,000 most used Welsh words for readers who do not understand much Welsh.

"This is the first of two ceremonies to celebrate Geraint’s contribution this summer as he will be made an honourable member of Gorsedd y Beirdd, the Gorsedd of Bards, at the National Eisteddfod in August.

"Madam Vice-President. It is an honour and pleasure to present to you, Mr D Geraint Lewis, as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University."