Recipients of the Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund announced

Posted on 25 January 2013
Thomas Ellis

The statue of Thomas Ellis in Bala

The University of Wales is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund awards.

Awarded last December, University of Wales Alumni Dr Geraldine Lublin and Dr Roger Turvey were each awarded grants to assist in their respective fields of research.

Awarded to assist research into the language, literature, history and antiquities of Wales and Monmouthshire, and the publication of the results of such research, the Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund was raised in memory of the late Thomas Edward Ellis, Member of Parliament representing Meirioneth (1886-1899) and a former Warden of the Guild of Graduates (1896-1899).

Recipient Dr Geraldine Lublin currently works as a Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Welsh-medium lecturer with Swansea University’s Languages, Translation and Communication Department. She studied for and completed her PhD at the School of Welsh in Cardiff University.

Though born in Buenos Aires and not a Welsh descendant herself, she developed an academic interest in the history of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia and how Welsh heritage has flourished in the province of Chubut over the decades into the 21st century.

Speaking about what winning the award means to her and her research, she explained:

“I am very grateful to the Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund for this award. It has enabled me to carry out field research at the Chubut Historical Archive in order to explore documentary sources and governmental legislation relevant to Gŵyl y Glaniad, the ‘Festival of the Landing’, which marks the date when the first group of Welsh settlers landed in Porth Madryn on 28 July 1865.

Given the enthusiastic preparations for the celebration of the sesquicentenary of the landing of the Mimosa, I thought it was very timely to study this quintessentially Patagonian festival from its very beginning in order to understand its development through the decades and its present significance. I look forward to continuing with the research and unearthing more interesting facts about this, as well as sharing the fruits of my efforts with the wider public.”

The second recipient, Dr Roger Turvey graduated with a PhD in medieval Welsh history from the then University of Wales, Swansea. A native of the Amman Valley, he has been head of History at Amman Valley School since 1989.

With a passion for Wales and Welsh history, Roger has published widely on the subject with sixteen books and nearly thirty articles for learned journals to date. He has been awarded the Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund once before, in 2005, which assisted with  the publication of his book on Sir John Perrot - The Treason and Trial of Sir John Perrot published by the University of Wales Press published by the University of Wales Press.  

His current research, for which he received this years award, focuses on the twelfth-century Prince Owain Gwynedd and his book will be published later this year by Y Lolfa. Speaking about the award, he said:

“The Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund has made the publication of my research work possible. It is true to say that in these difficult economic times my current book on the twelfth-century prince Owain Gwynedd would likely not have been published without the financial support of the Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund.

I consider the Thomas Ellis Memorial Fund to be a prestigious award for which I am honoured and grateful to receive. However, it is more than simply an award for it represents the person in whose name it was founded and I am a great admirer of Thomas Edward Ellis. He was a politician of rare talent and as a pioneer of the movement to secure a National Library for Wales, we as a nation, and I as a historian, owe him a great debt.

In view of Thomas Ellis’ interest in and love of Welsh History I would like to think that he would have approved of the financial assistance offered to fund the publication of a book on another great Welshman, Owain Gwynedd.”

For more information about University of Wales Scholarships please visit the University’s website – www.wales.ac.uk/scholarships

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