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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 August, 2004, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Volunteer honoured at eisteddfod
Eunice O'Hara
Eunice O'Hara was given the honour for her work in the community
A volunteer with nearly half a century of service has joined one of Wales' most elite cultural groups at this year's National Eisteddfod.

Eunice O'Hara from Fishguard was made a member of the Order of Bards at a ceremony on Friday.

The Order of the Bards are known as being the guardians of the Welsh language and culture.

She was given a green robe for her lifelong devotion to first aid charity St John Ambulance.

Ms O'Hara said she was "delighted" to have been given the honour.

It is very special because someone must have thought me worthy of the honour
Eunice O'Hara

"It is a lifelong honour and I am so proud to accept it," she said.

"What makes it even more special is that someone actually put my name forward for services to the community.

"My bardic title is Eunice Urdd Sant Ioan - which means Eunice of St John in English.

"It is very special because someone must have thought me worthy of the honour," she said.

Invitations to enter the Order or Gorsedd in Welsh - which literally means "high seat" - are given to people who have made a distinguished contribution to Welsh language and culture.

Order of Bards

The Order is an association of poets, writers, musicians, artists and individuals who have made a significant and distinguished contribution to Welsh language, literature, and culture.

Its members are known as druids, and they wear robes of various colours depending on their rank.

Bards wear blue robes, ovates wear green and druids white.

Ms O'Hara received the honour in an open-air service at the Gorsedd Circle at Tredegar House in Newport where the event is being held.

She was joined by a number of other new members as well as existing members.

As well as her devotion to the first aid charity, Ms O'Hara is also a Deacon and organist at her local Methodist chapel Pentwr.

"Through St John I have made some wonderful friends throughout the world. It brings tears to my eyes they have been such happy years," she said.

And said her husband gave her the nickname of the 'Green Goddess', "I have been going to the Eisteddfod for years but I never thought I would see myself accepting a Robe.

"I have only been married for 14 years and people used to say to my mum 'Why hasn't Eunice married?' and my mum would say 'she is married - she is married to St. John.' "




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