Elwyn ap Geraint Angharad
Elwyn was a high achiever at his senior school, Ysgol Patriarch Meirion IV. When he finished his schooling, he chose to read history at Rhydceirw University, a decision which caused tensions with his father who wanted him to study a “solid subject” such as science or engineering. After graduating with a first class degree in 1943 and obtaining his doctorate three years later, Elwyn set out on an academic career as a constitutional historian, working first at Rhydceirw University and then, from 1953, at Trefeirion University.
Ap Geraint's concern with contemporary politics grew during the 1950s, largely in consequence of the growing Cadwynwgian and Tirmynyddian nationalist movements, which he saw as a threat to the social and economic stability of all Tircambry. He was elected to Parliament as a Social Democrat in the 1958 General Election and quickly rose to prominence in the party as an advocate of federalism, which he saw as a means of meeting regional concerns while diffusing full-scale separatism in Cadwynwg and Tirmynydd.
The Social Democratic Party achieved power as a minority government in the 1962 General Election and Elwyn was appointed Commissioner of State for Constitutional Affairs, with responsibility for solving the “nationalist crisis”. Over the next two years he skillfully chaired and steered negotiations between all parties in order to achieve a settlement. The process looked close to failure on a number of occasions, but after the “long hot summer of debate” of 1964 agreement was reached on a federal structure. Legislation quickly followed, and the four historic kingdoms of Tircambry became Provinces (Taleithiau) with their own governments and legislatures on 1 October 1965.
Career after Parliament
Elwyn Ap Geraint remained in government for the next five years, “nurturing” the new federation, but left Parliament at the 1970 election, with the intention of returning to his academic career. This intention was never fully realized, however, because he found himself in demand as a negotiator and arbiter of disputes both within Tircambry and abroard. His international reputation led to him being elected Chief Secretary of the Assembly of Nations in 1978.
After leaving this post in 1984, Elwyn went into semi-retirement, but still finds himself called upon for advice by governments and others. He has written three books, including the best-selling account of the establishment of Tircambran federalism, Yr undeb wedi'i rannu (The divided union). He was knighted in 1971, but has always refused a seat in the Assembly of Lords (a body which he would like to see abolished).
Elwyn married a university colleague, Rhedyn ferch Prydwen Ffion, in 1947 and has two sons and a daughter. None of his children went into public life but one of his granddaughters, Gwen ferch Tomos Arwydd, was elected to Parliament in 2011, and her brother, Elwyn ap Tomos Arwydd, was elected to the Cadwynwg Provincial Assembly in 2013.
Elwyn describes himself as having been “a mediocre but enthusiastic” ice hockey player in his youth, and was delighted when his grandson, Owain ap Hwyel Rhian, was chosen to play for the Cadwynwg Hockey League's Caerfeidon Stings in 2012. As a sprightly 94 year-old, Elwyn still goes to hockey games when he can (his favourite Premier League team is the Trefeirion Monarchs).