Rhun’s Column for the Holyhead and Anglesey Mail 16 08 17

Ynys Môn did itself proud last week!  The success of the National Eisteddfod was built on the hard work and dedication of individuals and communities across the island over the past couple of years.  Fundraising targets were smashed, and a programme of competitions and events was put together that inspired people from all parts of Wales and beyond to come to Anglesey. They left having had the richest of experiences.  The many messages of thanks to the island for a wonderful Eisteddfod says it all.  Some rain early in the week was never going to dampen this Eisteddfod!
A special message of congratulations must go out to the children and young people of Anglesey who shone throughout.  From the opening concert – one of the finest in any Eisteddfod ever, in my humble opinion! – to competition winners, as soloists and members of various choirs, groups and bands, hundreds of young people will have had unforgettable experiences.  I’ll give a special mention to Côr Ieuenctid Môn, and their conductor Mari Lloyd-Pritchard, who scooped one of the Eisteddfod’s top prizes – named ‘Choir of the Festival’ late on Saturday evening.  Anyone who knows anything about the world-class standard of choral singing we currently enjoy in Wales knows this was quite an accolade.  Llongyfarchiadau mawr!
It was a busy week for me as your Assembly Member, too!  The Eisteddfod and politics and debate are natural bedfellows, and beyond the main pavilion’s competitions, the festival is home to countless discussions on the future of our country.
I was invited to give this year’s annual ‘Wales International’ (Cymru a’r Byd) lecture, and chose to focus on the need for Welsh Government to develop a strategy to engage better with Welsh ex-pats, and those of Welsh descent (or just with an interest in Wales) so we can benefit as a nation.  The more people who spread the word about Wales internationally, or who return here to spend or invest, the better. 
I also chaired an event calling for the training of Doctors at Bangor University.  Welsh Government is showing a real lack of leadership and ambition on this, but our NHS and patients need it.
So, the Eisteddfod came, and went, and left many happy memories.  From the George in Bodedern to the Iorwerth in Bryngwran and countless B&B and hotels, it has left an economic legacy as well, with many people sure to return to the island after such a warm welcome. 
And of course, the wonderful Anglesey Show this week proves our island can organise successful events year in year out. Let’s now plan for a successful Island Games in 2025!