The Gowertonian Society

The Thomas & Elizabeth Williams Scholarships

  Recipients of the Award  
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Recipients of the Award

Dr Ieuan Rhys Evans

Born in July 1940, Ieuan grew up on a mixed farm above Penclawdd. He entered Gowerton Grammar School for Boys where he played rugby and was an athletics champion in the 1950s. He graduated from Aberystwyth University with a degree in Agricultural Botany. There he made the university rugby first team and played alongside John Dawes (who  became captain of the British and Irish Lions), Dennis Hughes and Brian Rees, all Welsh international caps. In 1963 he was awarded a Thomas and Elizabeth Williams Scholarship that enabled him to study successfully for a PhD in Virology at the University of Florida.
He moved to the University of Guelph, Canada, where he helped to make the university a rugby powerhouse and convert all of the area high schools into rugby playing schools. There is a rugby trophy at the university, the Ieuan Evans MVP (Most Valuable Player) Trophy, awarded annually. When he left Guelph in 1974 the Ontario High Schools Athletic Association presented him with a Gold Watch for his work with High School Rugby in the province.  In 1974 he was appointed to Alberta Agriculture as the Provincial Diagnostic Disease Specialist where his work was primarily with potatoes, cereals and oilseeds. He was inducted into the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2012. Rugby-wise, he served not only as President of the Edmonton Rugby Union, but also on the Alberta and Canadian Rugby Boards. In 2023 he was awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Alberta).


Margaret Dobbins (nee Thomas)

Margaret was brought up in Loughor and from 1955 to 1962 attended Gowerton Girls’ Grammar School. In 1965, she was awarded a B.A (History) Degree at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. In 1966, she received a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of London. She was awarded a Thomas and Elizabeth Williams Scholarship for 1967 to 1968 that enabled her to study at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wisconsin. After gaining a M.A. in American History, she returned to Wales to become Head of the History Department at the, then, Llwyn-y-Bryn Girls’ Grammar School, Swansea. She married another Gowertonian, Alan Dobbins, and they moved to California and Texas, where Alan had university appointments at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Texas at Austin.
Returning to Wales in 1976, Margaret was employed in an offshoot of the then West Glamorgan County Council’s Education Department and, later, in the Lifelong Learning Service of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.


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