"John Griffith"


School master and musician born 18 April 1863 in Rhiw Llyn, the son of Sion Griffith, cobbler of Penygroes Rhiw and Martha Griffith Pen Nebo Rhiw. He was educated at Botwnnog Grammar School and became a pupil teacher at Nebo Llanllyfni before entering The Normal College Bangor (1881-2). He was a headmaster at the Brittanic School Glanwydden and then at Machynlleth. He married Dorothy the daughter of Owen Jones Siop Fawr, Talysarn in 1889 and they had four sons and a daughter. In 1897 he became a Tate exhibitioner at The University of Bangor and in 1889 graduated in botany and physiology. He was science master at Ffestiniog County School for a while before becoming headmaster of Dolgellau Grammar School.

John Griffith was a good musician and devoted much of his spare time to promoting the performance of classical choral and instrumental music. He was chairman of the Harlech music festival and was joint editor of the "Cerddor" (musician) magazine. He translated "The song of Miriam "(Schubert) and "The scenes from Gluck’s Orpheus" into Welsh. He was also a geologist and worked for years with JR Dakyns preparing a geological map of Snowdonia. When he retired he translated Plato into Welsh, but it was never published. But his greatest delight and satisfaction was to be a good teacher and to shine in the achievements of his pupils and enrich the life of his community.


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