Byron Watts RIP- one of life's true gentlemen

On Sunday last I and everyone connected with Beaufort Male Choir past and present,together with people from many organisations,religous and social and members of our community and those who worked with him were greatly saddened by the news of the sudden and sad passing of Byron Watts.

I have been asked to put into perspective what this sad loss means to Beaufort Male Choir.

The Beaufort Male Choir reformed in 1948 after a break during World War 2. In it s early days it s progress was such that it was soon emulating the halcyon days of it s predecessors and growing in numbers.

In these formative years that followed in 1962 Byron joined the Beaufort Male Choir and was to devote the rest of his life to it s well being with a long and dedicated service. A service which would eventually be recognised by conferring on him the highest accolade that a choirister can receive that of a life membership, which was richely deserved.

In his early days with the choir his intellect and social skills were soon recognised and it was realised that he could undertake an important organisational role and he was appointed chairman.

Byron held this position with distiction for twelve years. However, he decided to relinquish the post and concentrate on his number one love, that of being a dedicated and very capable choirister. Which he certainly was.

I had joined the Beaufort Male Choir in 1971 and soon enjoyed the friendship we found together right up until now.It was Byron that persuaded me to take up the post of publicity officer and subsequently to embark on my 30 + years as chairman where I was priveliged to have him as a wonderful role model , mentor and confidante. Something for which I shall be ever grateful.

Byron was a man of strong principles and religous beliefs something that was recognised and appreciated by all those who knew him, because as said earlier he was truly a real gentleman.

So it was fitting that a couple of years ago after he had decided to retire from active participation in the choir due to a deterioration in his health that he should again be honoured. He was invited to our annual concert at Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre with an audience of a thousand to receive his presentation to a standing ovation.

Every choirister is important but I could nt possibly think of any one individual choirister who could be more important and contributed so much as Byron Watts.

He was and still is held in the highest esteem by all those who had the privilige of knowing him.
Thank you Byron and God Bless You ,
your friend Gwyn Evans
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