CECIL STEWARD WILLIAMS
Tributes have been paid to retired teacher and former member of Swansea’s Morriston Orpheus Choir, Cec Williams, who has died aged 79.
Cec was born in Morriston and sang in the Pentrepoeth Boys Choir and St David's Church choir under Ivor E Sims the founding conductor of the Morriston Orpheus Choir. Ivor asked Cec to join the Morriston Orpheus but his national service with the RAF and then teacher training at Trinity College Carmarthen, prevented him from doing so. After qualifying as a teacher Cec taught at Ynystawe Primary, and then Plasmarl Junior school until obtaining a post at the newly opened Gwyrosydd Junior school in 1953 where he stayed as a teacher for 33 years until his retirement.
It wasn’t until 1969 that Cec achieved his ambition to join the Morriston Orpheus, when as a member of The Independent Order of Foresters he went along to arrange a charity concert featuring the choir. He confessed his desire to join the choir to the then Musical Director Eufryn John – received a voice test and was told to turn up at the next rehearsal. Cec did so only to find that Lyn Harry had taken over the baton of the choir who promptly gave him another voice test, making Cec possibly the only chorister who has had to go through two voice tests with two different Musical Directors to join the organisation.
This started a long and happy association with the Choir with Cec becoming first a committee member and then Concert Secretary of the Choir. In 1974 he was one of a small band of choristers and supporters who founded the Morriston Orpheus Choir Subscribers Association (MOCSA) whose annual concert where promising young soloists compete for the coveted MOCSA trophy and a chance to appear with the choir at various venues. Previous winners have included Bryn Terfel and Rebecca Evans. Cec sang under two other Musical Directors of the Choir, Leslie Ryan and Alwyn Humphreys until unfortunately he had to stop singing when he was diagnosed with Emphysema having served over 21 years with the choir.
“Cec is remembered as an honest straight character absolutely dedicated to the Morriston Orpheus and we thank him for the positive contribution he made as a Concert Secretary and as one of the founding members of the Morriston Orpheus Choir Supporters Association, ” said Clive Williams, spokesman for the Choir.
Cec leaves a widow Joan and son Anthony who is the musical Director of the Morriston Ladies Choir and Skewen Chorale.
The funeral service is on Tuesday 25 July 2006 at Swansea Crematorium at 3.30 pm. Family flowers only, donations in lieu to Welsh Air Ambulance, c/o John Edwards Funeral Directors, 5 Cwmbath Road, Morriston Swansea Telephone 01792 771232.