Mr. J. LAYTON WATKINS
It is with heavy hearts that we have to record that his morning, Tuesday 24th January 2017, Layton, our much loved friend and General Secretary passed away.
“Such a lovely man”, “What a gentleman”, “He always had time for queries and requests, making sure your message got through. A true character, nothing pleased him more than standing in front of a massed choir and cracking a joke. Wearing the tartan was another of his dares, that gave him great pleasure”, “Layton was always courteous , attentive, and ever willing to be of assistance irrespective of the issue”, “A lovely man who gave me amazing opportunities” are just a few of the comments already received by us and the Welsh Association of Male Choirs, of which he was a past Chairman and current General Secretary.
Layton was the lynch-pin of male choirs in South Wales and beyond, with contacts all over the world. If anyone wanted to find a name, a date, a phone number, a record of previous concerts, an artist for a concert, etc. Layton was the man to go to. He was a complete gentleman, and carried out his multifarious duties with great efficiency and a smile.
He was responsible for encouraging young performers and giving them a chance to progress their musical careers. As Secretary of the Association he was deeply involved in arranging the Royal Albert Hall massed choirs concerts, and many foreign tours.
Throughout a long and debilitating illness over the last couple of years, and yet another family tragedy, Layton was always ready and eager to help and encourage those of us who needed his help in trying to cover for him during his forced absence from active choir business.
It is said that nobody is indispensible, but whoever said it had never had the absolute honour and pleasure of meeting Mr. J. Layton Watkins.
Our hearts go out to Gwen, Jason, Rana and the rest of his family.