Once again, on 18th January, the choir attended Capel Mawr, Denbigh. On this occasion to pay our last respects and tributes to our late choir vice president, Councillor Raymond Bartley.
Capel Mawr full
The chapel was full to capacity for the funeral of Councillor Raymond Bartley. A testament to his popularity and high standing in the community.
Family, friends, former colleagues and fellow councillors all attended in great number to pay their last respects.
Love at first sight
The choir started the service with part of ‘Fy Mhlentyn’, ending with the sincere words ‘Hedd, perfaith Hedd’, (‘Peace, perfect peace’).
The first tribute was by Medwyn Jones, former Denbigh Town Clerk. He told how Raymond started working at the North Wales Hospital at the age of 16 and progressing to be a Nursing Officer. Of course, he was following in his father Ernie’s footsteps as he also worked there.
When Raymond met Dorothy it was love at first sight. They were married and honeymooned in Blackpool, which then became their annual holiday destination. He was a dedicated and loving family man.
Raymond became a Town Councillor and later a County Councillor, in order to serve his home town of which he was very proud.
He was a long standing supporter of Denbigh & District Male Voice Choir, who he often cited as being ‘Ambassadors for the town of Denbigh’.
He was very proud when asked to become a Vice-President of the choir in 2014, a position he valued greatly.
Following the tribute, the choir performed the family requested hymn, ‘Arwelfa’ , which had been one of Raymond’s favourites.
A Dedicated Denbighite
The second tribute, read on behalf of Hugh Evans, Denbighshire County Council, related how Raymond always championed the cause of Denbigh.
In particular, the redevelopment of the old Kwik Save site. Fellow county councillors and council officers had joked that the new development would have to be called ‘The Raymond Bartley Retail Park’.
The tribute painted a picture of a man who was a proud denbighite, with a strong sense of civic duty and pride. He was determined to help his constituents in any way he could, but never sought acclaim for his work.
He was an excellent Chairman of the County Council on two occasions, and both his fellow councillors and council officers had the utmost respect for him and admired his Chairmanship qualities.
As both a Town and County Councillor, Raymond always seemed to have a chain of office. It was miraculous that he was only seen to be wearing the wrong chain on one occasion.
Farewell Choir Vice President
As Dorothy and family left the chapel, the choir performed ‘Deep Harmony’. A fitting final tribute to a very loyal, long standing supporter and good friend. An excellent choir vice president.
It is said that behind every great man there is a good woman. This was certainly the case with Raymond. Dorothy loyally supported him in everything he chose to do.
We thank you Dorothy for your support over many years and hope that our long association and friendship continues for many years to come.
A note of thanks
The choir would like to express their grateful thanks to Anne Jones for stepping in as our accompanist at the funeral. Your expert services were greatly appreciated.