Tributes paid to dedicated Pontypool volunteer

CHARISMATIC: Rambler Derrick Hynam MBE

CHARISMATIC: Rambler Derrick Hynam MBE

First published in Pontypool news

A FORMER headteacher, rambler and countryside volunteer in Torfaen, who was awarded an MBE after working tirelessly in the community for 30 years, has died.

Derrick Hynam, 88, died peacefully on New Year’s Day, at Nevill Hall Hospital after a long illness.

Mr Hynam, from Garndiffaith, became the Honorary President of Pontypool Ramblers after leading the group in the role of chairman for 30 years.

The group’s treasurer, Margaret Stagg, said that he was the face of rambling in Pontypool.

She said: “He was charismatic, a great leader, would arrange trips and get everyone involved.

“We’ve lost a great friend.”

The group’s current chairman Alan Cunningham took over from Mr Hynam about six years ago.

He said: “He was a great chairman and was well known locally; he was very involved and also volunteered clearing footpaths and doing repairs.”

Torfaen Council’s senior countryside access officer, Mark Panniers, worked closely with Mr Hynam who volunteered with Torfaen’s Countryside Access Volunteers since 1996 and with Gwent County Council for many years before that.

He said: “Derrick willingly gave up his free time to assist the countryside rangers in carrying out improvements to the public rights of way network and used his extensive knowledge to advise the council on countryside access issues.

“His input has been sorely missed since he was forced to retire from both roles in 2010 due to ill health, and our thoughts and sympathies go to his family at this time.”

Mr Hynam leaves behind his wife, Sheelah, children Jeffrey, Janet and Jocelyn, and grandchildren David, Samantha, Sian, Richard, Rebecca, Matthew and Sarah.

His funeral will take place on January 20 at St Cadoc’s Church, Trevethin at noon, followed by cremation at Gwent Crematorium at 1.30pm.

All are welcome to join the family at the Parkway Hotel, Cwmbran for refreshments after the service.

Comments (2)

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3:19pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Gareth Hill says...

I grew up on Harpers Road opposite Derrick and Sheelagh. With my brother and sisters, we were the same ages as their children. We were all regulars at Victoria Village Methodist Church and Derrick was the organist, with my mother Mary one of the regular stand-ins.
It was their encouragement that got a whole group of us singing in harmony, then in groups and later - for me - experimenting with song-writing. Now, as a published hymnwriter, I can track the influences back to those formative years in the village.
Derrick also used to do hospital radio commentary of Pontypool RFC matches from the little green hut at the side of the grandstand.
He contributed so much to the community and influenced so many people, especially in his years as Head of Victoria Village School.
I grew up on Harpers Road opposite Derrick and Sheelagh. With my brother and sisters, we were the same ages as their children. We were all regulars at Victoria Village Methodist Church and Derrick was the organist, with my mother Mary one of the regular stand-ins. It was their encouragement that got a whole group of us singing in harmony, then in groups and later - for me - experimenting with song-writing. Now, as a published hymnwriter, I can track the influences back to those formative years in the village. Derrick also used to do hospital radio commentary of Pontypool RFC matches from the little green hut at the side of the grandstand. He contributed so much to the community and influenced so many people, especially in his years as Head of Victoria Village School. Gareth Hill
  • Score: 5

6:43pm Wed 15 Jan 14

I am deadly says...

A big loss of the local area - Every person is defined by the communities they belong to, and Mr Hynam brought a lot into our community.
A big loss of the local area - Every person is defined by the communities they belong to, and Mr Hynam brought a lot into our community. I am deadly
  • Score: 2

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