By Carl Llewellyn

January 30th 2018 was a special day for second tenor, David George Thomas, affectionately known as ‘Dai Fire’, who reached his 90th birthday. He joins a list of former choristers who reached their 90th birthdays, such as Islwyn Morgan, Ernie Oates, Tom and Rees Francis and Jim Plenty.

Celebrations for ‘Dai Fire’ began when his family organised an excursion to the New Theatre, Cardiff to see a musical called “The Jersey Experience”, followed by David’s son Mike and daughter Janet making arrangements to hold his 90th party at the hostelry called Pant-Cad-Ivor, where a sumptuous buffet was prepared. David was not aware his children had organised a party! It was an intimate affair with Dai Fire’s children, Mike and Jan and their spouses Susan and Gerwyn, the grandchildren Joanne, Kelly, Sarah and Kate and Joanne’s husband, Daemon; his great grandchildren Jack and Isobel. The only grandchild that was not present was James, who lives in New Zealand with his wife Traina and son Jake. Also present were his 85 year old sister, Mrs Nan Jones and her daughters Diane and Susan plus their spouses Carl & Peter.

A number of close friends including a few choristers were also invited. Naturally his best friend Len Hagget and his wife Barbara, who have always been close friends with Dai and his wife Jean, plus choristers including Carl Llewellyn, Philip Adams, Nigel Santos, David Roberts, Grahame Clark, Ken Farrar and Andrew Williams.Ex-chorister, Grahame Giles was invited however Anthony Prince was away on holiday.

The cake was decorated with the numbers ’90′ standing proud, with a sugar paste replica of a fire engine and a figurine of ‘Dai Fire’ wearing his light blue coloured choir jumper. Dave made a short speech and was overwhelmed with the celebrations in his honour.

It was a happy occasion but tinged by the sadness that his best friend Robbie Johnson, who’d died recently, was absent. Robbie’s widow Carole Ann was unable to attend but was delighted with Dai’s son Mike and his daughter Janet arranging such memorable 90th Birthday festivities for their father.

On the following night it was choir rehearsal. The choir committee had organised a buffet at the Merthyr Tydfil Conservative Club, Masonic Street where ‘Dai Fire’ and other choristers would usually imbibe after a choir rehearsal. An announcement was made by the chairman, Ian Hargreaves who said “the Musical Director Darya Brill-Williams and Accompanist Mike Jones had arranged a phone call with Pontypridd Choir to discuss the excursion to Ypres.” Dai and his regular drinking companions made their way to the Conservative Club as usual, but unknown to Dai  a buffet awaited. Soon after a number of other choristers joined Dai and it was a complete and unexpected surprise to him. The Musical Director, Darya Brill-Williams sat with Dai Fire and Jonathan Guilford (Musical Director of Pontypridd Male Choir) was also in attendance.  The Choir Chairman, Ian Hargreaves presented ‘Dai Fire’ with a bottle of wine and a plaque which included a photograph of Dai and a short write up by Cledwyn Price. He also recieved a card signed by his fellow choristers and acknowledged that it was a pleasant soiree sincerely appreciated.


David George Thomas.

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