|Posted by ian on April 11, 2022 at 11:00 AM|
I was saddened to hear of the reported death of Gareth Lewis. To those who were fortunate enough to have known Gareth I'm sure you will feel as I do that the passing of a true character somehow lessens us all. He really was unique and a person who it was a pleasure and delight to spend time with.
In the formative days of Oldham and Gt. Manchester Junior chess, he was the driving force who enthused all of us around him. He made things happen and got things done. He had little time for the bureaucracy and petty politics that blights the chess world. Some of our older 3Cs members will no doubt carry their own memories as they competed in one of his teams. He had the ability to inspire players to play at the very best of their abilities. My own son remembers with great fondness, Gareth's fictional Aberystwyth Dragon opening especially invented by Gareth to trap and ensnare the opposition. It worked too because he made everyone believe in it. Gareth elevated the performance of the junior chess teams of Oldham and Gt. Manchester to heights they have never since been able to replicate.
Gareth B Lewis was a true son of Owain Glyndwr. He loved his rugby, his chess and of course Dylan Thomas. His teams entered the arena for combat with a passion only equalled at the Arms Park. Whatever the sport or game he could generate a team spirit that was tangible and everyone was prepared to give their all.
Gareth had been blessed with the gift of storytelling. It didn't matter about the accuracy or the plausibility he could weave a tale that had you hooked into wanting to believe every word. Such were the spells the man could cast. He personally taught me much as a young and inexperienced headteacher. He took me under his wing and encouraged me constantly throughout those formative years.
He was never a man who you could lay claim to and hold as an inseparable friend as if he was a treasured possession. His whole demeaner was unique and often shrouded by a self created mystery as to his next venture. Life and time allowed us to drift apart as it often does. Yet, with his passing I can only to smile and recall how influential and special he was when I picture him in full flow. It was a pleasure and unique experience Gareth to have known you.
Gareth on the extreme right, preparing the Oldham junior team in readiness for the national schools' championships in both 1981 and 1983.
Hwyl. Canmil diolch!