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GEORGE LEWIS - REMEMBERED

 

 

George Lewis was a man who made a great impression on our town, not least in Pembroke Town Hall where his Murals are a sight to behold.  Only fitting then that Pembroke Town Council wished to erect a memorial plaque and name the hall ‘The George Lewis Hall’ in his honour.  Unfortunately, because of Covid restrictions, the intended memorial ceremony was delayed.

 

George was a man of many talents and an inspiration to us all. Born in Sageston and raised in Pembroke Dock, he retired to Pembroke in 1991 after a career in art and design education.

However, retired wasn’t quite the word for it – George was always thoroughly involved in community activities and organisations prominent in Pembroke Male Voice Choir, Pembroke Rotary and P&M Local History Society.  He continued his love of art: on returning to live in Pembroke, he took art classes at the Coronation School, painted scenery for many of the East End Flyover productions (as well as acting in them) and undertook many artistic projects. But perhaps his greatest artistic achievement can be seen here in Pembroke Town Hall where he and his wife Jeanne have covered foyer, stairwell and upstairs landing with a series of murals depicting the history of Pembroke from 3,000 BC to the beginning of the 20th Century.

 

When asked what gave them the idea of the Pembroke Murals, George told me:

 

“I went to the Town Hall one day to see Phil Lloyd, Secretary of the Choir, who also happened to be the Town Clerk at that time.  The walls were very bare and I thought that they could do with some paintings.  I had already done some paintings for the Town Council designing the Mayor's Christmas cards which depicted historical scenes from old Pembroke and on consultation with Jeanne, decided to paint a history of Pembroke in a series of panels."

 

This proved to be a vast undertaking: the first five panels were put in position in February 2006 following considerable research and the gathering of visual material. The final panels were put in position in July 2009.

 

Whilst I greatly admire their achievement, I have to say that I also greatly admire George and Jeanne for their generosity and community spirit.  For these colourful hand painted panels - which cover 700 square feet of wall space - were done completely voluntarily: the artists, who devoted hundreds of hours to the project, charged only the cost of the basic panels and the final varnishes, costs which were covered by the Town Council.

 

George and I shared a love of history and I was delighted when he agreed to become President of the P&M Local History Society.  We worked on projects together - first a pamphlet on the History of Monkton, then of Pembroke which I wrote and he illustrated.  This was followed by the new town trail booklet which we undertook as a Town Council regeneration project. Then came the setting up of Pembroke Museum in the Court Room, which complements the Murals: together they tell the story of Pembroke and provide a popular attraction in the Main Street.  This has continued to flourish and is another lasting memorial to him.

 

I don’t think any tribute to George can be complete without remarking on his wonderful sense of humour. A natural storyteller, he would always entertain with his many stories and anecdotes and was in great demand as a speaker to the many community groups throughout the county.  His talks were legendary and always guaranteed to go way over time! Even in these wonderful murals that sense of mischief is present for, if you look carefully, you will see images of George lurking at windows, peering behind doorways and in the corner of one panel there is even a streaker!  He will always be here with us, always remembered.

 

Linda Asman

Mayor of Pembroke

 

CONTACT

Pembroke Town Council

Town Hall, Main Street

Pembroke

Pembrokeshire

SA71 4JS

 

 

 

 

George Lewis was a man who made a great impression on our town, not least in Pembroke Town Hall where his Murals are a sight to behold.  Only fitting then that Pembroke Town Council wished to erect a memorial plaque and name the hall ‘The George Lewis Hall’ in his honour.  Unfortunately, because of Covid restrictions, the intended memorial ceremony was delayed.

 

George was a man of many talents and an inspiration to us all. Born in Sageston and raised in Pembroke Dock, he retired to Pembroke in 1991 after a career in art and design education.

However, retired wasn’t quite the word for it – George was always thoroughly involved in community activities and organisations prominent in Pembroke Male Voice Choir, Pembroke Rotary and P&M Local History Society.  He continued his love of art: on returning to live in Pembroke, he took art classes at the Coronation School, painted scenery for many of the East End Flyover productions (as well as acting in them) and undertook many artistic projects. But perhaps his greatest artistic achievement can be seen here in Pembroke Town Hall where he and his wife Jeanne have covered foyer, stairwell and upstairs landing with a series of murals depicting the history of Pembroke from 3,000 BC to the beginning of the 20th Century.

 

When asked what gave them the idea of the Pembroke Murals, George told me:

 

“I went to the Town Hall one day to see Phil Lloyd, Secretary of the Choir, who also happened to be the Town Clerk at that time.  The walls were very bare and I thought that they could do with some paintings.  I had already done some paintings for the Town Council designing the Mayor's Christmas cards which depicted historical scenes from old Pembroke and on consultation with Jeanne, decided to paint a history of Pembroke in a series of panels."

 

This proved to be a vast undertaking: the first five panels were put in position in February 2006 following considerable research and the gathering of visual material. The final panels were put in position in July 2009.

 

Whilst I greatly admire their achievement, I have to say that I also greatly admire George and Jeanne for their generosity and community spirit.  For these colourful hand painted panels - which cover 700 square feet of wall space - were done completely voluntarily: the artists, who devoted hundreds of hours to the project, charged only the cost of the basic panels and the final varnishes, costs which were covered by the Town Council.

 

George and I shared a love of history and I was delighted when he agreed to become President of the P&M Local History Society.  We worked on projects together - first a pamphlet on the History of Monkton, then of Pembroke which I wrote and he illustrated.  This was followed by the new town trail booklet which we undertook as a Town Council regeneration project. Then came the setting up of Pembroke Museum in the Court Room, which complements the Murals: together they tell the story of Pembroke and provide a popular attraction in the Main Street.  This has continued to flourish and is another lasting memorial to him.

 

I don’t think any tribute to George can be complete without remarking on his wonderful sense of humour. A natural storyteller, he would always entertain with his many stories and anecdotes and was in great demand as a speaker to the many community groups throughout the county.  His talks were legendary and always guaranteed to go way over time! Even in these wonderful murals that sense of mischief is present for, if you look carefully, you will see images of George lurking at windows, peering behind doorways and in the corner of one panel there is even a streaker!  He will always be here with us, always remembered.

 

Linda Asman

Mayor of Pembroke

 

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