When Grenville Phillips announced that he would not be standing again for the Community Centre Committee he was of course, subjected to severe questioning. Was his request to have a little more time for himself seen as reasonable? With his characteristic twinkle in his eye he said “Well, I am nearly 87!”
Welsh born Grenville came to live in Tarvin in 1970 and was one of the founder members of the Community Centre Committee before the building was actually commissioned in 1979. He was the first Treasurer. His connection with the Centre has been almost unbroken since then.
The early years of the Community Centre were dominated by the drive and enthusiasm of the Tarvin Theatre Group, whose leading member, Edna Rose, is commemorated in the Community Centre. As well as the annual Pantomime, the group also produced summer musical events and one-off plays. Grenville was an enthusiastic performer in nearly all the productions and has played most of the key Panto characters. As was the tradition, his wife and daughters were also active members. The last Theatre Club performance was in 2002 when Grenville was part of the production team. The Theatre Club was the main source of funds for the running of the Centre, a fact that must have made ‘Treasurer’ Grenville very happy!
Of course, the Community Centre has had its ups and downs, with the early years of this century being particularly stressful. At one time, Grenville, together with all the Committee, resigned, but his affection for and commitment to the place saw him back in harness some years later. His willingness to help whenever he could has been much appreciated and he will be much missed.
Needless to say, the Community Centre hasn’t been the only area of interest and commitment in Grenville’s life. He was a founder member and first Secretary of the Tarvin Civic Trust and a Magistrate for 27 years. His commitment to St Andrews Church is deep and long-standing and he will continue with this into the future. How he managed all this and be the Headteacher of Bishop’s C of E Secondary School, is a mystery!
Communities need people like Grenville and Tarvin has been fortunate to have him. It is common these days to mourn the passing of such people and to agonise on where they will come from next. But heroes often emerge when they are needed and the next Grenville is no doubt working quietly away at the moment to make Tarvin a great place to live………..you know who you are.
The current Community Centre Committee wish Grenville a very happy retirement and would like to remind him that they will always welcome him back again should he get a bit bored!
(Thanks also to Bill Williams, whose 6 year stint on the Committee also deserves a mention)