North East Wales

Church organist Teddy Williams, 100, plays at own party

A church organist from north east Wales has celebrated his 100th birthday by playing at a service in his honour.

Teddy Williams plays every Sunday at St Garmon's church in Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, near Chirk, and at the local Tabernacle chapel.

Apart from leaving for army service during World War II, he has always lived in the village and began playing the organ at 12 years of age.

Mr Williams said he hoped to keep on playing "unless they give me the sack".

Born in the village on 16 May 1911, the man known locally as 'Uncle Ted' plays on despite suffering from osteoporosis as well as partial blindness and deafness.

On Saturday, villagers staged a concert where the Ceiriog Male Voice Choir - of which he is a former president - performed.

On Monday, a new public bench was dedicated to him, paid for by villagers.

Mr Williams then played the organ at a short church service, where a scroll of congratulation was presented to him by local vicar, Rev Edward Yendall.

Villagers then staged a surprise party for the centenarian.

Mr Williams, who said he felt "on top of the world" to reach three figures, said of the party: "It's wonderful. I had no idea it was going to happen. No idea at all. I'm so thrilled."

He added: "It's a lovely life here in Llanarmon. I've been here all my life.

"I get up every morning with joy and I go to bed thanking God for another day. You've got to be thankful.

Mr Williams' nephew Robin Gwyndaf said: "It's a day both Ted and we have been looking forward to. He has given joy to so many people.

"Today has given the people of the valley an opportunity to express their thanks to Uncle Ted for giving so much kindness for all his life to other people and now he's receiving the kindness back.

"Although he's registered blind he still plays the organ in the church from memory."

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