LOVING tribute has been paid to the founder of a Welsh Male Voice Choir in the Far East.

Edward Berwyn Parry Evans, known as Berwyn, died peacefully in his home on April 8 in Orpington, Kent.

Berwyn was born in the village post office in Penybontfawr in 1940 to Richard and Gwyneth Evans with an older brother Gareth and sister Olga who predeceased him.

The family moved to Riverside, Llansantffraid where Berwyn spent most of his childhood and attending Llanfyllin High School.

He graduated from Liverpool university in Civil Engineering and after a few years his career took him to Hong Kong where he mostly managed tunnelling projects for the Mass Transit Railway for a Japanese company Aoki.

It was here Berwyn founded the very successful Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir. Just a few genuine Welshman came together to sing in harmony the much loved songs and hymns of their youth. Their first appearances were at the Hong Kong Welsh Society balls. Harry Secombe was an honoured guest in 1982 and agreed to become their first Patron, Lord Thomas of Gresford the present Patron.

They also supported Max Boyce on stage when Berwyn made a celebrated performance playing the saw which reduced Max to tears of laughter as he covered his inept performance with his razor sharp wit and good humour.

Although the embryonic Choir were mostly born Welsh, their genuine camaraderie and love of singing drew others to them and now a cosmopolitan nature with 74 current members of Chinese and expats from a dozen different countries and successive fine Conductors.

They have sung in several prestigious venues in countries of the Far East including the Sydney Opera House and with the 1000 Voice Concert in the Albert Hall. And they made their first visit to Wales last year at the Llangollen Eistedfod.

Berwyn’s mother was from Llangollen and his grandfather known as the Revd John Parry of Meifod. Berwyn’s father grew up on the farm Peniath Isaf in Penybontfawr and his grandfather Edward Evans the musician and considered conductor of the Penybontfawr Male voice choir. Here were sown and nurtured the seeds of Berwyn forming a choir and a gifted speaker who held true to his Christian faith.

Berwyn moved to London in 1990 and joined the London Welsh Male Voice Choir when he served as chairman and successful compère delighting audiences with his good natured humour and invariable acknowledgement of the county of Montgomeryshire.

Berwyn married Margaret of Cardiff and have here married children and six grandchildren.

Paying tribute, his wife Margaret said: "Although his work took him far and wide Berwyn remained at heart a Montgomeryshire man and joined the vibrant Montgomeryshire Society in London where he served a year as President.

"It is hoped to have a Memorial Service for Berwyn in the Welsh Chapel in Castle Street London when the life of this Montgomeryshire man will.

"He graciously succumbed to heart failure having lived every moment to the full and in the last days asking to hear ‘Mae D’eisiau di Bob awr.’ Now at home with Mae D’eisiau."