A stalwart who built our
sound financial foundation
Let’s make no mistake about it, over the last 20
years the GFS has prospered beyond all
expectations, culminating in the magnificent
spectacle that was the March 2011 Convention
when we marked the 50th anniversary of the
death of George Formby. One of the reasons
why that prosperity has occurred is surely
down to a very special person. I refer to our
past President of fourteen years and a GFS
member for almost thirty years, Dennis Taylor.
Dennis played a major role in the March 2011
Convention both as a narrator and as a
performer. Even on Sunday evening when
usually many people have left for home, this
weekend was a little different and the room
was quite full to witness Dennis’s last performances, the first with his wife
Pat when they sang Ordinary People and then (ironically) singing a
Beatles song, he received a standing ovation for his interpretation of “I
Saw Her Standing There.”
Now Dennis is no longer with us and without a doubt a very bright light is
extinguished within our Society, a light that can never be replaced. In
Dennis's 30 year membership, he has worked tirelessly for the GFS and
even in the last few years whilst still in the President role, he took on
probably the most demanding job of all when he, with his wife Pat, re-
organised the GFS shop and ensured that the Society would be in a
position to make some money each year rather than continually losing it.
Dennis was still in that role right up to the date of his passing.
I first met Dennis some twenty years ago when as a fledging member of
the GFS and the Yorkshire Ukulele Circle I could admire his performance
and style of play. Dennis always struck me as an excellent player and he
actively encouraged anyone who was interested in the ukulele and always
unselfishly tried to share his talents with you.
Over the years I picked up quite a lot from Dennis, not just some slight
playing ability, but a love of the GFS. Dennis always thought that the GFS
was a very special organization and he would do anything and everything
to ensure its wellbeing. Over Dennis’s fourteen-year presidential term, I
had the distinct pleasure of working alongside him in various committee
roles and we had many memorable moments when sometimes after
much planning, the job was successfully completed.
One of Dennis’s biggest jobs was to transform the Vellum magazine at
very short notice into the colourful professional journal that we are all so
used to reading today. This wasn’t always the case and in September
1994 when the editor role became vacant, Dennis (with no publishing
experience) changed the magazine dramatically. No matter what role
Dennis took on either in his working life or in his leisure interests, he
always gave 110%.
Dennis was not just a GFS man, he had many other interests and
whatever those interests were, Pat was always supportive and constantly
by his side. For all his many hobbies and interests, Dennis was first and
foremost a family man who was extremely proud of his four children and
On a very personal note, both Kathryn and myself have lost not only a
fellow member of the GFS, but a very close personal friend whose
memory will forever be with us.
Our sincerest condolences go to Pat, Andrew, Chris, Joanne, Dawn and
all the grandchildren.
28 March 2011