TRIBUTES have been paid for the founder of a youth theatre company and popular Bala teacher.
Derec Williams, 64, from Llanuwchllyn near Bala, died suddenly last Tuesday after a period of illness.
Mr Williams, originally from Amlwch, has lived in the village of Llanuwchllyn for many years.
Mr Williams was the co-founder of Cwmni Theatr Maldwyn which was formed in 1981 to perform Y Mab Darogan at the National Eisteddfod held in Machynlleth. Over the next 25 years the company performed various shows in theatres across Wales.
Co-director of Cwmni Theatr Maldwyn Penri Roberts said: “We were best friends for 40 years. We first started together in a pop group and then in 1980s set up Cwmni Theatr Maldwyn. Our first show was at the Eisteddfod.
“Over the years we went on to write loads of different shows that has been recorded on TV. We had a great working relationship as well as friendship.
“We had been working on a new show called Gwydion for the past two years for the Eisteddfod coming to Montgomeryshire next year and we were nearly finished when this happened.”
David Llewellyn Williams, from Bala, and chairman of Antur Penllyn of which Mr Williams was director, paid tribute to his friend.
David Williams said: “I knew him very well, he worked very hard and tirelessly.
“He was highly respected and hard working member of the community.
“He was an examplery teacher at Ysgol Y Berwyn in Bala. He always gave extra help
and time to his students if they needed it.
“He was most known for his hard work with the theatre. He had helped so many people perform.
“This has been a shock for the whole community.”
Mr Williams, a retired maths teacher, leaves a widow, Ann and three children,
Branwen, Meilir and Osian.
All of his children were involved in the production of the musical 'Dyma fi' which was being performed at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Meirionydd last week.
The musical’s performance on Wednesday, May 28 was cancelled as a mark of respect.
Nesta Dobson, a friend of Mr Williams, said: “Derec joined Cywain as a director he was ever so good and he organised everything there.
“He was fantastic we would get a crowd of old ladies from Awel y Coleg and he would always go to their table and make a fuss of them every Friday.
“It is a big loss to this place. He was a brilliant person with his music and his three children are brilliant too.”