Community pays tribute to ‘larger than life’ Chepstow opera singer

By Monmouthshire Beacon/Chepstow Beacon in Local People

TRIBUTES have been paid to a “larger than life” Chepstow opera singer who has died after he was taken seriously ill at an extraordinary meeting of Chepstow Town Council this week.

Karl Daymond, from Neath but living in Chepstow, was taken ill in the early stages of Wednesday night’s (9th August) meeting and was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital shortly afterwards.

A popular figure in the town, Mr Daymond lead both The Singing Club, a group of singers based in Chepstow, the Forest of Dean and Usk, and the female-only Chepstow Chatelaines. In addition he was also heading the St David’s Hospice Harmony Choir which was set up in December.

Mayor of Chepstow Dale Rooke said Mr Daymond would be “greatly missed,” and described it as a huge loss for the community.

“He really was a larger than life character and what he did was hugely important within the community,” he said.

“It’s going to be extremely hard to fill his boots.”

“The first thing I did this morning was call around the councillors and the people I know personally; I know some of our councillors were really the first responders on the scene.

“It happened on the landing so we effectively had 80 or so people stuck in the building witnessing someone being worked on; it was horrible.

“It’s just really, really sad for this to have happened.”

John Burrows, who was on the organising committee for both Chepstow’s 950th celebrations this year and the Wye bridge bicentenary in 2016, made a “huge contribution” to the town.

“Chepstow is stunned by Karl’s passing,” he said. “He was an incredible man with huge charisma, a beautiful deep rich speaking and singing voice, immense presence, warmth and a great smile. He will be very badly missed.”

Mr Daymond was one of many residents and members of the community who gathered to voice their views on the future of the Drill Hall, and issues surrounding the ongoing £1.1m Big Lottery grant application.

Around 15 minutes into the meeting he appeared to become short of breath, before collapsing on the landing outside the council chamber. Following a 999 call, the nearby defibrillator was used a number of times before the emergency services arrived.

The meeting was suspended following the incident, and is currently scheduled to be held next Wednesday (16th August) at the Palmer Centre.

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Tim Huckle · 11 days ago · Report

I would suggest that the people of Chepstow are poorly served by the ambulance service. I observed what happened from outside the Council offices. The police were there in force within a few minutes. The medical services took an age A Paramedic arrived over 30 minutes after the 999 call. The ambulance was at least another 10 minutes after that. This was on a Wednesday evening during the school holidays, with very little traffic in the area. What hope for us during a busy period?

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