Friday, 24 September 2021

Kind bank manager who selflessly served the community

VIVIAN GLYNNE FRASER MORRIS died peacefully at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on Friday, April 5, aged 82.

VIVIAN GLYNNE FRASER MORRIS died peacefully at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on Friday, April 5, aged 82.

Vivian, a proud Welshman, was born in Llanelli in 1931 and, after studying at Merton College, Oxford, joined Lloyds Bank and worked under the sign of the black horse all his life.

After time working in Bristol, Cardiff and then Liverpool, Vivian moved to Henley in 1969.

Although he moved to Sonning in 1978, he remained involved in Henley life until not long before his death. Vivian’s work required him to travel all over the country and spend much time away from home (motorways and reliable cars being far from what they are now).

In 1978 he became manager of Lloyds Bank in Bracknell, a role in which he had great success until his retirement in 1990.

Vivian was in many ways the last of the old-fashioned bank managers — he knew all his customers and they knew and trusted him.

In his last years at the bank he had a computer on his desk but only his secretary ever used it. Vivian openly admitted he had no idea how to operate the machine.

His antipathy to modern technology was such that on one occasion he had to ask a passer-by how to use a cash machine outside his own branch in Bracknell.

It is for Vivian’s selfless devotion to the community that most people will remember him. He became actively involved in Henley life from his earliest days here.

He was secretary of Christ Church in Reading Road for 25 years and instrumental in its growth and development. He was a founder member of Henley Lions Club and in due course its presidentand was also involved in the successful Henley Midnight Matinee over many years.

In truth, it is quite difficult to list all the causes that Vivian helped because he was never given to blowing his own trumpet.

There have been many others — honorary treasurer here, fund-raising there — but he was a humble man who never begrudged time given to helping others or simple acts of kindness and thoughtfulness to friends, family and others.

He was also always a little reluctant to admit to his family that he had taken on yet another commitment.

The family did know — although he kept it secret from others — that for many years Vivian (and before him his wife Heulwen) wrote the Henley Standard theatre reviews for the Mill at Sonning. In 1956 Vivian married Heulwen, his childhood sweetheart from Llanelli.

They were a devoted couple and had a great and very happy partnership. They were both only children, which created a special bond between them.

Vivian missed Heulwen deeply after her death in 2004 and he in turn will be very greatly missed by his children, Antony and Nicola, his daughter-in-law and son-in-law, Alison and Steve, and his grandchildren, Ben and Toby.

He will also be greatly missed by his friends and by the many others whose lives he touched.

There was a memorial service for Vivian at Christ Church yesterday (Thursday).

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