A MUCH-loved and inspiring music teacher from Johnstown has retired after 45 very happy years.

Owain Smith, 64, brought up in Rhosllanerchrugog, Wrexham, has been head of music at Johnstown Junior School and, after amalgamation with the Infants, it became Ysgol Yr Hafod.

The Leader: Owain has spent years playing the piano in assemblies, hymn practices and for the school choir in many concerts over the years.

He received piano lessons at a young age from John Tudor Davies and has been a member of the Rhos Male Voice Choir for over 34 years in addition to his career as a dedicated teacher. 

The Leader:

He said: "I am retiring after working for 45 very happy years and would like to thank everybody at Ysgol Yr Hafod for such a memorable and emotional final week.

"Being a teacher was memorable because you are constantly educating them in both the social and academic fields.

"I will miss helping the children and working alongside a superb team of staff. I love keeping in touch with past pupils and hearing about how they are progressing in life.

"I have been so lucky in life. Thank you to all my work colleagues for a marvellous send-off, to friends who travelled from far and wide and to Jackie, my wife, and my mother for their continued support."

The school organised a surprise farewell afternoon party where children, past pupils and members of the Rhos Male Voice Choir sang Calon Lan, one of Owain's favourite hymns. 

He described it as "a very moving tribute."


Joe Bell, a former pupil and member of Britain's Got Talent Johns Boys, said: "As well as being my inspiration into the world of music, Mr Smith guided me to follow my passions and be the person I am today. 

"I loved his confidence, caring nature, and cracking sense of humour. I hope the kids of today relish the time spent with him."

Lois Darlington, another former pupil, said: "Mr Smith was always one of the best, such a fantastic teacher. Some great memories from choir and music classes."

The students and staff of Ysgol Yr Hafod will miss Owain's lessons and compassion dearly, but wish him the very best for his happy retirement.