Cyril powered up Bundaberg

MUSIC LOVER: Cyril Wells was involved with many choirs, often as conductor.
MUSIC LOVER: Cyril Wells was involved with many choirs, often as conductor.

CYRIL Thomas Wells made an electric contribution to the Bundaberg region during his remarkable life.

Cyril served his electrical apprenticeship with Queensland Rail, before joining the Wide Bay Regional Electricity Board and coming to Bundaberg in 1948 as assistant engineer. In those years the electricity distribution expanded very rapidly into the rural areas of the district. Cyril became manager of the Bundaberg District operations in the early 1950s.

In this role, Cyril oversaw the rapid expansion of power to supply the heavy demand for irrigation to the farming community due to the increasing price of diesel fuel.

There was also the demand from the irrigation authority to supply power for the pumping stations being built at that time.

Cyril and Thora Wells with their children, Peter and Joycelyn, at the Bundaberg Show.
Cyril and Thora Wells with their children, Peter and Joycelyn, at the Bundaberg Show.

Cyril worked with a team of more than 100 locals from the Bundaberg, Gin Gin and Childers depots, augmented with teams contracted from other supply authorities.

He retired 1981.

During the years he lived in Bundaberg, Cyril took an active leadership role in the activities of the Pioneer Memorial Home for the Aged. He was chairman of the board, guiding it through not only building expansions, but also for a time acting as the administrator of everyday operations of the home.

Cyril was a great lover of music. He saw the potential in the youngsters of his church's Sunday School and had them singing in a choir. He encouraged many young choristers. When the opportunity arose, he didn't hesitate to take over the baton and lead the Methodist Junior Choir to great heights, entering and winning eisteddfod trophies, performing musicals as well as regular church obligations.

But it wasn't only with children's choirs that he was associated. After chorister in the church senior choir for a number of years, Cyril was asked to be the conductor. Cyril was also the conductor for a period of time of the Bundaberg Orpheus Singers, and became their patron.

Cyril would have considered a highlight of his conducting career the training and conducting of a massed choir which presented Mendelssohn's oratorio Elijah to a full house in the Civic Centre for the Bundaberg Centenary in 1967.

Cyril and Joycelyn at Blue Care Bundaberg Allied Health Services' 25th birthday.
Cyril and Joycelyn at Blue Care Bundaberg Allied Health Services' 25th birthday.

In the midst of a very busy life, Cyril never forgot the needs of his family or of himself. He loved sailing as, fishing and enjoyed having family members and friends join him. In early retirement he was a volunteer Lifeline telephone counsellor.

Following the death of his wife, Thora, Cyril moved to Wheller Gardens, Chermside, to be closer to daughter Joycelyn. Until recently, he was active at Wheller Gardens, driving the settlement bus and conducting the choir among other things.

Cyril Thomas Wells died in Brisbane on May 3, aged 99. He is survived by Joycelyn and Geoff, Peter and Denise, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. A community memorial service for Cyril will be held at the Uniting Church, Barolin St, at 10.30am on Saturday, May 27.

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