Fond farewells to organist Geoffrey

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A gifted Morley musician who once played the organ at Westminster Abbey has passed away at the age of 80.

Geoffrey Dunn was known across the region for his talent as an organist and pianist, and mourners from all over the country attended a memorial service at Central Methodist Church last week.

Geoffrey, a retired bookbinder, was from West Ardsley, was educated at Westerton and Elmfield Schools and was devoted much of his life to music.

He was accompanist for the Morley Music Society for 56 years and belonged to the Leeds Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Wakefield Festival Chorus, Langcliffe Singers of Settle and the Tingley Sylvians, and was a past president of the Wakefield Organists’ Association.

He was resident organist at Tingley Methodist Church for 49 years - first performing Handel’s Messiah there aged just 16 - and later moved to Central Methodist, where he took a leading role in rebuilding their Binn’s organ.

Geoffrey’s musical career took him to many of the country’s most impressive cathedrals, and he accompanied internationally-renowned singers.

He was even the organist at Nairobi Cathedral while stationed in Kenya during his National Service with the RAF in the 1950s.

Geoffrey’s musical performances led to charitable fundraising, with thousands of pounds being given to a variety of good causes. In recognition of his philanthropic work Geoffrey and wife Dorothy were invited to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

He is survived by Dorothy, two daughters and five grandsons, who are all keen musicians.

Thomas Stokes, from Central Methodist Church in Morley, said: “Those who knew Geoffrey were impressed by his outstanding talent, but equally impressed by his genial, modest and unassuming nature.”