Newton Abbot Squash & Tennis club paid tribute to one of its longest serving members and most loyal servants this week following the passing of Basil Comyns aged 82.
In the past 25 years, he had held many posts within the club, including club secretary, fixtures secretary, and was the club’s serving Vice President as well as being an honorary life member.
As well as this, he was a serving Trustee on the board of Newton Abbot Recreational Trust and had been for a number of years.
Basil had also Men’s Captain before handing over the reins in 2012 but still managed to play in a couple of Exeter & District League fixtures that summer.
The tennis club owes a huge debt of gratitude to Basil for all his tireless work including almost single-handedly wading through the mounds of forms to obtain lottery funding to install floodlights at the Marsh Road Club.
As a long standing member of GNATS, Gentlemen of Newton Abbot Tennis Society, which meets and plays twice a week throughout the year, Basil was still taking to the courts in May this year until he became too ill to do so.
Prior to his tennis achievements, he was successful in hockey where he represented Devon, and also played cricket for South Devon and Ashburton Cricket Clubs as an opening batsman and spin bowler, once taking 6 wickets for no runs for South Devon. How they could do with him now!
Basil’s life was celebrated amongst family and friends at a packed Bishopsteignton Parish Church followed by several hours of reminiscences at the Rec’, a club where he had been a popular and familiar figure for so many years.
It would not be going too far to say that without Basil Comyns’ unstinting efforts the Tennis Club would not exist as we know it today.
He was a true gentleman and a friend to many and will be sorely missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.