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Art is George’s tribute to town

George LewisA LIFE-sized Sunderland airman has stepped up for duty with the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust – courtesy of highly regarded Pembrokeshire artist and personality George Lewis. George, from Pembroke, has created the airman in full flying gear with a number of the famous flying boats as a backdrop. It was ‘unveiled’ at the recent Open Doors event at the town’s Dockyard Chapel and much admired by all who attended. Educated at Pembroke Dock Grammar School, George studied at Swansea College of Art and Swansea University, before teaching and lecturing for 36 years in art and design, latterly becoming a head teacher. Since retiring to Pembroke in 1991 George has immersed himself in the local community and was a tutor at the old Coronation Further Education Centre in Pembroke Dock for nine years. During that time he designed and researched two huge murals which were painted under his direction by mature students in his arts groups. The ‘Millennium Mural’ – 20 ft by 8 ft – is a remarkable montage telling the 200 year story of Pembroke Dock, while the ‘Garrison Town Mural’ depicts all the cap badges of regiments and corps which served at Pembroke Dock from 1814 to 1967. Both murals were on display at the Open Doors weekend in the Dockyard Chapel and plans are developing for them to again go on permanent view in the town. Along with wife Jeanne – herself a graduate teacher of art and design – George has created several other murals with examples in St John’s Church, Pembroke Dock, and Monkton Priory Church Hall. The largest and most spectacular example of their work is in Pembroke Town Hall where over 200 foot of panelling fills the walls on two floors. The thoroughly researched pictures depict the story of Pembroke and local area from the Stone Age to the reign of Edward VII, in 1901-911. Commenting on his latest creation George said: “I have presented this to the Sunderland Trust as my tribute to the part the flying boats have played in the town’s history and in admiration of the work the Trust is doing to promote and record this important period of Royal Air Force history in west Wales.” George’s airman is now displayed in the Glass House Coffee Shop, part of the Trust’s visitor centre at the Fleet Surgeon’s House in the Royal Dockyard. The Centre and the Coffee Shop are open Tuesdays to Fridays inclusive, 10 am – 4 pm.