TRIBUTES have been paid to an ‘inspirational’ brass band leader who taught hundreds of children to play for free.
Wesley Garner was 78 when he passed away last week.
Mr Garner, of Station Road, Drayton, was known throughout the south for his commitment to brass bands and set up the Solent Concert Band in 1969.
It was based at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea where he taught children from the community various brass instruments with the desire of winning competitions.
His dedication took the SCB to the Albert Hall on several occasions for competitions.
Mr Garner’s stepdaughter Audrey Hughes – known as Alf, from Chichester – said: ‘He taught hundreds of children, it was amazing. He was very focused on band, it was his life. He lived and breathed it. He was an inspiration.’
When he had to have his right leg amputated because of diabetes he gave up conducting and went back to playing in the band.
Mr Garner leaves behind his long term partner Christine Frost, two sons, three step children, nine grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
A service will be held at the Salvation Army Hall, Albert Road, tomorrow at 1.30pm.