TRIBUTES have been paid to former Mayor of Droitwich Spa Shaun Best who died yesterday at the age of 69.
Shaun was a true monner, having being born and brought up in the town.
In May 2017 he was given his dream role of being mayor of the town he loved which he described as an ‘enormous honour’.
In his 12 months he oversaw the Picnic in the Park for John Corbett’s 200th birthday and the salt on the barge project at the St Richard’s Festival.
Being the highly regarded talented musician he was – working on cruise liners and playing a variety of venues from theatres, churches and pubs – there were several music events during his year of office.
These included the 300th anniversary of the composition of Handel’s Water Music on a barge in Vines Park, the Civic Service of nine Lessons and Carols at St Andrew’s Park.
He described his year in office as an enjoyable ‘roller-coaster’ for him and his wife Helen, during which time they generated funds for the Droitwich Challengers Gateway Club and St Richard’s Hospice.
Coun Richard Morris was a good friend of Shaun’s and nominated him to become mayor.
He sadi: “He was a true Droitwich person, very reliable and a musical genius.
“We are so sad our great and true friend has left us.
“He lived a great life, had Droitwich community at heart, he was a true monner and a gent – he will always be with us on his Talbot stool and at the rugby.”
Shaun was a member of the Norbury Theatre since the 1970s with his main involvement relating to music.
Shaun was musical director, composer and arranger for a number of the theatre’s productions, including the first ever amateur production of ‘High Society’ for which Shaun was band leader.
Shaun also spent time running the Norbury bar.
Norbury Theatre chairman Anne Lane said: “Shaun was just fun – he was the life and soul of the party.
“He was just great to be with, really worked hard on productions and events and would always encourage everyone, especially the children, to get up on the stage and have a go.
“He was an incredibly talented musician – you would go into a pub, he would sit at a piano and he would ask you for a song – say Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones. He would then a composer and you would say ‘Vivaldi’ and he would play Paint It Black in the style of Vivaldi – it was amazing.
“You can’t think about times with Shaun without smiling.
“He was a great asset to the Norbury, Droitwich and music itself – he will be deeply missed.
“We were so saddened to hear of his passing and our thoughts are with Helen and their family.”
Coun Alan Humphries added: “Shaun loved Droitwich and was part of the fabric of the town.
“He was such a larger than life character and was involved in almost every part of Droitwich life.
“He will be greatly missed by me and many people – this is a very sad loss to the town.”