A FORMER director of the Newport and Gwent Samaritans and writer for the Argus has died following a short illness.

Roger Williams, 74, served as director of the Newport charity twice, in 2004 and 2010.
During his two terms as Samaritans chief he was said to be responsible for significant changes and fund raising projects at the charity’s base in Stow Hill, Newport.

Current Samaritans branch director Peter Edmunds said: “I was extremely saddened to hear the news of Roger’s death, as were the many colleagues he had worked with over the past decade.

“He was a valuable supporter of Samaritans and all our volunteers send condolences to his family.”

The former further education tutor was a local historian and had written articles for the Argus during the 1980s.

He also co-wrote two books on mining history in South Wales.

As well as working with the Samaritans Mr Williams oversaw the founding of a cafeteria at Prescoed Open Prison, Usk.

His co-author and friend David Jones said: “Roger was a staunch Newportonian who had a great love for the city and of Wales in general.

“This was reflected in his writing for the Argus and several country magazines.  He also made a significant contribution to writers’ and publishing groups in Newport and Blackwood and will be missed by a great many people.”

Mr Jones had planned a new book for later this year.

His funeral will take place at All Saints Church, Brynglas, at 10.30am January 23.