Tom Ellis

 Former South Wales Argus journalist Tom Ellis has died suddenly at the age of 73.

Tom was returning to his Newport home after collecting a copy of his beloved Argus from his local newsagent on 27 September when he collapsed.

He was a hugely popular figure in the profession and was admired for his accuracy, honesty, courage and dedication. He will be widely remembered in south-east Wales as the Argus local government correspondent, in which role he was fearless yet respected by all parties in any controversy.

But this was just a part of a long career which took in the hi-tech revolution that transformed newspaper production. When he retired from the Argus in 1993 he had completed 38 years with the paper.

He began his apprenticeship as a reporter on the weekly South Wales Gazette and Merthyr Express in the Fifties. He took over the same north Gwent patch when he joined the Argus, covering the area from Abertillery and then Ebbw Vale, and played an active part in the community. He was a member of the Scouts Council and the Brynmawr road safety committee, and was a

vice-chairman of the Aberbeeg branch of the Royal British Legion. Later, he moved to the Newport office, where he became successively local government reporter, news editor and, finally, executive editor.

He always had the interests of journalists at heart as an active member of the NUJ. He was a past chairman of its Monmouthshire branch and a county delegate to national conferences in Edinburgh, Folkestone and Bournemouth. On his retirement, the then Argus editor, Steve Hoselitz, devoted a leading article to him. "While some people may have mixed feelings about reporters, Tom spent his life demonstrating that the words ‘honourable’ and ‘journalist’ can be used in the same sentence," he wrote.

Current Argus editor Gerry Keighley said: "Journalists need to be courageous and totally objective but they also need to win the respect of those they have to expose or criticise. Tom Ellis achieved all that with distinction."

Tom was a loving and dedicated family man and leaves a wife, Doreen, three grown-up children, Sue, Simon and Stephen, and three grandchildren.

Kevin Ward

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