March 11, 2017
Grantham Police Boys Band, Toronto Optimists, Optimists Alumni
Prior to joining The Toronto Optimists Brian marched with the Grantham Police Boys Band. When Brian joined The Optimists in 1965 he played French Horn. In 1968 the corps dropped their French Horns and he played Mellophone. Brian was the first of the Byrne clan to join the Optimists. He was later joined by his brothers David, John and Peter.
When the Optimist Alumni was formed, Brian joined. Until health issues forced him to resign, he served on the Alumni Board of Directors as Treasurer. In 2005, the corps was in need of a Drum Major. Brian rose to the occasion, took conducting lessons and served as the corps' Drum Major.
Brian was a wonderful human being and the best of friends. He will be missed by all of those who knew him.
Brian was pre-deceased by his brother, Dave, who played contrabass in the Optimists.
Here are a few comments from some of those who knew Brian.
"We were so blessed to be part of his life and he part of ours. A gentle, funny, classy, brave and loving guy."- Kathy
"Brian was one of the 1st alumni members I met when I joined the corps. He made me feel so welcome and after talking with him I almost felt like an original member from the past. He was a proud member and always had huge words of encouragement." - Mike
"Brian was a fellow that you always looked forward to talking to and being with. His unique humour and personality were a special gift."- Ted
"Brian marched in the Corps a few years after me so I really never knew him until the Alumni Corps started. The first Sunday rehearsal I attended he introduced himself and he knew my name. Brian was a super friendly guy with a great sense of humor. When the Alumni Corps did street parades there were many times that Jason and I would be yakking away, or joking around (being in the last row of horns figuring no one ahead would notice) and there was Brian driving the van right behind us, signaling that he was keeping his eye on us." - Mel
"Brian, I will sincerely miss you, you were always so pleasant and friendly with a wonderful personality. You truly were a very special person who always had a smile and something kind to say." - Karen
"Brian was a super friendly fella. He didn't pass judgment and during his time when the Corp held their practice at Royal Canadian Legion Br 344 he was so respectful of everyone. We shared many chats and laughs. Nice folk like Brian are hard to come by." - Mary
"Want your life to light up?... just have a few minutes with Brian and the world was good again. I will never forget anyone in the Byrne family. Thanks Brian for your friendship." - Jack
"Brian: I will always remember a funny line or a few laughs we shared over a drum corps story. Humour is a wonderful gift and I thank you for sharing yours with me. Every time I think of you I will smile." - Vern
"I often think of Brian's rules: If it's not nice, not true or not necessary, don't say it. I'm still trying to master that one." - Bob