Sir Tasker, who will be 86 on 18 November, informed the Board of Directors of his decision not to seek re-election at the WRU AGM on 26 September on Thursday night. He became the first man since Sir David Rocyn Jones in 1953 to hold office for more than one season and his 11 years make him the second longest serving President in the 123 year history of the WRU.
"Sir Tasker undertook his duties as President of the WRU with huge commitment and great distinction. He is an exceptional man of high principles, honour and integrity who greatly enhanced the image and reputation of Welsh rugby for more than a decade," said WRU chairman David Pickering.
"The WRU can ill afford to lose a man of such calibre and outstanding intellect. Following his announcement at our meeting on Thursday night it was the unanimous decision of the WRU Board of Directors that we should invite Sir Tasker to become an Honorary Life Vice Patron.
"I am delighted to say that he accepted the new post, which was offered in recognition of his outstanding service to Welsh rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union."
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR TASKER WATKINS, V.C., G.B.E., D.L.
President, Welsh Rugby Union 1993 - 2004
Sir Tasker Watkins, who was born on 18 November, 1918, in Nelson, Glamorgan, was educated at Pontypridd Grammar School.
He served as a Major in the Welsh Regiment throughout the Second World War, being awarded the Victoria Cross in 1944, before embarking on a long and distinguished career in law that reached its peak when he was appointed senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales in 1983, a position he held for eight years.
On leaving the Welsh Regiment after the war, Sir Tasker was called to the Bar, Middle Temple, in 1948 and was made a Bencher in 1970. He served as deputy chairman of Radnorshire Quarter Sessions between 1962 and 1971 and occupied the
same position with Carmarthenshire Quarter Sessions from 1966 until 1971. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1965 and was Recorder of Merthyr Tydfil between 1968 and 1970 and of Swansea during 1970 and 1971.
Sir Tasker was Leader of the Wales and Chester Circuit from 1970-71 and served as Judge of the High Court of Justice, Family Division, between 1971 and 1974 and of the Queen's Bench Division from 1974 until 1980. He sat as Presiding Judge of the Wales and Chester Circuit between 1975 and 1980 before taking up the appointment as senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales three years later.
Sir Tasker, who had been Counsel (as deputy to the Attorney-General) into the inquiry into the Aberfan disaster of 1966, chaired the Mental Health Review Tribunal, Wales Region, between 1960 and 1971 and was also chairman of the Judicial Studies Board during 1979 and 1980.
He was President of the University of Wales College of Medicine for 11 years from 1987 and President of the British Legion, Wales, between 1947 and 1968. He has been a member of the Territorial Army Association of Glamorgan and Wales since 1947, has been chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union's Charitable Trust since
He became the 46th president of the Welsh Rugby Union in 1993 and became the first man in 40 years to serve more than one year in office. By the time he decided not to seek re-election in 2004 he had served 11 years, making him the second longest serving president in the 123 year history of the WRU after Horace Lyne, who held office from 1906-1947. He remains president of Glamorgan Wanderers RFC and has had a new post of Honorary Life Vice Patron created for him by the Welsh Rugby Union. The Patron of the WRU is Her Majesty The Queen.
Appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Glamorgan in 1956, Sir Tasker became an Honorary Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Wales in 1979 and of Glamorgan in 1996 and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1992.
He married Eirwen Evans in 1941 and, in addition to his Victoria Cross, he was knighted in 1971, made a Privy Counsellor in 1980 and awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 1990 and the Knight of St John (KStJ) in 1998.