Grand officer Tony Hough and his wife Dot celebrated 50 years of wedded bliss together with family and members of Tony and Dot’s extended Masonic family of friends at Cleveleys Masonic Hall.
Tony is a former hall chairman of Cleveleys Masonic Hall and holds the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and is the coordinator of the Provincial Masonic Halls Committee, motto: ‘Helping halls to be Masonic homes we can be proud of and where we can be comfortable to meet’. Tony decided to practice what he preaches on visits to Masonic halls throughout the Province of West Lancashire and to hold the milestone golden wedding anniversary at Cleveleys, with Dot’s full hearted agreement of course.
The 75 guests who attended the party, that included Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox, his wife Carol and North Fylde Group Chairman Duncan Smith and his partner Karen, were all in full agreement that the evening’s event was one to be remembered for a long time to come and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The party-goers were treated to an evening’s entertainment hosted by self-styled ‘Lunatic DJ’ showbiz personality Mike Tarraga who kept everyone on their toes throughout the evening. The guests also dined superbly on a very extensive celebratory buffet supper thanks to the hall’s caterers.
Masons being Masons, rarely miss opportunities to help local good causes and with Tony and Dot’s blessing Tracy Kelley, the wife of North Fylde Mason John, made an appeal on behalf of the charity ‘Sam’s Place’ for which Tracy is an ambassador. The charity is incorporated in the Children’s Hospice Play and Holiday Centre.
Tracey, who ran in the 2015 London marathon and raised £1,500 for the charity, explained that this new and unique development had been set up in honour of a little boy named Sam, who had sadly died in 2007. His story had inspired the charity’s trustees to help other children affected as Sam and his family had been.
In essence, parents of children like Sam with life-threatening or life-limiting illness face an almost impossible task in packing and transporting all the specialist supplies required if they try to go on holiday. To highlight the problem Tracy gave an exhaustive ‘Sam’s list’ of the items Sam’s mother needed to pack for a seven day break.
The trustees of Sam’s Place have resolved to establish and operate a specialised holiday respite facility for children with life-limiting illness and their families all year round and to provide facilities appropriate to each family so they can experience the sort of holiday that most people take for granted and to share the same experiences as their ‘well’ siblings. The trustees’ aim is to provide all possible supplies and equipment at the centre to ensure that holidays for these families are no longer a logistical nightmare.
Following Tracy’s appeal the party goers certainly dug deep into pockets and purses and from both a game of rolling £1 coins at a bottle of whisky, (which Tony won and presented to Tracy for a future raffle) and donations, a magnificent total of £351 was raised for Sam’s Place.
After Dot and Tony performed the time honoured tradition of cutting the cake Tony took to the floor to thank family and friends for sharing their special day and making it a day to remember.
Further information on the charity Sam’s Place can be found at: www.sams-place.org.uk