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Tributes to a pillar of the community

There were many floral tributes to Blyth resident Alf Douglas, who died last month.
There were many floral tributes to Blyth resident Alf Douglas, who died last month.

People came from far and wide to St Wilfred’s Church in Blyth to say their final farewell to Alf Douglas, from South Beach.

The service, conducted by Father Quinn, saw numerous friends of Alf recall happy times spent with him over the years.

The 88-year-old had liver cancer and his daughter, 64-year-old Sandra, also had liver cancer. She died four hours later in a hospital on the island of Jersey where she lived.

At the funeral service for Alf, Steve Arnott delivered a humorous and spirited eulogy – sharing many wonderful memories of the times he had spent in amateur dramatics with him.

The musical tributes from Blyth Music and Theatre Company, Kyle Richardson and Alison Charlton included renditions of Some Enchanted Evening, Ol’ Man River and, quite appropriately, Alfie.

Alf, who was an active Freemason, having held the position of Master of the Seaton Valley Lodge, had been a member of the Magic Circle for more than 50 years and Mike Redfern paid tribute and made the final ‘breaking of the wand’ to signify that this was the end of Alf’s magic.

A family spokesman said: “We would like to extend our gratitude to Maurice Dobson, who made the whole day happen, and also to Jack for keeping Alf company in the evening with a swift pint.

“Joan Bond, Alf’s niece, travelled to Jersey to comfort Dave Ferbrache, the husband of Sandra who not only lost his wife, but a much loved father-in-law too.

“We will all miss Alf and Sandra terribly and feel that a little bit of magic has gone from our lives.”