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Lasting church memorial to Bill dedicated
3:00pm Sunday 18th May 2014 in News
A set of metal gates put up in memory of a former Trinity Methodist Church worshipper should ensure that his name will be remembered for decades to come.
Bill Bolitho grew up in Porkellis with his five brothers and sisters, with the family attending the Sunday School each week as children.
Although he later moved away, and was living in Essex at the time of his death last year, aged 92, his siblings continued to live locally.
Unable to get to his funeral, they decided to hold their own service of remembrance last Friday at which they dedicated a set of metal gates they had commissioned in his memory.
The gates, made by Kevin Gerry of Longdowns, have a brass plaque with Mr Bolitho’s name on it and the dates of his life – 1920 to 2013.
His sister Pat Todman said the gates seemed appropriate to choose, as the chapel was in need of replacements for the previous, ageing, wooden gates.
She said: “None of us could go [to the funeral] as we are too elderly, so we thought we would do something in his memory here so we could say goodbye. We had a little remembrance service and the gates are, for us, something we can go and see and say ‘That’s Bill’.
“It was important to have something that the family liked and the chapel liked.”
Mr Bolitho’s five-year-old great-granddaughter, Isla Scott, cut a ribbon to officially open the gates.
The service, attended by 25 members of the Bolitho family, including Bill’s widow Heather, focused on Mr Bolitho’s life, and made reference to his three-and-a-half years as a Japanese prisoner of war, from where he was one of only 13 people to escape.
The Trinity Methodist Church service was carried out by Pastor Bill Reed, who said of the gates: “The others were wooden – these will stand the test of time. It’s lovely to have gates in memory of someone who lived in Porkellis only a short distance from the chapel itself.”
Mrs Todman said the family was “very, very pleased” with the end result, adding: “It’s the icing on the cake. It’s something that’s going to last for 70 years.”
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