Dancers celebrate life of much-loved music man Doug

Dance partner Dorothy receives the trophy on behalf of Doug Dale

Dance partner Dorothy receives the trophy on behalf of Doug Dale

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BALLROOM dancers have said ‘thank you for the music’ at the funeral of a dear friend.

Doug Dale, who died aged 93 on August 9, had organised social dances at Heene Community Centre for 25 years.

He missed his 94th birthday by five minutes and a planned presentation the same day to thank him for ‘the joy given’.

But his philosophy was ‘the show must go on’ and the Monday group still gathered in his honour, despite the sad news.

Friend Yvonne Leonard said: “His birthday thank you celebration was all arranged and on admission to hospital, Doug had insisted the show must go on.

“The engraved dancing trophy, with tribute verse and thank you card, was received on Doug’s behalf by his long-term friend and dancing partner, Dorothy Dorey.

“Tea and cakes were consumed and happy memories of Doug’s dances were exchanged between the many friends who attended.”

Earlier this year, Doug was accidentally knocked backwards down steps as someone opened a door.

The accident left him with severe mobility difficulties, bringing his decades of playing beautiful music for dancing to an abrupt end.

Throughout his retirement, he had organised regular social dances and prior to his 90th birthday, Doug was awarded the MBE for his services as a volunteer in the community.

Doug had no family, so following the funeral at Worthing Crematorium on Friday, a musical tribute afternoon was held at Heene Community Centre to enable his friends to celebrate his life.

Doug had served in the RAF during the Second World War and ended up as a Warrant Officer, the highest non-commissioned rank.

He later became a successful professional dance teacher.

Yvonne said: “Doug made every effort during his lifetime to ensure we would ‘keep dancing’. His legacy of providing music for ballroom, Latin and popular sequence will continue at Heene Community Centre, with the support of the tea dancers and the current skilled DJs who are also giving their time voluntarily.”

For ballroom dance dates and a full programme of other leisure activities, visit Heene Community Centre, Heene Road, Worthing, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, telephone 01903 209997 or visit www.heenecommunitycentre.org

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