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No confinement for this couple’s celebration

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A LIFETIME TOGETHER Tom and Freda Colgan celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary over the weekend in St Anne’s Nursing Home in Charlestown.

Áine Ryan

DOING the hucklebuck or jiving in the dance halls of England may be in their past but for Tom and Freda Colgan there was music in their hearts as they celebrated the 60th anniversary of their wedding in a Co Mayo nursing home over the weekend. While Dickie Rock or Brendan Bowyer may not have been on-hand in St Anne’s Private Nursing Home, Charlestown, there was plenty of rock ‘n’ roll vibes as the couple listened to some of their favourite 1960s music while receiving lots of messages and phone-calls from family and friends.  
A native of Bohola, Tom (83) met the love of his life, Freda (84), in one of those dance halls  in the late 1950s and married the young girl from Exeter, in the city’s Sacred Heart Church on May 15, 1960.   
They led a busy life rearing their family while like lots of Irish emigrants, Tom worked on the roads, and Freda worked as a shop assistant. They have two daughters, with one living in Swinford and the other in Torquay, on the southwest coast of England. Sadly, their only son passed away. They also have eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.   
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), Karen Dewsall, the Director of Nursing at St Anne’s confirmed Tom and Freda had a ‘great celebration’.
“They celebrated in their home with the staff and other residents and enjoyed 60s music, songs and a lovely cake. They had numerous telephone calls from the family,” Ms Dewsall said.
She explained that Tom and Freda lived in Exeter for much of their married lives before retuning to Ireland in 2000. “They have been residents of St Anne’s since 2014,” she added.
Questioned about the challenges in the nursing home because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Ms Dewsall said that ‘together the staff and residents are making the best of it’.  
“It has been stressful at times but we have an excellent team who have worked so hard at keeping the virus from the nursing home. We would like to thank them for all their passion and commitment, they have been amazing.  We have all been following the guidance from the beginning and locked down early,” she said.  
Meanwhile, for lovebirds Tom and Freda Colgan they have another celebration to be looking forward to.
Would you believe, they have birthdays just one day apart in August. And with lockdown easing, hopefully, and the sun shining it may well be a garden party with family members and, of course, lots of those uplifting  rock ‘n’ roll riffs from the 1960s. Well, their favourite dance and disco venue was the famous hot spot, Tiffanys – where David Bowie  and Mud were once among the line-up. For last weekend, however, it was Slim Whitman drooling ‘Darling, Happy Anniversary’.