Goodness, there was an almighty gathering on 3 November 2011 which assembled all sorts of dancers and teachers. The venue was the beautiful St. Michael’s Church in Abingdon and we were all there to pay our respects and witness the final exit of the local grande dame of ballroom, the much beloved Mrs Pauline Selleck (known affectionaly as 'old trout'). Let me tell you this wonderful lady had the foresight to make provisions for that day and it paid off - what a day it turned out to be, and what a service!
On arrival, the church was filled to capacity, had lovely flower displays throughout, and was enveloped in comforting organ music. The officiant was Father Paul Smith who whizzed about in his electric chair at great speed drawing a smile from our little group – I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying but his wheels were so 21st century, he also had the facility of raising his chair when he was behind the altar which reminded me of some character from The Transformers! My resolve to keep it together quickly went out of the window with the first prayer on the programme, the Lord of the Dance (which by the way I’m nicking for my own funeral!) – dancers have their own prayer, who knew? I didn’t!! The sombreness of the occasion was lifted when Liz eulogized her mother and regaled us all with old stories and anecdotes.
My favourite part came at the end with Pauline’s exit from the church to the wonderfully festive sounds of the Radetzky March (something else I’m pinching for myself) which had everyone promptly starting to clap.. brilliant! The service was followed by the wake which took place at the Abingdon Dance Studio which was decorated with many of Pauline's photographs and the famous singing 'trout'. Going back there was wonderful and as it turned out, so life-affirming. Liz and John laid out a lovely spread and joined us later on in the afternoon and we all had time to sit down and catch up – it was a fitting occasion..... we should all be so lucky! What a wonderful lady ........ Pauline.