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Bob at Los Arcos

The Entertainers Tribute To Sandra Welham

The dark clouds finally gave way to some blue sky, and eventually sunshine, as the U3A Vall del Pop members and friends gathered in the garden of Los Arcos, Pedreguer, to unpack their picnics and decorate their tables in anticipation of the performance of The Entertainers. With the passing of Sandra Welham, some four months ago, The Entertainers had restructured their show so that the first set would be a tribute to the life of Sandra and the second set one of dancing and singing in thanks for what she had brought to the lives of so many people.

To ensure the maximum enjoyment of the evening Jude and Paul, both very active U3A members as well as very accomplished performers, had offered to open the show, whilst we enjoyed our picnics, so that we could fully enjoy The Entertainers tribute songs and to be ready for dancing throughout the second set. They took us effortless through a wide range of ever-popular songs and classics from our youth, to prepare us for the show which was to follow.

Many of the songs in The Entertainers first set had previously been sung by Sandra, and Bob, when they had been members of the group – without Sandra’s participation the group may never have happened. Firstly, Linda gave us a wonderful version of Bridge Over Troubled Waters before Bob joined the group to sing Annie’s Song, one of his particular favourites. Jo then explained that as a result of having had throat surgery only two weeks before she was restricted to only singing in the group chorus that evening. In knowledge of this eventuality, and to avoid having to cancel or change the show significantly, she had pre-recorded two particular songs, which had been Sandra’s favourites. So for those two songs only her microphone was switched off, and with the rest of the group performing live we were enchanted by her rendition of I Know Him So Well and The Wind Beneath My Wings.

At the mid-performance break Bob gave a moving eulogy of Sandra’s life and desire that we should all enjoy such a wonderfully moving tribute to her life. Throughout her 16 years in Spain, Sandra had worked tirelessly, latterly, as the Secretary of the Vall del Pop U3A, starting many U3A groups Sharing & Caring/ Let’s Sing Along/ Goodwill Team being the most notably, and had been an active member of Jalon Valley Help. The funds raised by this tribute evening €2,500, were all donated to Cancer Care (Javea), who had provided nurses and support to Sandra throughout her cancer. On behalf of the charity Jeanette Missons, their President, outlined their services, which are most apparent through the devotion of their three specialist cancer care nurses, but they are also trying to support DNA profiling in order to structure personalised treatment programmes. She thanked everyone for this donation and hoped you would continue to support them and to use their shops, in Javea, where bargains were always on offer.

After the raffle prizes were handed out and the prizes for the best decorated tables, a Barbie goes to Ascot table and the two Wimbledon themed tables, The Entertainers gave us upbeat songs to get us dancing with Abba and Living La Vida Loca getting us started. The dance floor got fuller and fuller as we recalled dance moves, so that after Disco Inferno, Ring of Fire, Staying Alive and Amarillo we all swayed along happily to a Beatles Medley which completed the show.

There were two further tributes during the final set, Jo dedicated Heroes to the OK Band’s Tony Farmer, who had recently passed away, and a big thank you to Pacqui and her Los Arcos team who were celebrating 50 years of operation, many many charities are grateful for her generous donation of the Los Arcos garden for their charitable events.

What a wonderfully fitting tribute to Sandra – who I am sure was watching and smiling.

Article by Peter Sockett

Photo by The Entertainers

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