Donisthorpe Hall paid tribute to film buff, volunteer and fundraiser Freddy Williams who died in November 2013.
The care home staged an afternoon tea and film show which comprised of photographs and home videos that told of his life, and acknowledged Freddy’s enormous fundraising and entrepreneurial skills.
The event attracted over 100 admirers to the Trudi Moss Suite and was organised by Regina Waldman and presented by BHH Leisure Club co-chair Barry Abis.
Freddy’s passion for films started when he was nine when his mother bought him a projector, a screen and a set of cartoon films, which started an absorbing hobby.
After losing his wife Ethel to cancer in 1996 Freddy found himself at a loss until his daughter Pamela suggested he invite a group of his friends round to his flat every week to watch a film of their choice.
It proved successful and Freddy suggested they turn the cinema club into a fundraiser. Consequently he approached a cancer charity who gave him a collecting box into which Freddy’s cinemagoers were invited to donate after each performance.
In 2002, Donisthorpe Hall management invited him to play videos for residents after a supporter had donated a 62-inch television.
The cinema club, as it became known, came to the attention of Trustee Michael Land who was impressed with the pleasure the enterprise gave to residents.
Michael had the foresight to convert the home’s banqueting suite into a fully fledged cinema, furnishing the room with plush seating, a big screen, modern sound equipment and film posters to decorate the walls and was launched in 2004.
Freddy had built up a huge collection of over 700 videos and used these as his resource for presentations that included documentaries and concerts.
Close friend Regina said Freddy’s “every thought was to help others. We had a long lasting friendship. He was an exceptional volunteer, selflessly giving pleasure to Donisthorpe’s residents with his knowledge about films and music.”
Current BHH leisure club co-presenter Barry Abis said Freddy, who gave many film shows at the club said working alongside Freddy was “a true pleasure. His immense collection of showbiz material was a great asset in sourcing appropriate shows to be shown on winter afternoons and summer evenings.
“With his passing the community and Donisthorpe Hall lost a caring, knowledgeable and kind gentleman.”
by John Fisher