Fam­ily say thank you with bench for John

Midweek Visiter - - St Joseph’s Hospice -

THE fam­ily of a Boo­tle man who reg­u­larly at­tended Water­loo Park Day Cen­tre prior to his death ear­lier this year have thanked staff with a spe­cial do­na­tion in his mem­ory.

John Laf­fan’s wife Betty, chil­dren Kath­leen, Ni­cola and John and other rel­a­tives have joined forces to present the Haigh Road ser­vice with a me­mo­rial bench to cel­e­brate the life of the 61 year old who died in Jan­uary.

John, a life­long mu­si­cian, was a mem­ber of a num­ber of lo­cal bands in­clud­ing pop­u­lar 1970s Liver­pool group Tris­tram Shandy.

He played bass with the juke­box combo, per­form­ing at leg­endary city venues like the Wooky Hol­low Club, some­times on the same bill as Merseyside en­ter­tain­ment greats like Ken Dodd and Tom O’Con­nor.

John, who had been suf­fer­ing from Parkin­son’s Dis­ease and de­men­tia in re­cent years, re­ally en­joyed his three­times-a-week vis­its to Water­loo Park, af­ter fail­ing to set­tle in at sev­eral pre­vi­ous cen­tres he had at­tended.

Ac­cord­ing to wife Betty, he got on re­ally well with staff and ser­vice users at the cen­tre which is run by Sefton adult care provider, New Direc­tions.

Speak­ing at the pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­mony she said: “De­spite his ill­nesses, John re­ally en­joyed his time at Water­loo Park, and we’re very grate­ful to the staff for the kind and lov­ing way they looked af­ter him.

“All the mem­bers of our fam­ily were keen to ex­press this grat­i­tude in the form of a gift which is why we have had this bench made.

“Water­loo Park has a lovely gar­den and we hope that services users and their fam­ily and friends will get a lot of plea­sure from us­ing John’s bench for many years to come,” added Betty.

Water­loo Park act­ing ser­vice man­ager, Maria Rid­ing, said: “John was a lovely man and we are very pleased to ac­cept this bench in his mem­ory.

“It’s al­ways very spe­cial when we re­ceive this type of feed­back from the fam­i­lies of peo­ple we care for.”

Betty Laf­fan (far left) and daugh­ters Ni­cola and Kate (sit­ting) present the bench watched by fam­ily mem­bers, friends and Water­loo Park staff

A close-up of John Laf­fan

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