Big day for veteran Arthur

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ONE of Ellon’s best known pensioners enjoyed his 90th birthday in the company of family and friends at the McDonald Golf Club on Sunday.

Arthur Fry who has lived in the Ellon area since the mid 1940’s welcomed his guests to his party which had been organised by his daughters Linda and Martha.

“I am happy to welcome you all to this my special day. Indeed without your support over the years I would never have made it to 90. Thank you all,” said Mr Fry at the start of the birthday bash before going on to circulate among his guests, sharing memories of nine decades with them.

Mr Fry has in fact been a fixture in many of the town’s work and social calendar since coming to live in Tipperty in 1948 with his wife Rose who he had married just after the second world war.

It was in fact the 1939 - 1945 war that brought him to Aberdeen where he trained as member of aircrew for the RAF at Aberdeen University.

Prior to his coming north the popular, out-going Arthur was born on January 13, 1923 in Southampton, but moved to London early in his school education before going on to become an apprentice with the Post Office in Reading.

”The war then came along and I found myself in the RAF, and posted to Aberdeen which I fell in love with and have called home ever since,” said Mr Fry who then saw active service as a tail gunner in Lancasters, involving him in 27 missions over enemy territory.

“The war and most of the danger had gone from missions by the time I was in action,” he said, playing down his part in Bomber Command’s role in help winning the war.

Once back in civilian life he became a telephone engineer of repute, as recognised by his many BT associates in the area, working on beyond his retirement age.

All things social had great appeal for him when he settled down in Ellon, including being an active member of his local golf club where he served as social convener for 13 years.

He was also a keen golfer, recalling that in the late 40’s that a round of golf cost two shillings old money, or 5p.

He was a member of Probus, serving as president, a founder member of Ellon Supper Club, but most of all the adopted Scot loved the sound of the big bands, and dancing.

His wife Rose was his willing partner until the time of her early death in 1989, but not before they had brought up their loving daughters, and danced their way round the Mediterranean on numerous cruises.

After the passing of Rose he continued to support his beloved Dons, but of late has been more faithful to his second club Manchester United, while keeping contact with all his old chums in the area.

Until 2012 Mr Fry was an elder of the Church of Scotland in Ellon, though in his later years was more inclined to attend services at Slains Church in Collieston.

The party is not over for the lovely ‘old’ man of Ellon, as he is now taking guard for a knock that he likes to think will result in taking him to his century, when all of his very full life can be told.