THERE were mixed emotions at a very special event held to mark the end of an era in the long and happy relationship between Lanark and Italy.
The town has long celebrated these bonds through its Dante Aligheiri Society. It was founded 38 years ago and is still going strong.
About 20 years ago members George Cullen and Lesley Gair began sharing their knowledge of the Italian language through voluntarily holding classes and, since then, scores of Lanarkians have ‘graduated’ from their courses.
However, both George and Lesley, having reached the ages of 70 and 72 respectively, recently decided to retire and it was decided that a special farewell dinner be held for them by the Society at its annual general meeting at Lanark Golf Club.
Gifts expressing the apperciation for all their work were presented by Society president Andrew Goodwin and all joined with him in saying a great big ‘grazie’ to the duo.
The Society is hoping to find new volunteer tutors to re-start the classes in the near future but all members are agreed that George and Lesley will be very much missed.