Thursday, 16 August 2018
A GARDEN party in aid of a charity which helped search for a missing pensioner who died in the River Thames raised more than £1,000.
The family of Frederick Lawson hosted the event at the family home in Mill Lane, Shiplake, close to where he went missing on April 4.
The body of the 82-year-old was recovered from the river two weeks later.
About 100 people attended Sunday’s event, which was raising money for Oxfordshire Lowland Search and Rescue.
Cream teas and other refreshments were served in the tents and marquees and there was a tombola and boat rides on the river despite the wet and windy weather.
David Woodgate, Bronwyn Wilkinson and Marcus Nurton, from OXSAR, chatted with guests.
Jane Lawson-Mudge, Mr Lawson’s daughter, said: “Although the weather was a challenge, there was never any question of cancelling.
“Dad always put a very positive slant on life and he’d have only seen the rain as a much-needed blessing. Plus we were born and bred in Manchester and if Dad had waited for the rain to stop and life to begin he wouldn’t have had the life and been the man we now celebrate.
“The day was a reflection of Dad’s life, full of fun and kindness, and it was the people, not the weather, that made it such a great success.”
She thanked Binfield Heath Stores, Shiplake Village Stores and Henley Tesco for their donations and the 3rd Reading scouts, who donated marquees and tents, and everyone who attended.
Mrs Lawson-Mudge added: “Finally, we wish to thank the Oxfordshire Lowland Search and Rescue volunteers for turning out again with muster tent and demonstrations to answer questions on the incredible work they do on land and water.
“Without the help of these highly trained but unpaid professionals, our police forces would be unable to co-ordinate the search and rescue of vulnerable missing people, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
To make a donation to the charity, visit www.oxsar.org.uk
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