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What a surprise! Dennis starts 10th decade with dance

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HE’S had a lifelong passion for dancing – so on Dennis Bohea’s 90th birthday his wife Christine decided to get him to show off his moves.

She hired a jazz band to give a surprise performance outside their Gosport home yesterday to celebrate his big day.

As neighbours watched out of their windows and came to wish Dennis many happy returns, the couple danced away on the drive in the Monday morning sun.

‘It was very nice to have the band play because it was one of our early pastimes – we loved dancing,’ said Dennis.

‘It was bringing back some memories. I must have picked it up from my father.

‘He started the dances in the local hall. He ran all the dances and I must have got my interest in it from him.’

It was at a dance in Gosport that Dennis and Christine first met at the ages of 42 and 21 respectively.

The couple married 47 years ago and have been living in Hoylake Close for 17 years.

As well as organising the jazz band to play at their home, Christine organised an afternoon tea with neighbours for Dennis in the afternoon.

‘There were about 15 of us,’ Christine said. ‘

The people who have been living in the area for a long time call themselves the Hoylakers.

‘I put it all on because Dennis deserves it.

‘He has been ill for the last 10 years. He has had cancer and a triple heart bypass – he has never smoked or drank. Now he has a pacemaker. He’s done absolutely brilliantly to get here today.’

Dennis’s sister Susan Ellis was one of the family members celebrating.

She said: ‘He is a very loving, thoughtful person.

‘Dennis is very comical. The party was brilliant. It was a nice surprise for him.’

Dennis was a signalman for the Royal Navy in World War Two.

The retired heavy goods vehicle driver spent more than 30 years as volunteer warden for Gosport’s Wildgrounds nature reserve until he retired at the age of 88.

In 2003, Dennis received an award from The News for his services to wildlife.

 

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