Famous for waving his Cornish flag and leading the ‘Oggy Oggy Oggy’ chant at events, Keith Ferris from Falmouth is known by many. But the proud Cornishman has a special and moving story to tell and he’s doing just that in support of the #HospiceStories project being run by Cornwall Hospice Care.

 

Keith has chosen to share his story to coincide with the St Piran’s Day celebrations being held across Cornwall. Dressed in his Cornish tartan and surrounded by a gallery of photographs in his Falmouth home, Keith has recorded a special film that reflects on the love of his life, his late wife;

“I’ve known Margaret since I was 11, and we had our first official date on 1st May 1955. We went down to Gyllyngvase Beach. I think we just had a wander across the beach holding hands like you do and suddenly I thought; ‘I’m going to marry you’, and I did. We used to enjoy rugby together and we enjoyed concerts together, we also enjoyed going to church together. She was the nicest person and the bravest person I’ve ever come across to be honest.”

“Margaret became ill in 2009 and eventually they took her into Treliske and she had a bone scan and the specialist came in said; ‘I’m very sorry to tell you but she’s got bone cancer’. So we all had a few tears and then Margaret woke up and she could see we were a bit upset. She said; ‘What’s the matter, have I got bone cancer?’ So we said yes, and I said sorry me luvver. ‘Oh’, she said, ‘what’s for tea?’ and that was Margaret for you. And then from there she was taken down to St Julia’s Hospice.”

“A day or so after she got down there, the Doctor came round and he said; ’Well Margaret now you’re here, how do you feel?’ And she said something that really stuck with me. She said I feel safe. And I must be honest and say St Julia’s was absolutely fantastic. Not only to Margaret, but to the whole family. I mean, we could stay down there if we wanted to, it was absolutely brilliant and she was cared for so beautifully, we couldn’t have asked for more. It helped, that kindness and knowing Margaret felt safe and that we could be together in one special place.”

“Before she died Margaret planned her funeral and she said she wanted me to do a concert in her memory with all the money going to the hospices. Well it was a brilliant concert, absolutely brilliant and we raised £3,515.50 – she would have been over the moon, she would have been thrilled to bits. That’s an ‘ansome sum for Cornwall Hospice Care.”

Keith’s story features from Monday 2 March on our website and on our social media channels - #HospiceStories