The Probus Club of St Annes-on-the-Sea
Bill, whose full name was William Valentine O’Connor, was the son of a hotel worker, part of a large family brought up in Ennis, County Clare. As a young man he moved to England in search of employment opportunities and took up residence with a brother in Manchester.
He got a job with Marshall Ward, the catalogue company, subsequently another in the office of Cookson’s Bakery and later the Town Hall in Lytham St. Annes. In the late 1970s he answered an advert for staff for Guardian Royal Exchange in Lytham, was accepted and spent twenty years in their UK Accounts Department, eventually rising to Assistant Manager.
By his first marriage he had a son, Philip and a daughter Imogen. He remarried in 1997 and after having had a cancerous kidney removed in 1998, he was offered – and took - early retirement in 2001. In 2005 he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis which affected his breathing and in 2012 he suffered a stroke and cancer of the prostate gland. He died in Blackpool Victoria Hospital aged 65 with his wife, Audrey, at his bedside.
He was introduced to the Probus Club soon after he retired and was for 13 years an enthusiastic member, taking part in committee work and later the role of registrar until his health forced him to give it up.
GFH October 2014