VE Day becomes VC - Victory over Coronavirus – Day for 96-year-old Elwyn

Friday, 22 May 2020

VE Day became VC – Victory over Coronavirus – Day for one 96-year-old West Yorkshire Freemason and Connaught Court resident

Five weeks after being diagnosed with the deadly disease - Elwyn G Hughes, a member of Linton Lodge which meets in Harrogate – began to rally on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Elwyn, who took the Chair for the second time just seven years ago and still plies his trade as a tailor, making waistcoats from the basement of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Fund-run institution in York, was given the all clear by the home’s main health worker on 8 May.

And a week later he was well enough to be interviewed by radio, TV and newspaper reporters – all keeping to stringent social distancing guidelines.

Elwyn left school in 1938 at the age of 14 and became a tailor. Four years later, he joined the Army and trained as a machine gunner, spending eight months in Orkney.

However, when it was discovered he was a skilled tailor he spent the rest of the war travelling around the country, sewing stripes to soldiers’ uniforms. At the end of the war he resumed his career, and continues working to this day.

Elwyn’s son Richard, who followed in his father’s footsteps in his professional and masonic careers, said: 'When my father was diagnosed with Coronavirus, we feared the worst. However, I’m delighted to say this was not to be the case.

'He told me that watching the evening’s television coverage of a period of his life that was very important to him, it made him realise that life is very much still worth living. The words of a piece of Masonic ritual came to his mind which very much put things into perspective. It certainly brought a tear to my eye. He’s a fighter and realised that his time was not yet up as there’s other things he still needs to do.'

Richard added: 'It goes without saying that I was over the moon when they told me of his recovery, and I can’t wait until I can once again give him a big hug.'

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