Tribute to local hero

Cyril Dunn
Cyril Dunn

A NEWLY refurbished room at a popular venue has been renamed in memory of a well-respected community stalwart.

The bar at Easington Social Welfare Centre, in Seaside Lane, has been renamed The Cyril Dunn bar after the club committee’s late secretary.

Martin Dunn (right) holding a framed letter and photograph of his late granddad Cyril Dunn with Welfare Centre manager Geoff Price

Martin Dunn (right) holding a framed letter and photograph of his late granddad Cyril Dunn with Welfare Centre manager Geoff Price

Cyril, who appeared on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire when marketing tycoon Carl Hopkins went undercover before handing over £12,000 to help revamp the former miners’ hall, died of heart failure aged 72 in June.

He joined the committee in his mid-40s and over the past 20 years was instrumental in bringing the Easington Colliery-based venue back into use.

During an emotional evening which saw a commemorative plaque unveiled, around 60 people, including Cyril’s devoted wife Anne, 70, children Michael, 47, Susan Lewins, 51, and grandchildren Martin and James Dunn and Sarah and Jonathon Lewins, gathered to see the refurbished bar officially renamed in the former Easington Colliery Parish Chairman’s honour.

Anne said: “I’m afraid I couldn’t say anything on the night, it was a bit emotional, though the committee chairman, Ian Foster, did.

“I’m very proud of Cyril, he did a lot for the place.”

There is also a picture of Cyril on the wall, as well as three framed Sunderland FC shirts in his memory.

Anne added that an added touch was that Cyril was named this year’s community champion in the centre’s annual newsletter.

Grandson Martin, 21, who the Mail previously reported followed in his grandfather’s footsteps to become a committee member to pump new blood into the centre, said: “I thought it was absolutely brilliant.

“It was a proud moment to be part of what he has done and all the work he did voluntarily for the welfare centre.

“It was great for all the family to see all our friends there.

“It was originally planned for us just to have close friends and family there but it was packed. So many people wanted to be part of it.”

Geoff Price, manager of the centre, which is in line for a £1.7m revamp, said: “The renaming of the bar is a long-lasting tribute to Cyril’s memory.”