Shining light goes out at the Lighthouse Club – Tribute to Alan Pulford

14th January 2020

The Lighthouse Club would like to share the sad news that Alan Pulford, a stalwart of the Southern Club has sadly passed away.

Alan became a member of the Club in 1978 and was one of the founding members of the Southern Club in that year, becoming Treasurer in the 1990’s. His career in the construction industry began working for Bath Plant Hire Services, then Hall and Tawse Southern Ltd and also Walcon. On retiring from the industry, he became an usher at his local Magistrates Court.

He was fanatical about sport and excelled at everything he played – cricket, swimming, cycling, football and, in his later years, golf. A big man, both in stature and in personality. Caring, compassionate, thoughtful of others. Loved by many, disliked by no-one. Alan leaves behind Rose, his wife of 53 years and his three children, Neil, Claire and Ian.

The following emotional tribute was delivered by Mike Osman at the recent Southern Club event. Mike has acted as MC at the club’s events for many years and was a personal friend of Alan.

Mike’s speech:

For those of you who are here for the first time this year you may not know the name Alan Pulford or Big Al. I am sad for those who don’t that you never met one of the most upright, trustworthy, proud, committed, loyal, principled, caring and passionate men that I ever met. But let me tell you about a great man.

Alan’s passion for the Lighthouse Club knew no bounds.

None of us has any idea how much work it took every year to arrange this incredible event except maybe his family. And Rose his lovely wife his daughter Clare and two sons Ian and Neil are with us today. 

What did Alan do for the Lighthouse Club? Let me tell you he almost single handily took this lunch from its early days of 50 guests in a dark room at The Vine in Ower to what you see today – nearly 500 guests with a waiting list of people wanting to have a table. 

Alan was not content with around 50 guests and set about improving those numbers, he knew the secret to making that happen was having great speakers, good food, top auction prizes and a central location. All those things were important but what he understood most of all was that this lunch was about having good people in the room, good people who would share the same aims as he did for this charity. He set about assembling a great team – Jon Cox, John Fortune, David Reilly, Seamus Cleary, Chris Moss, Matt Skilton – all so important to Alan’s plans in making this the best lunch of the year.

Alan, as we all know, was a committed family man and I must say how proud he would be of the incredibly hard work that his children Ian, Neil and Clare have put in to organise today’s lunch.

For Alan, the Lighthouse Club became a family, one that he loved.

He and I would often talk about the people that turn up year after year, some of the maddest Irishmen and characters you could ever wish to meet. He could not wait for the first Friday in November he would phone me and say not long now, Mr Osman. The nearer we got to the date the more excited he would get excited for us to come up with new ideas to raise money. Weather it was in supporting the raffle by turning up with incredible auction items on the day, made even more incredible by those spending thousands of pounds on the most ludicrous things, like last year someone paid £2,000 for the Ann Summers Love Box, now that person did not do it because he and his wife were into sex toys. He did it because of the spirit of this event which is giving back. This is what is at the core of The Lighthouse Club Southern Branch something that Alan did so much to create. 

He was humbled that so many of you come to this lunch not thinking I will pick up a bargain or get a brilliant auction prize very cheaply, it’s because so many of you come here knowing that you are going to spend money purely so the Lighthouse Club can benefit. I can give you no better example of this than the Ventura which has raised thousands of thousands of pounds how many in this room today own a totally worthless share certificate that you paid £500 for. 

Some have even paid thousands buying it year after year knowing that you would never own such a pile of rubbish. 

All those in this room that have been part of the Ventura journey are the soul of the Lighthouse Club the giving back club. I have been informed that Rose does not want the Ventura stuck in her loft anymore so we have come up with something fitting as we say farewell to the Ventura that I know Al would love and approve of. More about that later.

Before introducing me each year, Alan would burst with pride as he updated us on the important work done by the Lighthouse Club, how this wonderful charity had funded and had helped those in your industry who had fallen on hard times or were so desperate for help that they had reached out.

Nobody has done more over the years for The Lighthouse Club Southern Region than Alan. His dedication hard work his relentless pursuit of making this lunch such a fantastic entertaining afternoon for all who attend as well as ensuring hundreds of thousands of pounds raised for your industry’s charity. 

He loved this lunch so much he loved this charity but as I said, more importantly, he loved you the people in this room who for him were the very heart of the giving back that was so important to him.

It was an honour for so many of us in this room to be one of his friends. let’s raise a glass to Alan, a treasured friend.

Mike’s speech was followed by a minutes applause by everyone, acknowledgement that a shining light had sadly left the Lighthouse Club.

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