Belfast Telegraph

Omagh man's tree-mendous Christmas 2019 fundraiser for school in Kenya

Noel Moore has over 80 Christmas trees in his house for people to visit, where he is raising money for a Kenyan charity appeal
Noel Moore has over 80 Christmas trees in his house for people to visit, where he is raising money for a Kenyan charity appeal
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

For most people, putting up one Christmas tree is a tricky enough task. But not for Omagh man Noel Moore, who has decorated an incredible 86 in his home.

There are trees in the bedrooms, trees in the hall, trees in the bathrooms, reception rooms, kitchen and even in the utility room, and not just one tree in each room either - it's multiple trees; in fact, his own bedroom has eight different Christmas trees.

Each tree, which stand between three and seven feet tall, has been carefully placed to match the decor of the room and painstakingly decorated by Mr Moore himself using countless baubles.

The public can see the fruits of Mr Moore's labours from now until Monday evening and will even be able to buy any one of the 86 trees fully decorated to help raise funds for Mr Moore's charity, The Kenya Appeal.

Mr Moore told the Belfast Telegraph how he managed to combine his love of Christmas with his passion to help the children at Bustani Primary School, for whom he has already raised the cost of a new school building.

He said: "I have spent the past six weeks, morning, noon and night, putting up these trees but I have to say I have been planning this for about a year in terms of where each tree was going to go and what I was going to put on it.

"I had to decorate each one of the trees myself, but my sister Joyce came every evening after finishing her own work and tied thousands of baubles for me.

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The bathroom
The bathroom

"When I got into the attic it was like an Aladdin's cave and I was opening boxes and seeing things I had forgotten I had.

"On average there are six trees in every room, but it is still comfortable to walk around.

"In the downstairs toilet there are only two, and it's the same in the en suites, but in my bedroom there are eight.

"The trees are between three and seven feet and I have snow-covered trees, white trees, black trees, green trees, gold trees and there is even an upside-down tree.

"Two of them are particularly special to me because they have angel and animal figures that I bought when I was out in Kenya.

"In my drawing room, there is almost a hunting theme with peacocks and pheasants, so in that room I have decorated a tree with animals and one decorated with birds.

"I tried to keep the decorations in line with the room and the colour scheme.

"I have so many baubles I could actually decorate another 20 trees.

"I have so many I am actually selling them, so people coming here can buy the baubles and they can buy the trees as seen too."

He continued: "The reason I have 86 trees is that I have already raised £80,000 and taken that out to Bustani, where it has been used to build a new school, and I have been to Kenya six times so that is what the 86 trees signify.

"Local business, local organisations and even some individuals have sponsored the trees, but they are all for sale and every single pound I raise will go directly to helping the children in Kenya."

Mr Moore, who is a teacher at Castlederg High, has been raising funds to help the Bustani school after he spent the summer of 2006 teaching there and saw the impoverished conditions of the pupils.

He said: "In 2002 I first went to Kenya on a trek for Barnardo's and I fell in love with the country and vowed then I would go back, which I did in 2006, when I taught in the Bustani Primary School.

"At that time the building was an old shack with holes in it, dirt floors, and I made myself a promise that I would do something to help this school.

"I never thought that I would manage to have it rebuilt but now there are 12 classes for the main primary school, an additional three classrooms for the nursery school, toilet facilities for the children and the staff, a new administration room, and we fenced off an acre of ground and planted fruit trees.

The kitchen
The kitchen

"The last time I was there, which was 2018, we built a large hall and my next target is to raise £20,000 to build a water tank so we can catch the rainwater, and a library building and to furnish the classrooms."

He added: "It is easy for us here to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas and to forget the true meaning of it.

"I am opening my home to get people into the Christmas spirit but also bear in mind this is a chance to help those who are in need."

Mr Moore's home at 42 Retreat Heights, Ballinamullan Road, Omagh, will be open today and tomorrow from 10am to 9pm and again on Monday from 5pm to 9pm. A donation is requested to tour Mr Moore's home and see all 86 Christmas trees.

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