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Obituary: Dancing queen was a tireless charity volunteer

Doris May Flack – who died recently at the age of 102 – was born in London and became one of the Tiller Girls dancers before she moved to Belfast.

She came to the city for a show, where she met her future husband Gordon, and lived almost all the rest of her life here.

She lost her parents at an early age, and with her brother Geoffrey, she spent years being moved from one aunt to another. However, one aunt was a professional dancer, and so began her love for dancing.

She disliked her name Doris so when someone nicknamed her Squibbs, because her dancing was as lively as a firework, she took this as her adopted name.

Squibbs and Gordon spent some time in London and then returned to Belfast to be with his family, who had earlier moved north from Fermoy, Cork. They were married and Squibbs gave up her professional career as a dancer.

After Gordon's Army service in the Second World War, where he nearly died when a bullet went through his eyebrow, he started a shirt factory on the Beersbridge Road, which eventually produced handkerchiefs.

Squibbs became the production manager and took a motherly interest in the girls in the factory. She and her husband had a rich social life, and were honorary members of Dunmurry Golf Club.

When he died in 1982, and when the factory closed, his wife became involved in charity work in Finaghy, and spent 20 years volunteering in the Cancer Research shop.

Her granddaughter Mandy Heaney said: "Squibbs led such a varied life, and while the early years were difficult, she was surrounded by love. My sisters and I have such happy memories of her."

She is survived by her only child Gay, son-in-law Michael Boyd, and by her wider family and friends.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph