Pat 'the Guy' Hughes: Farewell dear brother and friend, your songs and company made life more special
IT would require 10 volumes of any tabloid to do justice to the remarkable soul that was Pat 'the Guy' Hughes.
His departure leaves a gaping void in and around the Moy and further afield.
Those who frequented his company needed no explanation of his antics. Those who didn’t left either elated or frustrated, such was the nature of Pat the Guy.
Pat was born to Mary Ann and Paddy Hughes into the family home at Gorestown in Co Tyrone, bursting at the seams with 14 children.
There he was taught the simple values of life - a time to work, a time to play, a time to pray.
Those were happy years around the fields of Gorestown but at the tender age of 17, Pat joined the Irish army with his twin brother Mick.
He returned home after five years but travel was in his blood, luring him to the shores of America where he worked in a bar for his uncle Mike and was regarded as the best barman in Long Island with his unique blend of Irish wit and banter.
He married Barbara and they were blessed with two wonderful children, Patrick and Gay.
However, happy times for the young family turned to bitter grief at the untimely death of both young children in a tragic gas explosion.
Heartbroken, they somehow managed to piece together their lives again and had two more children, Michael and Allison, who live in America today.
Many years later Pat returned home armed with Yankee folklore and slang, away from the glitz of the Big Apple to the humble surroundings of his beloved Moy.
Pat the Guy, the legend, was a human magnet drawing all shades of people into his company and was invariably chief speaker at all functions.
He was the only mortal known that could take photographs with a cigarette lighter and children adored him.
I was privileged to have shared a lot of time with him and occasionally detected the pain he harboured and his efforts to mend and renovate a broken heart.
Though not one to succumb to life’s setbacks, his remarkable sense of humour concealed the obvious.
Pat had his own repertoire of songs he would render at the drop of hat, each with his own twist to it.
His philosophy was live for the present - tomorrow will look after itself, if and when it arrives.
Pat died peacefully at the age of 84 on May 3.
He leaves behind a legacy of joyful wit and laughter etched deep in our memories forever.
For now we say a fond farewell dear brother and friend, your songs and company made life more special.
For Pat it doesn’t end here, it’s just the beginning.
It’s easy to imagine him approaching the heavenly halls and enquiring “Who’s the sheriff around here?” and the gentle voice of the supreme sheriff replying, “I am, welcome Pat, Come on in your friends are waiting...”
Rest in peace dear Pat.