A POPULAR singer has been honoured at an awards ceremony after almost 60 years of performing.
Tom Laws, 86, who has sung in various mens’ harmony groups around the North East, was the focus of a This Is Your Life-style surprise presentation at the Quality Hotel in Boldon.
Men’s chorus group Compass Acapella, formerly Roker Peers of Harmony, organised the event in recognition of Jeff’s dedication and talent.
Member Jeff Dawson said: “Tom still sings beautifully, he’s a terrific asset to our chorus.
“If you heard him sing you’d never believe his age.”
The ceremony celebrated Tom’s many contributions to acapella singing groups as well as his own achievements.
He was presented with a glass sculpture of a singer with a microphone, made by group member Brian Jones who is a craftsman at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland. Before joining Compass Acapella, Tom was one of the founding members of nationally known group the Roker Peers.
The group used to rehearse in Monkwearmouth and were the 1982 British Association of Barbershop Singers’ barbershop chorus champions.
They were also famous for wearing bright yellow suits on stage - a colour chosen to discourage members from going out in the suits on weekends.
As Tom had no idea he was being honoured, Compass Acapella members disguised the presentation ceremony by telling him they had to change rehearsal venues for the week.
Normally the group meets to rehearse every Tuesday at Cleadon Village primary school.
“Tom’s been a stalwart member of a couple of harmony groups over the last 50 to 60 years,” Jeff said.
“He’s even taken our newest recruit Jonathan Potts, who is 17, under his wing.
“Tom’s a walking advert for the benefits of singing.”