Panto fan George has 99 reasons to smile...

GEORGE Mulveny can smile as he stands on the ­Pavilion stage.

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George Mulveny, 99, found himself centre stage with two showgirls when he went to the Pavilion Theatre to see this year's Christmas pantomime
George Mulveny, 99, found himself centre stage with two showgirls when he went to the Pavilion Theatre to see this year's Christmas pantomime

George, who lives in Carntyne, is celebrating his birthday, having reached the incredible age of 99.

And he says he's determined to still be attending Pavilion pantos when he reaches his century.

"Why wouldn't I?" he asks, smiling.

"The theatre has given me incredible pleasure since the Thirties. I'm not going to stop going now.

"I love it, especially panto, because it's really variety theatre - with big costumes and lots of laughs."

George, who first worked as a plumbers' merchant and later as a commercial traveller, has been going to the theatre since he was a boy, first enjoying music hall and then variety theatre.

He saw such stage greats as GH Elliott and Dave Willis, Harry Lauder and Will Fyfe.

Later, in the 50s and 60s, he was enthralled by performances from the likes of Jimmy Logan, Andy Stewart, Stanley Baxter and the Alexander Brothers.

He said: "After I met my wife, Peggy, who worked in a shop below the tenement I lived in, we'd go to the theatre every Saturday. We had a fantastic time."

It was after his son, also George, was born, the family began their annual pilgrimages to the panto.

George jnr said: "My dad's wedding anniversary was at Christmas time, so he and my mother, would go to a panto to celebrate.

"Then when I came along, panto was a family treat we all enjoyed. Today, with his four great-grandchildren, my dad still enjoys panto as much as he ever did."

George Mulveny Snr is a remarkable man.

A member of the Boys' Brigade since he was eight-years-old, he's still a reserve officer.

A fanatical bowler, George worked hard to have a carpet bowls facility installed at the Bield Sheltered Housing development where he now lives.

And he still plays.

George is also an Elder at Barlanark Greyfriars Church.

He said: "I think the secret is having a very active life. It's about keeping the brain going. And having fun.

"And that's where panto comes in. I know when I go to a panto at the Pavilion I'm going to have a laugh.

"Don't get me wrong, when you go to a theatre you're not always going to have a wonderful time.

"But you keep going back, as I did to the likes of the Empress and the Princesses, and the Alhambra and of course the Pavilion over the years.

"And when you do, you are rewarded. In truth, there's nothing like it to bring a smile to your face."

"The truth is, I'm looking forward to many more panto years."

n The Magical Adventures of Pinocchio runs at the Pavilion until January 19.

brian.beacom@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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