Pair Whose Scotland Holiday Was Cancelled Hire Bagpiper

Story ByMichael Leidig, Sub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

A couple unable to visit Scotland with their family for their 50th wedding anniversary bought Scotland to them by organising a Scotland themed party complete with bagpipes.

Husband-and-wife team Nelly and Jan Theunissen from Vught had been looking forward to the trip to Scotland with the family until the corona pandemic saw their flights cancelled.

Husband Jan had been lucky enough to survive a stroke that left him with a cerebral infarction which he had recovered from and then wanted to share the special time together.

But with the big day approaching, Nelly told her family: “If we can’t come to Scotland, Scotland will come to us.”

She then set about unbeknown to her husband organising the party complete with bagpiper, and arranged decorations to put up around the house. She also got family and neighbours to turn up as well – although all of them had to keep the five feet distance in order to respect social distancing rules.

She tracked down bagpiper Silvia Debie and asked if she could make a special performance and she said she readily agreed.

She said: “The way things are at the moment, it was really good to have the opportunity to do something to help somebody else.”

The starting point was a construction site down the road from the family home, in order to keep her arrival a secret at least until she started playing, much to the amusement of the local builders. She then set off playing the bagpipes marching all the way to the family home.

Nelly said she had arranged for her and Jan to be watching from the front of the house surrounded by family and friends, making it a special day to celebrate a special milestone.

She said it was a special day that they could sit together in front of their home with the family and friends around them.

She added that not being able to hug them was the only shadow over the big day, but added: “The fact that everyone is here at all makes me quite emotional. It all went very well in the end.”

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