Tribute to Obe as theatres win Examiner's Friends of the Year trophy (on behalf of the whole Trust)

Jubilation at Pride of Huddersfield awards

Our theatres team at HRI paid tribute to colleague Obe Morake after clinching one of the top trophies of the night at the Examiner's Pride of Huddersfield awards.


They collected the "Friend of the Year" honour, in recognition of the huge support and trustwide fund-raising drive for Obe who passed away from pancreatic cancer in January aged just 35.


His theatres colleague, Martyn Gothard, said: " I ended my thankyous with Obe's favourite saying:, 'Happy Days'. He always used to say that when a day was going bad and it turned out well.  We were proud to be there to accept it for everyone across the Trust who supported us!"


Martyn said that to have reached the final amongst tough competition was a real honour, as they were up against a team which serves Christmas dinners to 125 homeless people in Huddersfield every December 25. The prize and citation was delivered by newsreader, Huddersfield-born Nina Hossain.


Martyn added; "It was quite humbling to be in the same room as some of the nominee. Yet this was for everyone at the Trust who baked a cake or had their heads shaved or made a donation to support us.


"We wanted to make last Christmas a special one for Obe and now winning this award is like the completion of the circle. We have taken the trophy to his widow Maggie and his little son Refentse had his photo taken with it too. It was a fabulous night."


Obe was diagnosed last summer and his friends in theatres went all out to make his final months extra special. They took him to see his beloved Arsenal, sang Christmas carols outside his home in Holmfirth when he was too poorly to leave the house, and raised money for air fares so his family could come to the UK from his homeland of South Africa and so Obe's body could be returned there for his funeral.


Obe, described as “a true gentleman” and “an inspiration to many people” died on January 11.