Saturday 25 November 2017

Fairytale proposal strikes right note

Paddy Clancy

Holidaymaker Sam Sloane turned to song when he proposed to girlfriend Sherry Flippance yesterday.

He recruited a barbershop quartet so Sherry would know how much he loved her. Well, he recruited three-quarters of the group.

Sherry's surprise came when Sam joined them to sing 'Grow Old With You' and then dropped to his knee and proposed marriage in front of a cheering Dublin pub.

Canadian Sam (46), who has roots in Newry, Co Down, opted for a proposal in the capital because Sherry (45) had longed to visit Ireland for 20 years.

Although the couple only started dating on April 29, Sam reckoned he'd have a real chance if he could help Sherry realise her dream.

Sam has sung in barbershop quartets at home in Burlington, Ontario, so he got on the internet to the Irish Association of Barbershop singers and made contact with the Cork-based Polyphonics, twice Irish barbershop quartet champions, who lined up a gig at the Quays pub in Temple Bar, Dublin, yesterday.

They even got an opportunity to secretly rehearse with Sam when Sherry slipped away for a hair appointment.

In the pub, Polyphonics tenor Gunnar Karlson, bass Denis Prendergast and baritone Daniel O'Regan called out that their lead singer was delayed and asked if anybody could take his place for a few minutes.

Sam volunteered and the group started singing 'Grow Old With You' from the film 'The Wedding Singer'.

The last line in the song is "I will even let you hold the remote control" and, with that, Sam showed Sherry a fancy remote control with a Celtic engagement ring hidden inside. To loud cheers, Sherry said "yes".

The couple, who have both been married before, have five children between them and are neighbours.

Sam said: "I reckoned the journey wouldn't be wasted. I asked Sherry's father for her hand in marriage before we left Canada and he said I was the best thing that ever happened to her.

"I've never experienced anything like this before. It's a real fairytale romance."

Irish Independent

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