A dream come true

Isabella Buchanan at snooker final on 12th October 2003

When Lismoreís oldest resident – Isabella Buchanan – was told she was going to London to appear on GMTVís breakfast programme 'This Morning' she assumed it was something to do with her long and distinguished career as Lismoreís nurse. She couldnít have been more wrong.

Nurse Buchanan (as she is still known today) took up her nursing post in Lismore in 1941 in the days before there was any doctor let alone a medical infrastructure and worked tirelessly with very little in the way of breaks until she retired in 1981. She married the late Hugh Buchanan in 1942 (he was the first one who took me home from a dance) and had 2 children, Bessie who lives on Lismore and Duncan in South Australia, as well as 7 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

It was Linda, one of her granddaughters, who wrote so persuasively to GMTV of her grandmotherís passion for snooker, that they invited them both to London to appear on Breakfast TV with Fern Britten and Philip Schofield and to meet veteran snooker commentator John Virgo who told her she was to be treated to 2 nights in Preston and would be guest of honour at the snooker final there on the 12 October.

While all this was a great surprise, Nurse Buchanan took the whole celebrity experience in her stride, starting with the announcement on the plane that there was a VIP on board, and then the chauffeured cars and first class hotel and ending with people recognising her on the return leg as she was going through Heathrow with the snooker trophy on her knee.

And the Preston visit for the LG Cup Final topped the whole experience. Linda and her grandmother stayed in the Holiday Inn where the finalists, John Higgins and Mark Williams, were also guests. Isabella admitted to being only slightly disappointed that the Welshman Williams beat the Scot in a very exciting match, as the highlight was meeting the players and their families in the Green Room and running into Mark Williams (who recognised Isabella from the TV) as they waited for the train and his inviting her to see him play in Glasgow in April 2004.


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