Golf day for Neal at Portstewart helps raise £7,000

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A golf day and quiz in memory of a Portadown soldier killed in Afghanistan has raised almost £7,000 for a school project in Nepal.

The event was organised by the family of Lt Neal Turkington and took place at Portstewart golf links course where Neal’s father Ivor is a member.

A total of 82 golfers took part in the competition including five Gurkha representatives - Neal was a platoon commander of 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles and the money will go to the Neal Turkington Nepal Project.

Neal’s cousin Timothy Burden travelled all the way from Hong Kong for the tournament while others flew in from London.

The first ball struck in the competition was by Chris Jelly, a schoolfriend and neighbour of Neal’s and now a professional golfer at Dungannon.

Said Ivor: “Neal and Chris used to play at Portadown Golf Club as children and we were very honoured to have him take part in the tournament.

“All the participants were very mindful of why the event had been organised and it was very poignant that the Gurka representatives were there.”

They were Colonel James Robinson of the Brigade of Gurkhas; Col William Shuttlewood, director of the Gurkha Welfare Trust; Major Yam Rana; Warrant Officer Hom Gurung and Bishnu Pun.

Ivor thanked everyone who took part, as well as Portstewart Golf Club and its captain Malcolm Glover for their hospitality and support.

He said: “There were over 100 at the quiz, including some of our neighbours who travelled up and down on the same night, which shows tremendous support for Neal’s charity.

“The Gurkhas were given a standing ovation which was as much a tribute to them as it was to Neal, and Malcolm Glover made a lovely speech at the end of the night.”

He added, “I would have been pleased if we had raised £4,000 but to raise almost £7,000 is marvellous.”

To date, the Neal Turkington Nepal Project has raised money to extend and refurbish a school in the Thansing district.

Anyone wishing to donate to the project can do so at www.justgiving.com/ntnp/.