AFTER more than 36 years of service the Borough Theatre’s popular front of house manager, Terry Monaghan called it a night this week and friends and colleagues gathered at a surprise party to wish her a long and happy retirement.

Terry began working at the Borough Theatre as a volunteer steward more than three decades ago before taking over from former front of house manager Ben Maddy when the theatre was refurbished in the late 1980s.

With the opening of the theatre’s box office in the mid 1990s Terry became one of the first paid employees at the Borough, while continuing to act as voluntary front of house manager until the early 2000s.

Paying tribute to Terry, theatre manager Nick Banwell said that her dedication and contribution to the theatre had been immense and she would sorely missed by everyone at the theatre.

“We will all miss Terry standing in the foyer, organising the voluntary staff and ensuring our audience, touring companies and user societies had the best possible theatre experience,” he said, adding that he was delighted that she would be returning after a three week holiday, to continue her work in the theatre’s box office.

“If you ever feel like coming back to do some front of house shifts on a voluntary basis I’d be happy to give you an application form to fill in,”?joked Mr Banwell.

Tributes were also paid during a surprise retirement party held at the King’s Head Hotel, by former councillor and chairman of Monmouth Borough Council, Alan Breeze, one of the driving forces behind the 1980s refurbishment of the theatre.

“During the early years there would often be heated debates between councillor officers and the chairman of the Borough Theatre Management Committee Les Townsend and suddenly through the chaos would come the calming voices of Terry and Bernard Zavishlock with a suggestion which would always be for the betterment of the Borough Theatre,” he said.

Former Abergavenny mayor Councillor Martin Hickman presented Terry with a painting of the town hall on behalf of the town council and said that every former mayor was grateful for the way she had looked after them and their guests during their frequent visits to the theatre.

Speaking after the party Terry thanked all those who had worked so hard to organise her leaving party and keep it a secret and contributed to the ‘wonderful’ gifts she had received.

“I will miss everyone and everything about the Borough Theatre except the late nights,” said Terry.