TYCOON VERA'S TEARS FOR OLD SCHOOL CHUM; Mary dies after pounds 100k NY party.Byline: By Paul Drury
SHOP tycoon Vera Weisfeld was last night mourning one of the old pals she treated to a pounds 100,000 New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of party.
Mary O'Byrne, who celebrated her 70th birthday during the lavish reunion in September, is believed to have suffered a stroke.
Mary, from Coatbridge, had been at a line-dancing class with husband Jake just before she collapsed on Monday.
Vera, who founded the What Every Woman Wants shop empire, said last night: "Me and the other girls have cried for two days. She was the life and soul of the party. She was the one who could kick higher than anyone.
"We are just devastated dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. ."
Vera, 69, was joined by pals Nan McLaughlan, Mamie Reid, Mary, AnnMackay and Margaret Murphy Margaret Murphy (born 14 April 1959) is a British crime writer. Biography
Murphy was born and brought up in Liverpool where she gained a degree in Environmental Biology at the University of Liverpool and later an MA with Distinction in Writing at Liverpool JMU, a course on the New York trip.
They all started at St
Patrick's Primary in Coatbridge with her in 1942.
The pals enjoyed luxury accommodation at the five-star New York Palace
And they met a seventh classmate, Eileen Popp, who now lives in New York.
The trip included a whirlwind tour of the Big Apple, taking in a Broadway show, shopping at Bloomingdale's and a Harbour Lights Evening Cruise.
Just before leaving, Mary said: "It's all our birthdays and Christmases rolled into one. We are so lucky we started school on the same day as that lady."
Vera added: "Mary loved all the publicity that went with news of the trip taking place.
"She couldn't walk down the street without people shouting, 'How Was New York, Mary?' She loved it. Her family said she had a wonderful final year."
Mary's funeral takes place today and her friends will honour her with flowers in the shape and colours of the US flag.
MEMORIES: Left to right, Mamie, Mary, Vera and Ann