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Tony Dass


Slightly-built Tony Dass was a “colossus in many people’s lives,” said a family friend at the funeral Mass for Tony held on 2nd November. Tony, Anthony James Dass,


was a Saltburn painter and decorator who worked on many local houses, Saltburn pier and Our Lady of Lourdes Church (where the funeral Mass was held), said Steve Bourse. He also trained many apprentices. He arrived in Britain from


newly independent India in 1952 after the Government had appealed to Commonwealth countries to send ‘desperately-needed’ workers here. He carried £3, the maximum allowed. Tony and his wife Theresa


were the only Asian family in Saltburn at that time and Tony sometimes found that “his presence


wasn’t always welcome in those early days,” but he was determined to succeed and he worked hard and saved hard, setting up home with his wife and five children, Stella, Francis, Ruth, Andrew and Peter. He built a house in India


for his family and helped many cousins with their education. In Saltburn he bought a lot of flats to rent out. “ H e wa s a t r u e


entrepreneur,” said Steve Bourse. In later years Tony was


beset by ill-health and had to retire early. He was 80 when he died.


His daughter Ruth said her


father did a lot to improve race relations in Teesside. He and Theresa would have marked the diamond jubilee of their wedding on 26th January 2012.


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