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Charitable chip shop owner gives the gift of sight

An Aberystwyth chip shop owner has helped beat a Guinness World Record and enhance the sight of thousands of people in the process.

Benjamin Manluctao, owner of The Central Fish Restaurant, assisted in the collection of 32,000 pairs of reading glasses from customers and local businesses over nine months as part of an initiative by the charitable organisation Lions Club.

Before being recycled and distributed to people in need around the world, other Lions Club members from across the district added to the collection and an attempt to break the record for the longest line of linked spectacles was made.

Although time constraints meant only 21,000 of the final 36,000 pairs were successfully laid down and linked, it was enough to beat the previous record of 16,530 linked pairs.

The final chain set down by Benjamin and his colleagues measured 2,461m (8,074 ft 1 in).

Benjamin, who has owned the 50 seater Central Fish Restaurant since 1988, comments: “This isn’t just about breaking a world record attempt. It’s about giving 36,000 people reading glasses, which means they can assist their children to acquire the basics of literacy so that they can go on to have a better chance in life.”

Through Benjamin's work with the Lions Club and its fundraising efforts, the organisation has helped provide eye checks for over 4,000 school children in the Philippines, funded medication to treat eye conditions and set up pump wells in the poorest areas to provide clean bathing water.

Aberystwyth organisations and individuals have also benefited from Aberystwyth Lions Club charitable work, for example, it has provided a hearing aid to a secondary school student, raised funds for an incubator to treat premature babies at a local hospital as well as supply wheelchairs to a group of disabled people who like to play basketball.


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