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Two months have passed since the last Newsletter went out and I have more sad news. Ruth Walton died in her sleep from a stroke on the morning of Sunday 25th July. She was fit and well the day before and had been a tower of strength to Jane for the previous two weeks – of which more presently. As the Walton Matriarch she had coped with much and maybe we only now realize how much of a lynchpin she was, forever beavering away in the background. More senior Penguins may remember her portioning out dried soup mix from a catering pack for the different yachts, while more junior Penguins (I include myself) saw her rarely leave the kitchen at the Ceilidh. Whilst I feel that she may have felt that at 93 her life was complete, we shall all mourn her loss and our heartfelt condolences go out to all the Walton family and its widespread offshoots. After a family committal at the Crematorium, the will be a Service at St James the Great Church, Colwall at 3pm followed by tea in Colwall Village Hall. All are welcome. And, as you did for Kevin’s service, please wear cheerful colours rather than dark clothes and black ties as we celebrate her life, not her death. Ruth herself will depart adorned by a Hawaiian Lei.

I alluded to Jane Walton earlier. Not only has she just lost her mother, but her husband David Fanshawe died peacefully in hospital on July 5th, also of a stroke. While not an active Penguin, he always brightened up our Ceilidh with a wild shirt, and, of course, his cap. He was an explorer, lecturer, photographer, performer, and composer, making a unique contribution to music. He was perhaps best known for his African Sanctus. A special tribute memorial website has been set up: which says far more than I can pen. A Memorial Service, hopefully in Salisbury Cathedral, is being planned.

David’s daughter, also Ruth’s granddaughter, Rachel, has a nice theory which I’m sure is true. In Heaven, Kevin Walton has been so busy redesigning the Gates of Heaven to work more efficiently, and David Fanshawe is so busy recording The Heavenly Choirs, the God had to send down for Ruth to come and keep them under control. Think of the picture and smile.

Naturally, this Newsletter centres on these sad losses. However, on a lighter note, we have had a very successful cruise to Menorca, and await a trip to The Scillies. The Menorcan trip went very smoothly – weather issues prevented a complete circumnavigation, though the majority of the island was inspected. You will have to wait for the full reports of all the stories till the AGM as I do not want to spoil the tales – though I will tease you with the delights of the holding tank venting onto the anchor chain…

The Scillies trip is planned with 3 boats for the 4th September – I’m planning to check out the anchorages on a two week trip on Aurial, going down from Milford Haven with Carol, Badger, and Paul Rose, though we’ll have left a week before Jackie Purves’ group arrives. We’ll all be hoping for fair winds and a following sea.

I’ll send out another Newsletter before the September Committee meeting. As ever, please do contact me with any ideas for cruises or offers of help with organisation. I do admit to having jumped the gun and arranged a St Kilda cruise for next July, though we still have no formal proposals for other cruises. Easter, I’m sure, will be as usual!

Please spread the word about Ruth’s Service to anyone you know who does not receive emails, and I look forward to seeing many of you next Thursday. Till then, in radio speak, ‘Standing By’.

Jonty Pearce, Club Commodore.