Captain Val Church
After completing his pre sea training at the School of Navigation Southampton, Val went on to serve his apprenticeship with P&O. He spent his entire deep sea career with them, attaining the rank of First Officer on their passenger ships.
In 1977 he joined the Sealink arm of British Rail and then their successors, serving in all officer ranks on Holyhead-based ships, gaining his first command on the Stena Cambria in 1993. Resulting from changes to Port Control, Val came ashore as Senior Marine Controller and was later appointed Harbour Master for the port, a position that he filled with enthusiasm and professionalism at a time when the port was undergoing major changes with the opening of the two deep water berths and the introduction of the new generation ferries.
Val retired in 2004. Unfortunately he did not enjoy the best of health for long, but he fought his illness bravely and bore it uncomplainingly and with great fortitude, sadly passing away in August 2008. The very large number of people attending his funeral service is a testament of his standing with his friends, colleagues and within his own community.
He was a devoted family man and leaves behind his wife Anne, sons Freddie and Ben and his two little granddaughters whom he doted on.
For those of us that knew, sailed and worked with Val it was an honour and a privilege and he will be sadly missed. REJ