Pretoria: 22 June, 2016
South Africa’s boating and recreational fishing community bowed its head momentarily in silent prayer at the funeral service of one of the country’s doyen of boating and fishing safety, Stanley Wilmot Walter, held at the Midstream Methodist Church in Midrand on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Walter, 78, a long serving official of the saltwater and freshwater boating fraternity and who until recently was the National Safety Officer of the South African Deep Sea Angling Association, a qualified boat surveyor as well as an accomplished trainer and curriculum developer in the subsector, died recently after a short illness.
At his funeral service on Wednesday afternoon along with his family including his wife, Tilly, children and grandchildren; were several members and officials of the boating community, among them his close friend, Mr John Pledger, the chairman of the recently established South African Consolidated Recreational Angling Association (SACRAA).
Also represented was the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) with which he worked closely and was a frequent visitor for years.
Mr Walter served South Africa as the country’s commercial (under 9 metres) fishing craft surveyor from 1996 following to his appointment by then Minister of Transport, Mac Maharaj and which service provision was further endorsed by SAMSA in 2009, and the latter for which he conducted periodic workshops for boat surveyors, examiners and pantoon boats.
Mr Pledger, formerly chairman (for nine years) of the South African Sport Angling and Casting Confederation (SASACC) with nine different federations controlling 19 different disciplines of angling involving about 29,000 members countrywide, spoke fondly of Mr Walter whom he knew for a long time.
Among highlights of Mr Walter’s contribution to the boating community generally, according to Mr Pledger; was his instrumental role in the establishment of the National Sea Rescue Institute’s Shelley Beach (Durban) base in 1984 and for which he became Station Commander for 10 years, and in which period he devoted more than 3000 hours to night training of station skippers, as well as lecturing, setting and marking of exam papers.
Mr Pledger said in 1985, Mr Walter – whose boating career began in the 50’s at the Hartebeespoort Dam leading to his acquisition of his first Certificate of Competence in 1960, prior to venturing into deep sea fishing in Mozambique in the 70’s and again in the late 90s – also set the first day and night rated exam paper for SADSAA and since then has produced instruction manuals and exams papers for the organisation that were now also used by members of other boating disciplines.
“Stan was a wonderful, honest and hard-working man, and I was privileged to have him as a friend. There is an old saying that you “live every day, but only die once”.
“Stan and Tilly epitomized this old saying as they spent any hard-working hours traversing the country on safety issues, lecturing, visiting important people on safety issues and promoting safety portfolio. They were living every day,’ he said; adding that Mr Walter will be missed not only by his family and close friends but also by SADSAA and all of the saltwater and freshwater boating fraternity.
Also paying tribute to Mr Walter on Wednesday, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, Acting CEO of SAMSA said the organization and its entire management and staff were saddened by Mr Walter’s passing away, whom he described as an ‘industry friend, a colleague and mentor to many especially those within boating operations.’
He said: “He (Mr Walter) will be sorely missed in our Pretoria Office (where) a week would not pass by without him visiting our offices making it a point of meeting with Centre for Boating Manager to resolve any operational safety matters and/or enquire on the status of applications for Certificates of Competencies for the many candidates who were trained by South African Deep Sea Angling Association (SADSAA).
“We thank him for his contribution to the National Small Vessel Safety Regulations, Policies and Strategies as well as his role in ensuring that the same were implemented by the many safety officers who were under his control at SADSAA.
“Words cannot express how grateful we shall forever be to Mr Walter for the time he spent training SAMSA Executives, Managers and Staff on boating safety.”