John Hamilton - a tribute

 

John Hamilton, founder member, club president and trustee, died peacefully on 16th February 2016, just a few weeks before his 90th birthday.  Club vice-president, Steve Devlin, honours his long-standing involvement and legacy.

 

John Hamilton was the Founder member of Swindon Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC No. 46), one of the first branches formed when sport diving was in its infancy.

 

Since the very beginning, John was always fully involved, not only enjoying the sport itself, but giving tirelessly to the running and promotion of the club.  Throughout more than fifty years he continuously held a committee post, serving as Chairman, Training Officer, Secretary and latterly for more than twenty years as Public Relations Officer, only finally retiring in 2011.

 

1970s

In the early years, John’s home and Swindon BSAC were synonymous.  He was the welcoming point of contact for the many who became members, and their families too.  With enthusiasm, he encouraged and helped others.  He always enjoyed organising and participating in fund raising and public relations activities, but it was on becoming PRO that he really found his niche.  John was passionate about recording events and his photograph albums, video recordings and memoirs are legend!  During the history of the Swindon BSAC, many have played their part, but no-one has kept the “torch burning” in the same way as John.

 

John was made Honorary President of Swindon BSAC in 1991, a role which he cherished and took most seriously.  Even at 80+ years of age, he was still an active role model within the sport, being also the archivist for the Historical Diving Society and still occasionally diving.

 

Although John had many other commitments and a high profile within other spheres of his life, his founding of Swindon BSAC was no passing fancy.  The underwater world for him was a lifelong love affair which brought so much for so many others.

 

 

 

Returning to the "Lady Inez" after a dive sometime in the 1970s (left)

 

 

Unassuming, mildly mannered and caring, John was always willing to listen and was a constructive and calming influence.  As Swindon BSAC approaches its 60th anniversary, everyone connected with it, past and present, owes John Hamilton a huge debt of gratitude.

 

                           2013

John (right) with David Bellamy and then Chairman, Robin Maggs at the Grand Opening of our new Clubhouse in 2013.

 

by

Steve Devlin

February 2016

 

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