THE former owner of Harwood's Chandlers in Yarmouth and a long-serving member of the town's RNLI, Jack Harwood, has died after a short illness, aged 97.
Mr Harwood was awarded the RNLI's Silver Medal, one of its highest honours for voluntary workers, spending 45 years as crewman, deputy launch man and shop worker.
Born in Rye, East Sussex, he moved to Yarmouth at an early age when his father, Herbert, started Harwood's.
He attended Yarmouth Primary School and King James Grammar School, Newport, and was well known locally, along with his siblings, Frank and Carmela, known as Sue.
Mr Harwood joined the RAF in 1939 but his eyesight was not good enough to fly so he became a radio operator working in Anglesey, Prestatyn and Chipping Norton.
While off duty, he was attached to the fire service with one of his tasks putting out a fire at the Liver Building in Liverpool. Radio continued to be a hobby and he became involved in CB radio with his personal call sign 10 90 GQ.
After the war, he returned to the Island to work at the family shop and joined Yarmouth RNLI, starting a life-long association with it.
In the coronation year of 1953, he and his crew competed in the Round the Island Race in a hornet, built by himself, and they finished an impressive 30th.
During his spare time, Mr Harwood built other dinghies with George Weston and Cecil Doe in a hut on the current Warner's site at Norton Grange.
In 1959, he married Pauline and they celebrated just over 58 happy years together. They met Queen Elizabeth twice, the second time when she visited Yarmouth in 1965 and met the RNLI crew on The Quay.
There was a problem with her majesty's hovercraft's engine leaving the slipway and it was left to Jack to go to Harwood's to get a hammer to solve the issue, which he did with a bit of banging.
Mr Harwood was a town councillor for many years and also served as mayor as well as being a harbour commissioner.
In 1969, he was part of a small group who met at The Wheatsheaf pub and set up Yarmouth Sailing Club.
His son, John, followed his father into the RNLI and won a medal for bravery during one of the 1980s storms.
Mr Harwood leaves his wife, Pauline, son, John, and grandchildren, Oliver and Freya.
A service of celebration has been held at St James's Church, Yarmouth.