Commemoration plans for Chichester harbour master

Plans to commemorate the death of harbour master John Davis have been put forward as Chichester Harbour Conservancy goes about the arduous task of finding the right person to take his place.

Chichester Harbour Federation is now considering a proposal from Itchenor Sailing Club to build a racing mark in the harbour to commemorate Lt Col Davis, who died from a heart attack last August.

Meanwhile CHC has hired headhunters Veredus to find a worthy replacement for Lt Col Davis. Interviews are to take place in March for the job, with plans to change the harbour master title to manager.

CHC’s advisory committee decided that changing the name would widen the field from which a suitable person could be recruited. The deputy harbour master would be accountable to the manager.

At a CHC meeting on January 21, member Frank Pearce said he was disappointed to see the change in the name, which has a lot of history behind it.

There were also concerns about a performance-related bonus being offered to the new harbour master.

CHC chairwoman Louise Goldsmith said: “If we don’t offer an attractive package we won’t get the right person. It is a difficult job to replace John as it is.”

Plans to erect a racing mark in honour of Lt Col Davis is planned for north of the transit between Copyhold and Sandhead port hand bouys, clear of the main navigable channel.

The new racing mark will enable courses to be laid that keep racing vessels out of the East Head anchorage more effectively.

CHC members agreed the racing mark would be a ‘fitting tribute’ to the former harbour master.

The proposal now needs approval of Chichester Harbour Federation, but subject to confirmation of its exact position, which does not raise concern with conservancy officers.

Representatives from the federation said it will discuss the proposal soon.