We are sad to report of the death yesterday of John Torode. John was the founding President of the Friends of Air Search in Guernsey.
In 1983, Guernsey Air Search was faced with the prospect of funding the purchase and operation of the Aztec aircraft which it had hitherto operated on loan. John saw the importance of Air Search to boatowners, becoming the founding President of the Friends of Air Search in Guernsey. He was later instrumental in setting up a parallel organisation in Jersey, leading to the rebranding as Channel Islands Air Search.
John worked tirelessly for Air Search in order to maintain the necessary funding. An early highlight was the Air Search presence at the 1988 Earls Court Boat Show, when a full size replica of Lions' Pride hung over the pool. John designed and built the Air Search display stand for the sale of promotional goods and tickets for an extremely successful raffle.
John's skills were frequently called upon, for example in the building of many collecting boxes - one of which still occupies a prominent position at the airport. He also used two bathtubs to make a craft, the winged keel of which was by others to be revolutionary. This competed in the Guernsey Yacht Club bathtub race - the failure to live up to expectations was no fault of John's.
At the time of John’s retirement as a Trustee of Channel Islands Air Search Roger Dadd, the founder of the Service, referred to John as the first and best Friend of Air Search – a fitting tribute.
Our condolences to his family.