After an admirable 41 years (to the month) with Bermondsey BSAC 42, and following his recent retirement from diving, the club awarded Dave Rankin honorary life membership at a special Wednesday night gathering at the Yellow House, Surrey Quays. Dave, the club's longest-serving member, was presented with the scroll by our Chair, Pat.
In those 41 years Dave has done a huge amount for the club, occupying almost every committee position (not all at the same time!), beginning with Equipment Officer in 1973, including Diving Officer in 1980-85, and most recently Chair until 2013. Always willing to give good advice to newer divers, Dave's been a regular, a real help, and a stalwart.
The award of honorary life membership warrants a little reminiscing over Dave's dive career. When Dave joined in the early 1970s, the club met regularly at Grange Road baths (where he did the A-test in December 1972) and members would go for pints afterwards at the Dockhead Stores pub on Tanner Street. Not counting a sneaky, unlogged dive at Chesil Beach a few weeks earlier, Dave's first loggable dive with the club was from the club inflatable, off Chesil Beach onto the wreck of the SS Gertrude and another wreck, in a home-made wetsuit on 25th May 1973. Dave's favourite dives are still "any I come back from", but over the years he's enjoyed diving HMS Hood, the SS James Eagan Layne, the SS Maine, Eddystone Lighthouse, Hands Deep, Hilsea Point and various wrecks out of Weymouth. His last major dive trip overseas was to Chuuk/Truk in the central Pacific. Although he stopped logging some years ago, Dave's done around 2,000 dives in those 4 decades, equivalent to several weeks underwater.
Congratulations, Dave, and thanks for everything you've done for the club.