In memory of John Porter

Thank you to Hilda, Angie, Gary and all the Porter family and friends for raising over £450 for the charity in memory of John Porter, who sadly passed away on 8th August 2022 from asbestosis.  We are grateful to you and to everyone who contributed. Thanks too for sharing your memories of John and what he meant to you all.

This is in memory of John:

“My dad, John Porter, was born in Port Glasgow in 1937. The ‘Port’ in those days was thriving with many ship builders along the waterfront sparking my dad’s ambition for a life at sea. He left school at the age of 15 and served his apprenticeship as an electrician in Lithgow’s ship building yard. He loved it.”

John Porter

“As soon as he completed his apprenticeship, my dad embarked on his career in the Merchant Navy. He spent 7 years as an electrical engineer and chief electrician traveling on various ships including the Potaro, the Durango and the Thessaly. He travelled across the world when people didn’t really travel. He went to many exotic and exciting destinations including; Brazil, Jamaica, Argentina and had many adventures that he told us about and I’m sure many that he didn’t!”

John Porter, far right of picture

“He did tell us that he spent a month stuck on board a ship in Cuba as a result of the Cuban revolution bribing the armed guards with bottles of whisky to go ashore in search of some nightlife. A different world!”

“While home on leave he met my mum, Hilda at the Cragburn Pavillion; a popular dance hall in the 60’s. My brother Gary was born in 1963 and I was born in 1965.”

“My dad had a break from sea but missed the sea life and with my mum’s support joined the Ocean Weather Service where he spent 4 years as chief electrician on the Weather Advisor which sailed in the North Atlantic.”

“After sea my dad started his career at the Clyde Submarine Base. His jobs were always exciting and carried risks. He worked for a total of 26 years in the Ministry of Defence in several jobs that brought with them responsibility and pressure. This included ensuring submarines had power, inspecting the atomic department and maintaining the variety of alarm systems necessary within a nuclear submarine base.”

“He retired in 1993 and despite health challenges he threw himself into various projects. Gardening and moving house was something that he did often. My parents moved house 10 times before eventually moving to Troon to enjoy the sea air and when my dad could; watch the golf.”

“In recent times my dad experienced adventure through his passion for reading. You could tell how he was feeling by what he was reading whether that was Jack London, Primo Levi, Miriam Margolyes, Joan Bakewell or Peter Aliss.”

“He would never be without a book. His constant companion however was my mum; Hilda. My mum and dad celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary earlier this year which was marked by a congratulatory message from the queen. Over 60 years together and what a journey they had!”

The Porter Family – Gary, Angie, Hilda and John

“I could end this tribute by talking about asbestosis and what a dreadful illness it is. I could feel resentful that my dad was robbed of time; of his health and of his energy and as a family we were robbed of a fantastic dad and husband. I could talk of the frustration and anger that this illness had to happen in the first place, wondering when it took hold, who was responsible and of the sadness that it is still a risk today.”

“A friend once said to my dad, gosh John talking to you and hearing your stories I feel I’ve not lived. My dad certainly lived a full life; and one he would want us to celebrate.”

Angie with her dad, John.

“My dad was generous, he was kind, he was funny and he was loving. He inspired me to travel, to dream and to live my best life. That is how I will choose to remember him and how I will end this tribute. I will miss you dad. Thank you for everything.”

Angie Rhodes (Nee Porter)

One comment:

  1. Angie what a beautiful tribute. All I can say is you must have so many gorgeous memories. Take care and look out for your mum xx

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