Obituary - Lieutenant-Commander E W Clubb, Divisional Officer, School of Navigation 1951-1965 (by kind permission of Lindsay Clubb)By G Emmons Merchant Navy College, Greenhithe Sept. 1983. Please also visit Lindsay Clubb's weblog about his father's WW2 service.
It is with great regret that I write of the death of Commander Clubb at the end of last term after a short and very sudden illness, which he faced with his customary fortitude, supported by the love and courage of his wife.
Eric Clubb had a long and varied career in the nautical field. After his Apprenticeship with Port Line he entered the RNR in 1939 and, served until 1946, rising to command a Corvette. In 1947 he returned to the Merchant Service where he served with the New Zealand Shipping Company until 1951, when he joined the School of Navigation at the University of Southampton. He remained at Southampton until 1965 becoming Head of Department and making a host of friends amongst both Staff and Students. Leaving in 1965 he entered Her Majesty's Inspectorate where he remained until retirement in 1980 when he joined Merchant Navy College.
I first knew him as HMI. His easy courtesy, unruffled nature and ready sense of humour all combined to assure me that he was a man with whom I should find it a pleasure to work and relax. To him a difficulty was something to be overcome rather than something by which one was overcome. Bureaucratic pettiness had no appeal for him and his concern was for the spirit rather than the letter of any law.
When he retired I was delighted that he was interested in joining us. He brought to us the energy and enthusiasm of a young man entering his first career. Members of staff who had been his cadets at Southampton, and remembered Commander and Mrs Clubb's musical evenings as welcome breaks in routine, saw Eric involve himself with a new and very different generation of students. Those students will tell you how much they welcomed and appreciated his involvement. His preparation and teaching were a model, and many staff and students were grateful for his advice, which one knew to be based on wide experience and sound consideration.
One memory sums up my impression of Eric. Seeing him ready, as always a little early, to go boating on a wintry day with a fresh breeze blowing up the reach, and stopping to chat, one came away thinking, "No fuss, utterly reliable, quite ageless and always ready to laugh; what a splendid example."
We have lost a man for whom we had affection and respect but a man we are very glad to have known.
G Emmons Merchant Navy College, Greenhithe September 1983.
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