A MEMORIAL bench for much loved and sadly missed former Lerwick Lifeboat crew member Ian Leask was unveiled at the weekend.
The bench, paid for and arranged by his lifeboat crew colleagues rather than out of RNLI funds, was built and installed with the help and cooperation of Ocean Kinetics, DITT and Lerwick Port Authority.
Ian died of cancer in February last year at the age of 61, having been part of the lifeboat team for 27 years since joining in 1989.
Afterwards Ian’s sister Pat Leask said her brother, a quite, unassuming and highly respected character, “would not have believed that the boys would have done this for him” and she doesn’t think they will “ever realise what this means to us”.
“Ian was pretty quiet, pretty shy, but I don’t think he realised what an impression he left on everybody,” she told BBC Radio Shetland.
“It was very touching when we found out it was just the boys that had paid for all this themselves, and then the Ocean Kinetics boys helping them. It’s just unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable, and we want to thank them all.”
Lifeboat volunteer Marcus Thomason said the crew spoke amongst themselves and thought the memorial would be a “brilliant idea” to remember Ian as “a valued member of the crew and the community”, adding that “everybody thought the world of him”.
In addition to his lifeboat duties Ian, who worked as a yard operator for Streamline for nearly 20 years, was a keen photographer who contributed countless pictures of boats passing through Shetland’s waters over the years – many of which featured on the pages of Shetland News and other local publications.