Jane Benham MBE, Trust founder and Mate on Thalatta, passes away.
Jane had been part of the Trust since the beginning, first as resident teacher and Mate on Memory (1965-66) and then the Thalatta (1967-92). An appreciation of Jane, written for the ECST 1992-1993 Report and Newsletter:
Jane was very highly regarded by all of the East Coast communities where Thalatta called with her young crews. Her bright and businesslike approach endeared her to all who came into contact with her. Over the years spent in Memory and Thalatta, Jane accumulated an enormous fund of knowledge which she was ever willing and able to impart to the children in her care. she dedicated her life to the East Coast Sail Trust and was awarded the MBE for her services to young people.
Jane Benham loved the east coast. she sailed it, painted it, and wrote about it. she also loved music, local history and gardening and when she had time she would indulge these other interests. But Thalatta and the sea came first. Together with John Kemp, Jane Benham created a Thalatta philosophy which will influence the Trust for years to come. It is a philosophy of looking wide and looking forward but at the same time learning from the past and appreciating tradition; doing things properly and taking pride in achievement.
The archives of the East Coast Sail Trust contain many letters from parents and teachers who were able to recognise what Jane did for their children. She was taken from us prematurely but she has left a very worthwhile project intact which we intend to keep afloat for a number of years to come. Thank you Jane, for what you have given us.