SLSGB has received the email pasted below from Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club, with the sad news that Leslie Stopher has passed away.
Pete Gaisford, Chairman of Perranporth SLSC has informed us that an obituary will be published on the club website following the funeral. You can access the website by clicking here.
Dear members, We are saddened to inform you that Life Member [of Perranporth SLSC] and the UK's first professional lifeguard, Leslie Stopher, aged 90 years has passed away following a short illness.
Les set up a beach patrol at Perranporth in 1957 and was assisted by volunteers who formed Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club that year; he was instrumental in the foundation and ethos of our club. Les was a swimming instructor at Stanley Barracks, Dorset from 1960 and was fond of saying, "there are no sides to the Atlantic".
Indeed he swam every week and on each birthday completed his age in lengths of the pool up until the age of 89. To honour his involvement with Perranporth SLSC, "The Les Stopher Life Saving Student of the Year Award" has been made each year since 2009.
His funeral service will take place this week on Wednesday 30th March in the Trelawny Chapel at Penmount Crematorium at 12 noon.
Family flowers only, donations if desired to the Perranporth Surf Lifesaving Club, c/o Colin Grose of Retallack Bros, 2 Hooper Lane, Camborne TR14 8EP. 01209 713219.
We hope that you can attend on Wednesday to honour such a dedicated and inspirational friend to all at Perranporth SLSC.