Brian Emmence, past president 1980 – 1990 and 1993 -1996 was recognised after “Crossing the Bar” by the purchase of a memorial bench complete with plaque. The bench was dedicated on the 4th May 2001 the ceremony was attended by family, relatives and friends of Brian Emmence, together with the outgoing President John Stych, the newly elected RNWA President Colin Hughes, RN Padre, RNWA Committee members, Philip “Darby” Allen MBE, Stephenie and Neil Durrance, Les Heyhoe and other RNWA members.
The bench, which is metal and is one of several which are subject to a maintenance contract overseen by Portsmouth City Council at no cost to the RNWA, is situated on the pavement on the seaward side of the road facing out to sea and almost opposite the RNWA Centenary bench to the right of the War Memorial across the road.
The 1987 Memorial Centenary RNWA bench made from wood and situated to the right (looking seaward) of the Southsea War Memorial was reported in the January 2015 Newsletter as looking tardy and urgently required repair and refurbishment. It was not the Committee’s intention to seek financial support or donations but it certainly generated interest and awareness. As a result we would like to acknowledge and formally go on record to the family of Paul Rowe of Sittingbourne (as Paul sadly ‘Crossed the Bar’ in July 2015) as Paul generously donated a cheque covering the cost of the bench refurbishment and the bench is now proudly back in its original position for all to see and use.