Bill Smith EAST President

At the EAST Annual General Meeting which was held on Thursday 22 February 2018 Bill Smith retired after 25 years as a founding Trustee. I am pleased to report that Bill has accepted the office of President.
Bill was thanked by Geoff Dreher, Chairman, for his dedicated service and gave the following tribute:
Bill went EAST in 1993. Bill and Mike Spear were invited by the former RYA Seamanship Foundation, now RYA Sailability, to provide an Annual East Coast cruise for visually impaired sailors. This has developed each year since then and also includes weekend taster events. Last year EAST celebrated its 25th Annual Cruise for the visually impaired. In 1996, Kevin Curtis, a sailing gold medal winner at the Atlanta Paralympic Games, who sailed a National Squib at Haven Ports Yacht Club, persuaded Bill and Mike to extend the blind sailing activities to include other disabilities. This led to EAST being established as a separate charity offering sailing opportunities for adults with a wide range of disabilities. In 2009 with help from Suffolk County Council’s Activity Unlimited programme the Trust started regular sailing sessions for children with disabilities. By 2010 it was apparent that EAST had outgrown its premises. Bill with his wealth of contacts and an ability to extract funds from unsuspecting donors together with a team secured a grant of £50,000 from the National Lottery Peoples Millions programme to enable us to create the EAST Waterside Community Centre. We will miss Bill but I know that he will not be far away.
Bill was presented with four engraved crystal cider glasses.

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