Page 9 - Yachter Autumn 2023
P. 9

                                BRIAN VERSTAGE
It is with profound sadness that we learnt of the death of long-standing member Brian Verstage, who sadly passed away in the early hours of Sunday 10th September, aged 77.
   Brian joined the RSYC in January 1987 and had been an active member ever since, taking part in both cruising and racing on his Sadler 26 Aphrodite, and later his Beneteau First
30.5 Escapade. His passion for sailing was further enhanced when he met Helen, who encouraged him to join her on the Windfall yacht Overlord with the Offshore Cruising Club. This developed into a true romance that ultimately led to their marriage in 2012.
Brian was an avid supporter of the RSYC and was the Editor of the weekly e-bulletins during the time of Covid-19 lockdowns, which served the vital purpose of keeping members entertained and engaged with
the Club during the pandemic. Before and after the pandemic, when we were all able
to meet socially, Brian, together with Helen, was a key member of the Carvery Quiz team ‘Reprobates’, helping them to secure victory year after year with his extensive knowledge of pretty much everything. His prowess on the dance floor was also a joy to behold and with Helen by his side they were inevitably the first couple up on the dance floor at social events, bringing a tremendous sense of fun and enjoyment. It is fair to say, there can be few rugs that have been left un-cut when Brian was in attendance.
Brian’s professional life was in print and typesetting, which culminated with his business Anton Graphics Ltd in Andover. This gave him a wealth of knowledge in so many fields and led to his being accepted as a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, which in
turn led to his being made a Freeman of the City of London. We never did learn if he had any sheep, but with Brian’s sense of fun it is a fair bet that had he had he would have driven them over London Bridge just for the sheer joy of doing so!
Outside of sailing, Brian’s interests were many and varied. His passion for rugby
was evidenced by his membership and support of Basingstoke Rugby Club. A keen Bromptoneer, crossword solver, Scrabbler, bon viveur, traveller, conversationalist, and gramma pedant. Brian’s wide knowledge made him excellent company to be with and he possessed the extraordinary talent of making everyone feel at ease and as if they were the only person in the room. His generosity of spirit and sense of fair play was an example to us all.
A genuinely generous and selfless person who put others before himself and always made sure their glass was full, which was exactly how Brian viewed his own life.
A dear friend to so many. He will be very much missed by all who knew him.
Robin Funnell Commodore

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