A BOAT paid for with cash donated in memory of an heroic Wigan submariner has been officially “christened”.
Champagne corks were popping at Scotman’s Flash as Wigan Sea Cadets unveiled their new vessel in memory of Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux from Springfield.
The 36-year-old was murdered aboard HMS Astute more than three years ago by a rampaging gunman as the submarine was moored in Southampton.
In the wake of his death, those wanting to pay respects donated money in his memory. And the family made the decision to donate it to Wigan Sailing Club with Lt Cdr Molyneux’s two sons being members.
“It was great to have Gill down,” said the club’s events officer Ian Almond.
“The chairman gave a speech to say thank-you and the cadets gave Gill a bouquet of flowers which we had got for her.
“Gill actually sat in the boat and went out into the water so it all went really well and we had a lovely evening.
“One the day of Ian’s funeral they asked for donations and it came from that.
“I think it was £2,500 all in all so it was quite a significant whip-round.
“It was the family’s decision to give it to us because their two sons, Jamie and Arron, have been with us for quite a number of years and are in our cadet unit.”
The boat will be used by instructors monitoring cadets at Wigan Sea Cadets while they take part in activities such as canoeing.
It has been in operation for some time now and members are already reaping the benefits with it replacing a much older vessel.
“It’s a safety boat,” added Ian. “It will help our cadets go on to gain qualifications.
“That’s something they’ll be able to keep for the rest of their lives.
“Our previous boat is so old, I’m 30 and it’s older than me. It’s made a massive difference to us having this new one with the activities and getting the guys out on the water safely.”
Lt Cdr Molyneux’s widow Gill added: “It was a lovely evening. It was an honour to attend the boat launch.
Ian loved to sail, and so it seems only fitting that funds donated in his memory to the unit, were used to provide the safety boat, to enable cadets to enjoy their water activities with peace of mind.
“His name sits proudly in a plaque at the bow, almost like a figurine of years gone by, which conveyed a sense of prosperity and elite performance, it certainly reflects Ian’s life.
“The gesture from the unit ensures Ian’s name and memory will continue and I hope his commitment and bravery are qualities the cadets will adopt and take with them, wherever their paths lead.”