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Boat built as tribute is set to sail
A BOAT being built in memory of a much-loved teacher from Malvern is almost ready to set sail.
Staff and pupils at The Chase School in Malvern were devastated when head of business and economics Derek Lang died suddenly, aged just 48, after suffering a heart attack during February half-term.
Remembering that Mr Lang once served in the Royal Navy, Chris Bell, one of his colleagues in the business department and the school’s sailing co-ordinator, thought it would be fitting if pupils designed and built a boat in his memory.
Under his supervision, pupils have been working hard since before the summer building the boat from scratch, with equipment and financial support supplied by firms including Morgan Motors, builders’ merchants Travis Perkins and Malvern’s Waitrose supermarket.
They are still putting in hard hours on its construction, but with the project nearing completion, details of its official launch have now been agreed.
This will take place at Arden Sailing Club, on the river Avon at Defford, near Pershore, where staff were keen to be involved after reading a tribute to Mr Lang.
The launch will be at 1pm on Saturday, November 17, and will be attended by members of Mr Lang’s family, Malvern Hills district councillor Roy Harding, students and staff from The Chase and Richard Price, of Travis Perkins, an ex-Chase student who was taught by Mr Lang.
Following his death, Mr Lang was described as a “special teacher” and Mr Bell hopes the 14-foot boat, based on the design of the Grand Banks dory, a traditional fishing boat commonly seen in the USA during the mid- 19th century, will be a “fitting tribute”.