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Captain John Percival

Captain WJH Percival MNI MRIN : 6th April 1945 – 9th March 2014

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Captain John Percival on Sunday 9th March 2014. John was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, which had been under control until recent months, and he passed away peacefully in the early hours of Sunday morning with his family at his bedside.

John learnt to sail at West Kirby Marine Lake in 1953 and then in 1961 joined Alfred Holt & Co (later to become Blue Funnel Line) as a Deck Midshipman. In 1971 he passed his Master (Foreign Going) Certificate gaining his first command in 1973 with Westminster Dredging. 

In 1977 he joined Aramco Overseas Co. as a Cargo Superintendent. He then spent two years in Johannesburg, South Africa, managing what was the largest empty container park in the southern hemisphere.

On his return to the UK in the early 80’s he found, like many seafarers, that shipping had suffered a huge depression on Merseyside and so joined Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. He left his role there as a Personnel Officer in 1996 in order to establish JPMA/Hoylake Sailing School Ltd, with the help of his daughter Anna.

The company began teaching recreational sailors and boaters, but shortly after this was asked to start delivering commercial training to the small craft industry.  Since then JPMA/HSS Ltd has developed into one of the largest small craft training establishments in the UK, delivering courses to the Leisure, Superyacht, Workboat, Port and Merchant sectors.

John was a member of many boards and committees within these sectors, such was his dedication to the development of UK industry and the welfare and appropriate training of on-board crew.  

Over the last six months John stepped back from day-to-day business at JPMA/HSS due to his deteriorating health. He took formal retirement in early February 2014. Anna will continue, with the help of the Business Development team and the rest of the Staff (who now number more than 30), to maintain the renowned high standards of the school.

John’s wife Maureen, and daughters Anna & Lyssa, warmly invite you to join them on Friday 21st March when a commemorative service will take place at St Hildeburgh’s Church, Hoylake at 1500. You are then invited to celebrate John’s life in the style for which he was known – music and a few scoops – at Hoylake Sailing Club.

In lieu of flowers, John’s family request donations to either Hoylake RNLI Crew Fund, or Cheshire & Wirral Partnership Charitable Fund - Palliative Care Team. Donations can be made by cheque to Co-Operative Funeral Care, Hoylake.

Anna Percival-Harris (Managing Director) on mate@hss.ac.uk

PYA Council would like to offer their very sincere condolences to John's family and much support for the future of the empire he built in JPMA. John was an active and productive PYA Council member for 13 years as well as an integral part of a host of workgroups, including the PYA Continuous Professional Development workgroup & the MCA Yacht Qualifying Panel to name but a few. He will be greatly missed.

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