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7.2 Obituaries

In 1968, Mr Nevin’s duties changed to cover industrial negotiations and he was appointed assistant general secretary in 1971 before being elected by the Council as general secretary in 1974.

Eric Nevin

Former NUMAST general secretary Eric Nevin died in August 2009 following a long illness. Mr Nevin, who was 78, had been appointed general secretary of theMerchant Navy & Airline Officers Association in 1974 and led the Union through the merger of the Mercantile Marine Service Association and Radio & Electronic Officers Union that created NUMAST in 1985.

Born in Waterloo, Lancashire, Mr Nevin was educated at St Mary’s College, Crosby, and at HMS Conway, completing his marine studies at Liverpool Technical College.

He served at sea from 1948 to 1959 with Alfred Holt, Blue Funnel and Glen Lines and obtained his Master’s Foreign Going Certificate in 1957.

Mr Nevin joined the then MNAOA as assistant district secretary in the Liverpool office in 1959 and became a national secretary in 1961, with responsibility for the legal department and with additional responsibilities in training and maritime technical and safety matters.


Mr Nevin represented the Union on a wide range of external organisations, including the governing bodies of HMS Conway, the London Nautical School and the Merchant Navy College. He also served as vice- chairman of the Merchant Navy Training Board and chairman of the MNTB technical committee, as well as being vice-chairman of the joint International Labour Organisation/International Maritime Organisation committee on training. Other roles he filled included positions on the National Maritime Board, the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and the Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension Fund. Mr Nevin also served on the governing body of King George’s Fund for Sailors (now known as Seafarers UK), the Merchant Seamen’s War Memorial Society, the Marine Society and the Conway Trust.

He was instrumental in establishing the JW Slater Memorial Fund — which provides support for ratings training for officer certification — in memory of his immediate predecessor, John Slater, who had died in office.

Jack Bromley

Former NUMAST executive officer Jack Bromley died in March 2011 aged 83 following a lifetime of service to the trade union movement in general, and to the maritime sector in particular.

Mr Bromley trained as an engineer and was a national organiser with the AEUW union before serving with the Radio & Electronic Officers Union from 1973 until 1985. In his role as REOU assistant general secretary, he had responsibilities for all industrial matters including ferries, passengership

John Newman

Former NUMAST general secretary John Newman died in June 2009, at the age of 77. Mr Newman had worked for the Union for more than 30 years and was general secretary between 1989 and 1993.

He served at sea as a purser, working on ships in P&O’s cruising and liner services between 1954 and 1961, and joined the Merchant Navy & Airline Officers’ Association in 1963 as administrative officer, before moving into industrial work — firstly on behalf of pursers and then more generally.

companies and the offshore oil industry. In this latter connection, he was the chairman of the British Seafarers Joint Council Offshore Oil Sub Committee up until his retirement.

Mr Bromley joined NUMAST in June 1985 when the Union was formed by the merger of the MNAOA, REOU and MMSA. As the executive officer of NUMAST he was responsible for the ferries and offshore oil sectors and served as secretary of the national radio officer committee and the national offshore oil committee.

He was an active participant in the affairs of the MNOPF as a trustee.

He was promoted to national secretary in 1967 and in 1975 was appointed senior negotiator, with overall responsibility for national and company negotiations across all sectors represented by the Union.

Mr Newman was heavily involved in this period as a member of the National Maritime Board, the Merchant Navy Training Board, Merchant Navy Welfare Board and the Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension Fund, which he subsequently chaired from 1993 to 2000, having originally joined the Board in 1968.

He served as assistant general secretary from 1978 to 1985, and deputy general secretary from 1985 until becoming general secretary in August 1989. During this period, he was also involved internationally with the ITF and the ILO.

Captain Paul Robinson

Captain Paul Robinson was chairman of the NUMAST Welfare Funds Committee from 1999 and was due to stand down at the June 2009 committee meeting. Early in 2009, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and his condition worsened very quickly. He was admitted to Mariners’ Park Care Home and died there, peacefully, early in the morning of Wednesday 6 May, aged 71.

Capt Robinson had been a member of the MMSA Council and of the welfare committee (in its various guises) for some 25 years. His contribution to the work of the NUMAST Welfare Funds was immense and was to be marked by him receiving the Nautilus Award from Council at the 2009 BGM.

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