Monday, 27 June 2016

A Memorial for Mark The Fish

St Brelade has a new boat outside the Parish Hall with a floral display. The idea that it would be named after "Mark the Fish" was made by the St Brelade's Bloom Group, who said:

"We felt it important to recognise Mark in a way that celebrated his life. It is not a memorial but a statement acknowledging that Mark ‘The Fish’ Le Riche was for many years a feature of St. Aubin, loved by many, and missed by so many more. The boat maintains his presence - the boat representing his love of the sea, and the floral display the life and vibrancy he brought to the village.”

For those who don't know who "Mark the Fish" was, as he was affectionally called, here is an obituary reprinted with kind permission from La Baguette, St Brelade's Parish magazine:

Mark the Fish

ON the 10th April a well known and popular person of St Aubin passed away. Mark Le Riche, known better as Mark the Fish, is no more and will be sadly missed. It was not long before his untimely death Mark had received an award for his great charity work. He was made Citizen of the Year at St Brelade Parish Hall in St Aubin.

Mark had enjoyed being a crew member on a Sailing Trust vessel. As a ‘Buddie’ he was able to assist a person less able bodied. He was hoping to another voyage, but it was not to be.

From an early age Mark loved fishing. It was either setting nets on the beach or fishing with his boat ‘Tranquility’. He was very clever at making up traces and lead weights. These last few years he spent time helping his friends with their boats and served on the Committee of the St Aubins Boat Owners Association - and always trying to recruit new members.

A keen Boules player he taught and played on Sunday mornings outside what was the Nat West Bank in St Aubin. As a village character we will all miss Mark - flying his kites of large squid or other fish.

No more will we see him dressed up as a bride with "It Should Have Been Me"sign, no more helping Father Christmas, and no more dressed as an Admiral. All this done for charity.

Mark’s ashes were scattered from the Lifeboat. There was a large crowd, from all over the Island, who came to St Aubins Harbour to pay tribute. There are many people in high positions who will not have such a good send off. Good bye Mark the Fish. Rest in Peace. - Mick Ryall

More tributes poured in

Constable Steve Pallett said: “Only days after receiving the ‘Citizen of the Year Award’, the Parish was very sad to learn that Mark Le Riche had passed away. His colourful and cheerful presence is, and will be forever, very greatly missed. Mark represented the soul of St. Aubin; always involved in the wide range of activities in ‘the village’ bringing his own brand of fun to many of them by dressing up for an event or occasion and collecting for charity.”

The St. Aubin Village Association in announcing his passing on the social media, and in paying tribute to Mark, wrote:  “Mark Le Riches, known as Mark The Fish, has died suddenly after a happy day spent with The Residents Association playing an enormous role in ‘The Treasure Trail’ yesterday afternoon. During the evening he felt unwell and was taken to hospital where he died.”
“A fortnight ago, The Connetable presented Mark with The Citizen of The Year Award of which Mark was so very proud. He fought for the pétanque pitch and encouraged us to participate every Sunday morning, he dressed up in fancy dress to raise awareness and funds for Spina Bifida amongst other charities, and The Jubilee Sailing Trust.“
“God bless you Mark, the village will not be the same without you. You were deeply loved and will be deeply missed. RIP Mr Fish”

Mark was undoubtedly much loved by many, from all walks of life, from all parts of the Parish and the Island, many who felt it important to express their sadness in his loss to the Island’s community on the social media:-

“ A true friend and a legend, you are going to be so missed, if only you knew how this had touched the whole island. I had the pleasure to work alongside you for many years doing the fireworks and a life long friend since. Gonna miss you sweet xx”
“Oh. Mark I can't believe this... I will miss you and your funny ways. Loosing you is a painful blow to us all in the village.”
“St Aubin's has lost a character, Jersey has lost a treasure and we have lost a friend. RIP Mark, time to fish new waters.”

Mark had for many years been a tireless fund raiser for many charities including the RNLI and the Jersey Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association who left the message:

“Mark, St. Aubin’s won't be the same We thank him for his hard work for our Jersey Charity-: Spina Bifida Association all that hard work & money raised.”

And a close friend of Mark told La Baguette:

“His fund-raising antics are legendary and there is little doubt that ‘Mark The Fish’ will become part of St. Aubin’s rich history and spoken of as a humble man who brought joy into so many peoples lives. Mark is unique and will always be totally irreplaceable. As many have already said, St. Aubin won’t be the same; the Parish, and indeed the Island is a poorer place without out him. He was truly and literally, a gentle man - with a heart of pure gold.”

1 comment:

Colin Machon said...

From school to beach Mark always made the best of his lot with integrity and great humour.
The last time I saw him was eighteen months ago at Le Hocq , down at low tide on a big spring, big bucket of amandes and a big smile .