Tributes Paid To Bryher’s John Pender

John Pender

John Pender 1942-2013

Tributes are being paid to John Pender of Bryher, who passed away peacefully on Saturday at St Mary’s hospital.

John was born in 1942, the first of four sons born to Dorothy and William Pender. He started fishing here at an early age, working day trips on the French crabbers that made the islands their temporary home, and he was widely known as ‘Johnny Pots.’

He had a love of French red wine and the Brittany coast, which stayed with him throughout his life.

He also spent some time on the mainland, fishing out of Falmouth, but Scilly was always his home. Niece Amanda Pender says he was never happier than when he was on the water.

In the last few years, he’s worked with Brenda and Cath Boulton at the Vine Café. Brendan described him as, “the archetypal fisherman of yesteryear.”

He was always ready to help a friend, and if you did something for him he didn’t say much at the time, but soon after a little something would appear in your fridge, like a bit of crab or fish.

Brendan says he enjoyed shrimping using his home made shrimp net and shared his catch as he was a very generous man.

Lifelong friend John Nicholls says Johnny was known for always having a French fisherman’s knife on his person.

A doctor who treated him for insomnia once told him he would be better off not to sleep with the knife in bed and John says he even managed to get it into Treliske hospital. The nurses only found out when he offered it to them to open a package!

His passing marks the end of an era on Bryher. He was often seen on Watch Hill with his telescope or out in his boat, or leaning on his gate, and was always willing to stop for a chat with a local or visitor.

The list of people he could call friends was worldwide, says Brendan.

His funeral will be held at All Saints Church on Bryher on Thursday 11th July at 1pm. Donations can be made to Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation in lieu of flowers.

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