A Lifetime Of Fishing

Written by Jack Walsh

“Something of a fishing freak”
Jack Wreford Walsh was born in November 1937. His parents aptly named him Jack, which must have been short for “Jack of all trades”. If only they had known! He was schooled at Wet Pups (Western Province Preparatory School) and St Andrew’s College, Grahamstown.
Three generations (On both sides of the family!) of insurance industry executives determined unequivocally his future. However even that could not keep him from the sea, as he was always fishing mad. Still wet behind the ears, he inherited one of the first true country insurance brokerages, together with the instilled principle to the extreme of “honesty is the best policy”. The business flourished, leading, he says, to his first big mistake when he sold an excellent business, for which he was never paid, to concentrate on the sea.
Fifty-two years later, with an Associateship of the Chartered Insurance Institute having specialised in Marine Insurance Law, a management diploma, a foreign going fishing masters ticket, a pilot’s licence, a flirtation with politics, a rocky personal history, thirty or so companies (two of which he took to the JSE) in some fifteen or so different industries and vocations, and last, but certainly not least, four wonderful and successful children, he has now finally retired! Maybe?
With his interest fired up by a natural sciences academic, who was to become his closest friend, he became an avid layman researcher in the field of Marine resources and their management. All in all his adventures and experiences are extremely entertaining, exciting, at times comical, and very insightful in the fields of commercial fishing and sea diamond recovery, about both of which very little has been written.


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