A FORMER manager of Nat West Bank in Cowes who was also an active Rotarian, Bernard Cawley, has died aged 93.

Mr Cawley was born within the sounds of Bow Bells in London and was therefore, a Cockney.

Soon after his birth however, the family moved to Shirley in Croydon, followed by all his relatives on both sides.

His cousin’s house backed onto his family’s house and a gate joined the two gardens.

A very close relationship was formed between Bernard, his elder brother Basil, elder sister Molly and his younger sister Shirley and their cousins.

At the beginning of the war he was evacuated for several months with his school to Hove, but was later returned home.

When the Doodlebugs were flying over the area he used to sit in the garden only fleeing to the shelter when they were directly overhead.

Bernard served in The King’s Royal Rifle Corps from 1943 to 1948 in North Africa and then in Palestine. To his younger sisters delight he brought her back the present of a wrist watch, unobtainable at the time in the UK.

When he first married he lived briefly in Shirley before moving to Sanderstead where in 1956 his son Stephen was born.

He continued to work in various other branches of the bank, eventually becoming Assistant Manager of the newly opened Nat West Whitgift Centre branch in Croydon where he met is second wife Maureen.

They married in 1975 when he inherited his two step children, Kevin and Kim. They lived for two years in Eastbourne before moving in 1977 to Wootton on the IW. Here he became manager of the Nat West bank in Cowes, a perfect move for Bernard who had a boat and loved sailing and the majority of his customers were connected with the sea.

Bernard played an active role in Cowes Rotary Club and later with three others formed The Cowes Probus Club, which flourishes to this day.

He transferred to Ventnor Rotary Club and was made a Paul Harris Fellow for his services to Rotary.

After retirement Maureen and Bernard took up a new career and started a B&B in their new house, Elcombe, in Bonchurch. Which they ran successfully for 25 years making many new friends along the way.

When Maureen founded The Ventnor Enhancement Fund, Bernard worked with her on many projects and shared her love for the beautiful town.

Eight years ago they downsized to a home at Inglewood Park, St Lawrence and Bernard, at the age of 92, passed peacefully away in the home that he loved with Maureen by his side. He is survived by Maureen, Stephen and his two step-children.

His funeral is set to take place at St Catherine's Church, Ventnor, on Thursday (September 20).