A sailing boat, named in honour of a community stalwart who died in 2013, has been handed over to Wharfedale Scout Sailing Centre.

It is the latest tribute in celebration of the life of Geoffrey Vere MBE, one of Ilkley’s most community focused figures.

As well as developing the Ilkley Good Neighbours Scheme and designing the Clarke Foley Centre, Mr Vere was the longest serving member of Ilkley & District Round Table, where he was Honorary Life President until his death in May 2013, aged 88.

llkley Round Table agreed to buy the £4,500 boat for the scout sailing centre to assist in teaching able-bodied and disabled people to sail. It is called Sir Geoff – the nickname given to the fund raising stalwart by current and past Round Table members.

A naming ceremony took place on Sunday, May 18, at the scout sailing centre at Reva Reservoir in Bingley Road, Hawksworth, where the sailing boat will be used.

The ceremony formed part of a larger RYA ‘Push the Boat Out’ event which featured a barbecue and refreshments and also the opportunity for people to try sailing, rafting, rowing, canoeing and generally having safe fun on the water.

Lester Mulligan, chairman of Wharfedale Scout Sailing Centre said: “Push the Boat Out was a fantastic event with 320 people attending from the ages of five to 75 – a huge thank you to all our supporters.

“The new boat ‘Sir Geoff’ will be a great addition to our training fleet plus it will facilitate a DofE Gold Expedition to Lock Lomond this July. Ilkley Round Table have enabled us to continue to grow our Water Activity Centre.”

The event was attended by members of Mr Vere’s family and his daughter Annabelle said the boat was a fitting tribute to her father.