The Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) has paid tribute to its former Commodore, Admiral Mary Barton, who died on 1 December, just a few days before her 95th birthday.

OCC Commodore John Franklin said: ‘The Ocean Cruising Club is deeply indebted to Mary, the second wife of our Founder, Humphrey Barton. As many will know, the Club went through troubled times in the 1980s and, by the time Mary became Commodore in 1988, it was both insolvent and riven by deep divisions.

‘It was due in large part to Mary’s devotion to the OCC throughout her six years as Commodore that it survived to grow into the vibrant Club it is today. Mary was appointed Admiral in 1994, on completion of her second term as Commodore.

‘Born in Australia, Mary was a keen sailor throughout her long life, dinghies in wartime Ceylon (Sri Lanka) giving way to crewing on ocean passages in the 1950s and 60s. After she married Hum in 1970, Rose Rambler became their cruising home until his death 10 years later.

‘Over the following decades, Mary sailed enthusiastically with OCC members all over the globe, as well as attending many club functions, always an honoured guest. Her last attendance at an OCC formal function was in March 2012, when she joined members at the Royal Yacht Squadron committee luncheon in Cowes, and charmed everyone.

‘A full obituary of Admiral Mary Barton will appear in Flying Fish 2016/1. Any members who wish to contribute information on Mary’s life for the obituary are kindly asked to send it to Jenny Crickmore-Thompson at who will collate it for final editing and publication in Flying Fish by Anne Hammick.’

Mary’s funeral will take the form of a private cremation on Tuesday 15 December for the family only, followed by a memorial service at 2.00 pm in St Luke’s Church, Sway, Hampshire to which all OCC members would be welcome.

The service will be followed by tea in the adjoining church hall. Apparently, the family have asked that no flowers or wreaths should be sent, but anyone wishing to make a donation in lieu is asked to make it for the benefit of the RNLI (Royal National Life Boat Institution).