Very sadly Mike Keat passed away 26 May 2021. Mike Chapman has very kindly provided the following which can also be viewed on the ponlheritage website together with the order of service:
Michael Francis (Mike) Keat passed away on 26 May 2021. He was 78.
Mike will be known to many as one of the senior commercial managers in Group Commercial, based in Beagle House. His career with the company had though started at sea, serving initially on the New Zealand Shipping Company's cadet training ship Otaio from 1958-1961. The website rakaia.co.uk which is dedicated to the story of the British Merchant Navy Cadet Training Ships has a document provided by Mike (http://www.rakaia.co.uk/assets/mike-keat.pdf) which gives an insight into the sporting activities that he was involved with while on board that vessel which included being a member of the Otaio 'B' Whaler Crew and the Otaio Rugby XV. The document includes a booklet titled "M.V. Otaio - Rugby Football - Voyage VII" which contains the following description of Mike:
KEAT, M. F., No. 8 ; height 6ft. 0in., weight 12 st. 10 lbs., age 18.
Originally a hooker, he made a very successful move to lock forward, where he stayed.
A lively forward, especially with the ball at his feet.
When he came ashore, Mike did a stint as a Cargo Handling Advisor in OCL before eventually becoming a Commercial Manager in P&O Containers. To those who worked with him he was known to be a self-effacing man who understood and was committed to seeing through his responsibilities.
Mike's funeral took place at Wealden Crematorium, Horam on Friday 9 July 2021. SCARA have been provided with a copy of the Order of Service which is copied below.