Guernsey Press

Former deputy and ‘man of the sea’ dies aged 89

Former deputy Peter Bougourd died this week at the age of 89.

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Peter Bougourd as a deputy in 2003. (32054058)

Mr Bougourd was a deputy for almost 20 years, serving St Sampson’s from 1985 to 2004.

As well as a deputy, he was a steadfast member of the RNLI, volunteering for more than 25 years.

In 1981 he was awarded a Bronze RNLI medal for the courage and skill he showed during the rescue of the Bonita, a large Ecuadorian vessel that began listing heavily in the middle of the English Channel in winds gusting to hurricane force 12 and 50ft waves.

During three-and-a-half hours of darkness and bitter cold, the lifeboat he served on as second coxswain rescued 29 people.

Peter Bougourd in the early 90s in his Bridge fishmongers. (32054063)

John Webster, who served alongside him, and also received a medal for that night, said that his friend had been a true gentleman.

‘He was a hard-working family man,’ he said.

‘If you pulled your finger out and worked hard, he was easy to get on with.’

A well-known and respected fisherman, in later years Mr Bougourd ran a fishmongers on the Bridge, where Fletcher Sports is now.

Deputy Lyndon Trott knew him from both inside and outside of the States Chamber.

‘I first met Peter when I was a boy when I worked on a fishing vessel that fished alongside his boat – the Tel-mor,’ he said.

‘He was a first-class shell fisherman and a stalwart of Guernsey’s fishing industry at his peak. We met again a few years later when I stood for election. Peter was a sitting deputy in St Sampson’s and, despite being a competitor for a seat, he was hugely supportive and generous to me.

‘After that election we sat together on the Board of Administration, and I saw at first hand the politics of a real hard-working genuine Guernseyman.’

Peter Bougourd, third from right, with his fellow lifeboat crew members after the Bonita rescue in 1981. (32054066)

Mr Bougourd lost his father, a policeman, during the Occupation when the White Rock was bombed by the Luftwaffe.

‘That was something that had affected him quite significantly and understandably,’ said Deputy Trott.

‘He was a real man of the sea and a brilliant lifeboat coxswain, highly respected not least for his bravery but also his seamanship. He was quite simply one of Guernsey’s real characters and I shall miss him.’

Deputy John Gollop remembered Mr Bougourd as a man of total integrity and transparency.

‘He was a gentleman of the States, very courteous, he didn’t go in for machinations. He was a loss to the States when he left but very few members complete six terms of service.

‘He was a very popular man, with a unique sense of humour. He said once: "I don’t change my mind, I just get better ideas’’.'