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Past Meetings

See also Meeting reports for write-ups of past meetings

Event Information:

  • Wed

    Peter Cardy

    7 for 7:30Cotswold Club

    Peter Cardy was born in Gosport. After half a century away he now lives there once again, overlooking the mouth of Portsmouth harbour. No-one in his family had any maritime connections, but he was fascinated by the sea from childhood. He grew up wanting to be a ferryboat hand, an lifetime ambition he achieved at the age of 18. Since then he says everything has been a bonus.

    He went sailing for the first time at the age of nine, and describes it as 75% pure terror, 25% pure joy, just as it has been ever since. He sailed in the 1962 Tall Ships Race (‘wet, cold and scary’) and went as Bosun’s mate on the schooner Sir Winston Churchill in her first season.

    He worked ashore for four decades as CEO in a string of organisations (‘I never had a proper job’) but was unable to leave the sea. Eventually it reclaimed him and he moved from Macmillan, a major cancer charity, to head up the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. He retired from running the Tall Ships Races in 2013.

    ‘I’ve worked with many boards both as a CEO and as a trustee or board member. Most have been a great source of advice and wisdom, though a few have been a nightmare. Even now I haven’t worked out the rules.

    In recent years I’ve become very interested in the relationship between board and CEO, which can go terribly wrong. This tends to dominate my agony column in Third Sector.

    I have not made a success of retirement so I now do four jobs instead of one. I still enjoy helping people to develop, so I take on mentoring and coaching assignments.’

    As a failed retiree he runs Gosport’s marine business network, writes a cold-hearted agony column, sails on the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s square-riggers, advises the Royal Yachting Association and does other maritime things. His memory is full of the strange and wonderful things that happen at sea.

    He has an oblique view of life but is sure of one thing. Since this is the only world of which we can be certain, we should work to leave it a better place than we found it.


    A: Cajun salmon on a bed of farfalle sun blushed tomato and spinach in a cream reduction
    B: Pork tenerdloin, chorizo, mushroom and oregano penne pasta
    V: Roasted red peppers filled with quinoa, Mediterranean vegetables and tomato sauce with a baby rocket salad (v)

    Selection of desserts