Falklands veteran Simon Weston to speak at IMarEST dinner


Simon WestonFalklands war veteran Simon Weston OBE will be the inspirational speaker at next year’s Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology’s (IMarEST) annual dinner.

The event, to be held at London’s prestigious Guildhall in March, brings together more than 500 of the world’s leading marine professionals. It will also see the Institute’s 113th president formally announced.

Welsh Guardsman Simon Weston suffered 46% burns when the troop-carrying RFA Sir Galahad was destroyed at Bluff Cove.

Since the attack, in June 1982, Weston has forged a successful career as a charity worker, author and motivational speaker.

IMarEST CEO David Loosley said: “Anyone who has seen Simon speak, even in the media, will know what a powerful personality he is. His positive attitude serves as an inspiration to anyone overcoming adversity in any field.”

Mr Weston said: ““It is an absolute honour to be invited to speak at the IMarEST annual dinner. It is a wonderful organisation and it will be a privilege to share my story with such a respected group of people.”

2015 marks the 126th anniversary of IMarEST which, with more than 15,000 members made up of marine professionals from more than 100 countries, is the largest organisation of its type in the world.

Mr Weston’s story has been well publicised and he has been the subject of five major BBC Television documentaries: Simon’s War, Simon’s Peace, Simon’s Triumph, Simon’s Return and in April 1999, Simon’s Journey. His autobiography, Walking Tall, topped the best sellers’ list while Going Back: Return to the Falklands and Moving On were also best sellers.

Last year the father of three was nominated by viewers of BBC’s One Show to have his portrait hung in the National Portrait Gallery. In 2014 Simon was voted top of the UK`s ‘heroes index’ and for two years he has been the President for Wales Scouting, he is also the current Patron of the Falkland Veterans’ Foundation, the Allied Service Trust and an ambassador for Changing Faces.

The evening will also see the presentation of the institute’s prestigious President’s Commendation Award which last year went to Dr John McGrath, the Dean of the Royal Naval Engineering College in Plymouth.

Once again the dinner, on 13th March, will raise money for its charitable wing, the Guild of Benevolence, which was set up in 1912 to help the families of the Titanic engineers, and continues to support maritime professionals and their families.