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Photos from the Past – Isle of Wight initiative – Glass in Society at Work

This was a sponsor’s dinner held on the Isle of Wight December 5th, 2006. to celebrate the first year of the Glass in Society project which ran for four years on the island involving 18 schools, until the local council decided to do away with Middle Schools which is where technology blossomed.

Jo Thomas (now Jo Emms) was the Master that year.

On the front row standing next to Jo and Bill Cook is Joe Vittoria who built the largest glass fibre yacht ever built – Mirabella.

Behind Joe Vittoria to the right is Howard Fair who was a Glass Seller for many years and was my partner in putting together the whole GIS project on the island. We were extremely fortunate as we had secured funding from local industrial sponsors in the composites business, to the tune of £22,000 each year. This meant that we did not have to ask the chairman of the charity fund for any money during the four years that we ran the project.

The members of the court came down from London that day, and were taken round several of the facilities of the companies using Glass Composites, before attending the judging of the GIS competition where the local schools all completed with model boat designs.

We had Admiral Sir Ken Eaton, ex Controller Navy as the senior judge. We used the funding to provide materials and teacher courses in composite materials, we took them to factories, we hired a composite consultancy to teach the teachers about glass fibre and its potential. Many of the teachers had never been into industry and it was wonderful to see how they responded and clearly would affect their pupils lives for many years to come

It was a particularly special day because after the prize-giving Joe Vittoria gave a presentation to the teachers and the court and all the children of how he went about designing and producing his enormous yacht it was a magical day.

We had a superb dinner at the Royal Hotel Ventnor, where this picture was taken.

Joe Vittoria became a Glass Seller as his family were living in London at the time, sadly after a few years they all moved back to America and he resigned from the Company.

You can see some of the Mirabella on the Glass Sellers Charity Fund Video

Information provided by Liveryman Tony Thatcher