The Hoe & The Gun Author
Am extraordinary life…….
The harbour master on the island of Westray writes:
“By the 1970s, transport in the North Isles of Orkney had become very difficult because there seemed to be no understanding of the needs of island communities. Chris changed this, creating a new concept of ferry service, which had an immediate impact on the economies of the outer islands. He also reopened the long dead route between Orkney and Shetland, thereby reuniting the Northern cousins, and it is beyond doubt that he revolutionised ferry services in the Northern Isles. The people of this island will always be extremely grateful to him.”
When his company was taken over, he ended up sailing a 95 foot landing craft with some of his family to Mozambique where he operated two such craft to feed people displaced by long years of civil war. The then CEO of ActionAid writes:
“During the late 1980s and early 1990s Chris Marrow was the inspiration and driving force behind a massive humanitarian effort to supply food to hundreds of thousands of people sheltering on off-shore islands in Mozambique. These people were fleeing for their lives from their homes and villages driven out by a horrible civil war. Chris used his vision and maritime and management skill to reposition two surplus United Kingdom navy landing craft to move food from warehouses out to the islands where it was needed. Chris was responsible for the total operation and in the process trained and mentored local staff in vital maritime skills. Chris went on to lead the building of additional landing craft within Mozambique, leaving behind skills and experience in small craft construction.
Chris is a visionary and tireless in making his visions come to life. I have never worked with a finer individual.”
When the war was over, he founded a charity to work with waterborne transport for aid, development and relief, and this took him to numerous remote corners of the world. In 1996 he undertook the first expedition to travel by river from Malawi to the Indian Ocean and back by the Shire and Zambezi rivers, and remains one of the only people alive to have done this. This led to him being asked to do a study into the privatisation of the shipping company on Lake Malawi, and he subsequently took the company over from the Government and ran it as a private enterprise on behalf of Malawian interests.
In between these enterprises, as someone who speaks Portuguese and knows the coast and rivers of that country, he volunteered to assist the British relief effort in the catastrophic Mozambique floods of 2000 and led teams from the RNLI and Fire Service up the River Buzi with a French medical team to do medical evaluations. (He also speaks French.)
Back with his family in the UK now, he works to increase economic development in the Southwest of England through South West Business Council and maintains his links with Africa, as well as developing new links in places such as China. Not one to sit back on his laurels, he is a double world record holder on the Concept 2 rower for both the small team and large team of over-70s rowing 100 kms.