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News > OP updates > Obituaries > Richard Hastilow RIP

Richard Hastilow RIP

23 Nov 2022
Obituaries
Richard
Richard

Richard (Dick) Hastilow CBE; Capt. RN
OP 1963
7 May 1945 - 1 February 2022

Our thanks to Peter Moth FNI. (OP 1971) for writing this tribute

For most, the completion of a single successful career is an accomplishment to be prized. For others, the combination of two careers in a single lifetime is an achievement of even greater note. But to achieve success in three careers is not only quite rare, it also identifies an individual with an outstanding range of skills and abilities.

Such was the achievement of Richard Hastilow, who not only combined challenging and diverse employment in naval, enterprise and professional bodies, but also managed to complete each to the highest of standards and outcomes. Added to this, he held family life in the highest regard and established long-standing friendships that extended throughout his life.

Born in Liphook, Hampshire, Richard joined PGS in what was then referred to as the Lower School, progressing over the years to eventually complete his schooling in the Sixth Form where he majored in modern languages. Here he also gained his first taste of service life, being an enthusiastic participant in the naval section of the CCF. This period had a significant effect on Dick’s subsequent life and one in which he sought to repay whenever possible, notably as a long serving member of the OP Club Committee and latterly as an enthusiastic advocate of the School’s bursary programme.

In 1963 his naval career began in earnest when, as a Murray Scheme Cadet, he entered the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. It is fair to say that this period of training stayed with Richard for the rest of his life and established his ‘leading from the front’ spirit and compassionate style of command that helped him to stay calm in a crisis and which served him so well in later employments.

In the subsequent 32 years of his naval service, Richard served in twelve sea going ships – from Midshipman on the old Ark Royal to commanding another carrier, HMS Invincible, the latter while maintaining a no-fly zone during the Bosnian crisis. In proving to be a prudent and most capable mariner and shiphandler in his commands of HMS Manchester and HMS Bristol, he nonetheless always had an eye for improvement – a skill that he brought to the fore when appointed Captain of the Britannia Royal Naval College and with his notable introduction of modern competences and practices. In recognition of such efforts, on swallowing the anchor Richard was appointed a CBE, an honour for which he was justifiably proud.

And then started Richard’s second successful career: as Managing Director of the newly-formed Hampshire Training and Enterprise Council. Not a move that would obviously suit a non-commercial naval officer’s background, but with his usual energy, passion and foresight Richard established a service that gave opportunity and direction to fledgling businesses and the prospect for young people to enter the world of commerce having had access to the best training and experience available. Also, during this period, Richard became a governor of Portsmouth University and an enthusiastic campaigner for the regeneration of Portsmouth Harbour. 

And then on to his third and final career move: again breaking the mould by entering an arena of obvious challenges when taking on the appointment as Chief Executive of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For the subsequent ten years, Richard’s negotiation and people skills were often tested to the extreme as he introduced modern-day practices to an organisation that had resided in past glories for far too long. His retirement legacy was to leave behind an organisation that was not only fit for purpose but also had brought together the diverse mind-sets of such a creative membership.

Never one to sit on his hands in retirement, Richard filled his days with local community and parish activities close to his home in South Harting, West Sussex. Most notably, he became Chairman of the Radian Group (Housing Association), offering the opportunity to provide direction to an organisation that builds, owns, rents and maintains a significant number of houses throughout the region that  - through schemes such as Shared Ownership or Help to Buy – provide socially affordable homes to buy and rent.

A family man throughout his careers, Richard constantly acknowledged the support and encouragement that he had received from his wife Jill, which had made his accomplishments possible. He was also inordinately proud of the achievements of his children Simon, Nicholas and Sally and the joy occasioned by their seven grandchildren.

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