It is nearly a year since the tragic passing of Amy Morley-Beavers. Amy (pictured, right, with sister Lisa) needs no introduction – to be in the superyacht industry comes hand in hand with having known this tremendous woman, described by her mother, Beverly Morley, as having ‘an infinite capacity to love others’. So when Amy passed away on 5 November 2016, our industry was without its heart, and Amy’s beloved family and friends had to come to terms with losing someone it, quite simply, wasn’t fair to lose.
Amy’s list of accomplishments reads on and on, and while in many ways no one was ever surprised – after all, Amy was incredibly intelligent (‘scary smart!’ as her mother describes her) – people would also, sometimes, be surprised. Amy was exemplarily humble in each of her numerous achievements, which included her position as vice chair of MERPAC (a special advisory committee to the Department of Homeland Security), vice president of the Maritime Education Standards Council, a member of the board of education at Bethany Christian School, academic principal of MPT and, her biggest achievement, her beloved son, Matthew.
Those many and lucky people who knew Amy were aware of her medical difficulties, yet those who had only just met her wouldn’t know a thing because Amy was so concerned with the wellbeing and happiness of others. “One of Amy’s greatest accomplishments was the ability to encourage others to be better than they thought they could be,” remembers her mother. “She had infinite capacity to love others. She could reach out to those who were struggling and instil a will to try harder and not to give up.”
In discussing with Amy’s sister, Lisa Morley, the immensely challenging task of paying a fitting tribute to someone who has touched so many, we decided to share some of the heartfelt messages the MPT family received upon news of Amy’s passing, representing the many lives Amy not only touched, but also truly enriched.
“Amy was truly remarkable in her efforts to improve the education of all mariners who came through the doors of MPT.”
“Amy and MPT will always be a part of the fabric of who I am. I am most grateful to Amy for her assistance to me personally in my professional maritime career. She has been an inspiration to me and so many others.”
“It is so hard to believe that Amy is no longer here with us. I have known Amy for a few years now and always loved running into her. She always had a smile on her face and such a friendly attitude. Those are the memories that will always stay with me, and I will miss her dearly.”
“Not only was Amy the quintessential maritime industry professional, full of knowledge and experience, but she was genuinely a warm and delightful person to be with.”
"News of Amy’s passing hit harder and closer to home than expected. It seems incomprehensible and so unfair, as was her long suffering. Her passing changes things. The ocean seems more grey; my boat only smaller now. The horizon is further away and my heart heavier now. I would have traded places with her if given the choice. But God has called her home and now I must row a bit further to see her again.”
These are just a very small selection of comments Amy’s sister received within a mere week of the news of her passing, which, I think, serves as a heartfelt, yet painful, reminder of just how many lives Amy touched over her 47 years. And her mother, Beverly, perfectly sums up why Amy has had such a huge impact – something I, and I’m sure many others, have certainly experienced. “She always made time for people, even when she had no time,” she remembers. “When she met with someone, they felt like no one was more important to her, and at that one moment no one was. That was her greatest ability.”
Amy leaves behind her beloved son, Matthew, her mother Beverly, her younger brother Ted, her best friend and sister Lisa, and a whole host of extended family members who loved her very much.
Amy will be truly missed. Yet I hope if we can learn anything from this painful experience, as no doubt Amy would want us to, it’s to try to find that little bit of Amy in all of us, and strive to make the lives of everyone we meet that little bit better, as Amy always did.