The international maritime community mourns the passing of Roderick Keay, chairman of Ipswich, UK-based Dolphin Exhibitions, who died peacefully in late December 2013 following a two-year battle with cancer.
After an early career in transport insurance, Mr Keay joined the board the Greece's Posidonia maritime exhibition and conference in 1978, later becoming Deputy Chairman. Through his deep understanding of the international maritime community he made a significant contribution to the success of Posidonia, enhancing its prestige over the many years of his association with Greek shipping.
In 1989, Mr Keay turned his attention to the challenge of promoting the maritime industries of the rapidly changing Soviet Union. Supported by his Russian partners, he took the bold initiative of starting the first ever NEVA International Maritime Exhibition & Conferences in St Petersburg in 1991. As the strength of NEVA grew, he continued looking to the future of the developing Russian Federation, and launched TRANSTEC - The Big Ports and Shipping Event for Russia, three years later with great success. Both events have seen healthy growth in Russian and international participation since their inception.
Mr Keay's foresight helped bring Russian and international leaders of the world of shipping and transport together, at a time when there were no other fora for their interchange.
In October 2013, the NEVA event was given direct support of the Russian Federation by official decree.
He was the only international citizen to be awarded medals by the Union of Russian Shipowners and the Russia Association of Sea Ports. Posthumously he was also awarded the Royal Medal of The Russian Imperial House of the Romanoff Dynasty in commemoration of his merits in support of Russia.