Monday, February 01, 2010

Eric Spencer 1923-2010

Eric Spencer passed away peacefully at the West Island Palliative Care Residence on January 26th, 2010. I did not know Eric well, but after acquiring my first keelboat, a Tanzer 22, and then as as a Past-President of the Tanzer Class Association, I was fortunate enough to meet him on a number of occasions. Eric was a speaker at our AGMs and the main supplier of parts for our Tanzers after the builder closed its doors. I was always struck by his keen knowledge, generosity, and patience. When he gave talks at our meetings the hall was always silent, as members tried to retain every word of help and wisdom. After he would finish, a line up of those with questions would garner the same attentiveness. It is obvious to me that beyond boats, people like Eric Spencer are what make our pastime so special. Here is an excerpt from the recent obit. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

Eric was born in Cromer, England, served as navigator and became a Commissioned Officer in the Pathfinder Force of the RAF from 1941-1946. He settled in Canada in 1957. A life-long yachtsman, he became president and co-owner of Tanzer Industries from 1968-1986. His knowledge of sailing craft was considerable and highly sought-after by enthusiasts the world over. He established his "retirement project", Yachting Services in 1986, which he operated with Patricia's help to the end. Eric loved books and enjoyed serving on the Beaconsfield Library Book Selection Committee for several years. Eric was a dynamic person, who lived keenly, and was very brave throughout his final years, bearing the cruelties of terminal illness. He was a member of the "Best Generation", and we who knew and loved him have been privileged to have had him in our lives.