It was earlier this year when Art De Vries passed away. I did not know Art De Vries well, but when I served on the SYLVRA committee with him, he was immediately recognizeable as a "Do-er". I don't recall him adding a lot of commentary on topics. However, when action was required, he was that type of guy. When stuff needs to get done, that's who you wanted on your team. So, when I read of Art's passing on SYLVRA's website, I was immediately sad and recognized an important loss for the organization and all of us sailing in Montreal. Here are some words by the SLVRA President Chris Paynter and IPYC's Guy Legault:
``This winter the Saint Lawrence Valley Yacht Racing Association (SLVYRA) lost a long-time friend and member of the SLVYRA Executive. Every one of us who races on our Lakes has benefited from the many years now that Art has been quietly looking after the SLVYRA Marks and Buoys that we all use for our racing events. He gave a great deal of his personal time to making the Buoys in his garage, and ensuring every year that they were properly moored and in their correct places on the Lake. And as a dedicated supporter of our racing community, he could always be counted upon to join our meetings at the SLVYRA over the winter months, to give us good humoured and valuable support for our activities.
The last time I saw him was at our meeting at the end of January, when he was planing a number of new activities relating the the Marks and Buoys on the Lakes for this coming year. He was not there for the first time in my memory for the February meeting. It was with great sorrow that I heard later that he would not be with us again.
His Yacht Club, IPYC, has sent me the Eulogies that were read at their club meetings, and I am attaching them here.
May his soul rest in peace.
Eulogy – Ile Perrot Yacht Club – by Guy Legault
If I wanted to describe Art in two words it would be commitment and passion.
Art was the best example of commitment one could find amongst the members of any Yacht Club. It was not enough that he was part of the Board of Directors of our Club for so many years; he was also present for all the drudgeries, such as clean up days, launch days, and more. As a matter of fact, Art was at the club almost every day of the year; summer and winter. During the season, he was always there, checking to see if there was anything that needed to be done and if there was, he didn’t worry about who’s responsibility it was to do it, he just did it himself.
You will not be surprised if I say that Art was a sailing enthusiast. He was not only the person responsible for the Club’s Races; he took part in each and every race on the season’s calendar. In fact, he so wanted to communicate his passion to others that, for several years, he organised the Sunday afternoon races; hoping, thereby, to develop the taste for sailing amongst members who only came to the Club a few times during the season.
For Art, the Ile Perrot Yacht Club had become his second home and the members formed his second family. It is for this reason that his departure saddens us all. Art…. You will always live for the enthusiasts and amateurs of sailing at the IPYC.``