The squadron lost a dear friend with the recent passing of Doreen Parsons. She and her husband Dick had a long association with our section of the Ottawa River, from their early days racing 505 dinghies at the Deep River Yacht and Tennis Club followed by their becoming ‘River People’ with their first cruising boat, a Venture of Newport sloop. In that boat they traveled the Ottawa from Mattawa to Pembroke. Finding the boat a bit cramped, they moved on to a Balboa 28, “Flashdance”, which became well-known at the anchorages from Swisha to Pembroke. When the Deep River Marina was proposed, Dick and Doreen were strong promoters and worked hard to have it come into being. About this time the Oiseau Rock Power Squadron was formed and both Dick and Doreen became early members. In the next few years Doreen served on the Bridge, first as Secretary and then for several years as Membership/Public Relations Officer.
Having developed a taste for sailing and having found the Bahamas to their liking, they arranged, with friends, several charters to the Abacos and fell in love with the place. Their last charter was in Marsh Harbour on the Endeavour 37 “Salty Seven” which they eventually purchased. This began the pleasant task of visiting “Salty” in the winter months and coming back to “Flashdance” for the summers. Our loss was Marsh Harbour’s gain as both Dick and Doreen soon became active in the social life of what was then a small Bahamian town. Doreen was particularly active with the establishing of a town library and also in the many crafts and ladies groups within the town. Over the years they became very much a part of the social fabric of Marsh Harbour. Being ‘live aboards’ they had the advantage of having the freedom of the islands and they used that freedom to visit probably all of the many Cays in the Abacos, often sharing these pleasures with friends from Canada. However, living aboard also involved maintaining the boat, riding out storms, climbing in and out of dinghies while at anchor in all kinds of weather and other such tasks. When these became too much of a chore they found a piece of property in Abaco on the top of a hill overlooking Winding Bay. Over the years they built a small cabin, cleared the land, built a lovely house with an ocean view and finally gave up “Salty”. Work on the house and gardens continued until last winter when Doreen had to remain in Canada undergoing treatment for cancer. She fought the good fight and was always cheery and optimistic. She will be missed here and ‘Down in Abaco’.
Cmdr Janice Bunge
from ‘The Scuttlebutt