P/C Sheldon Gibson



On Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, the Oiseau Rock Squadron was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Past Commander Shel Gibson who was one of the founding members of our local unit of the Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons in 1984.
Shel was the second Commander of the squadron (1986 – 1988) and served in many capacities during his twenty years of service. Always cheerful and upbeat, he ably assisted in the squadron’s educational programs and brought his own sense of humour to our “in squadron” news letter as editor of the Scuttlebutt. Later as Social Convenor he presided over the Oiseau Rock Rendezvous, the Winter Curling Spiel and other socials – always a success under Shel’s guidance. Shel was awarded a CPS Plaque in 2000 to commemorate his 15 Merit Marks – a measure of outstanding service to the Squadron.
Community activism comes in many forms, and for Shel it was actively promoting the idea of a town MARINA, then shepherding the project from the wish stage to its completion. In a volunteer capacity he served as project engineer and coordinator. The physical presence of the breakwater, the dredged yacht basin and the first dock configuration were a direct result of Shel’s efforts. Indeed, senior sailors regard the marina as Shel’s monument.
Altruism and his keen love of the Ottawa River moved Shel to become an early and long serving member of the River Recreation Improvement Association Executive. A colleague remembers Shel’s reasoned response to a particularly wanton act of the vandalization of the picnic tables and other fixtures at several of the beaches maintained by the organisation. He took pictures, had them published along with an article in the NRT.This led to the identification of the culprits, the reimbursement for the burned tables, and most importantly widespread financial support by the community for the RRIA.
A keen sailor, his CS22, named KKKatie after his sweetheart & wife, was always competitive and notable in sailing activities. In Sail-speak, Shel’s wind shadow looms huge in our community and squadron – a legend to remember and cherish.
The squadron will make a donation to The Canadian Power & Sail Squadron Foundation in memory of Past Commander Sheldon Gibson.