Club launches “Don Clements Bursary” for junior sailors


As many readers of the North Renfrew Times will know, Don Clements passed away earlier this year. Don was an avid sailor with a friendly, outgoing, and adventurous disposition.

He taught sailing as a senior counsellor at a YMCA camp many years ago, but was captivated by sailing when he and Doreen, his wife, bought a Bayfield 25 named “Somewhere.”

Don loved sailing “Somewhere” on the Ottawa River and anchoring in one of its many bays and coves, often tying up alongside with other sailboats for dinners with friends.

He also sailed in the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River, but always enjoyed returning to sail “Somewhere” on the Ottawa River.

While at Keys School in the early 80’s, he combined this love of teaching and of sailing by implementing an innovative multimedia school program called “Voyage of the Mimi.”

The program encouraged students, especially girls and minorities, to develop a keen interest in Science, Geography, Math, and Computer literacy.

The “Mimi” was a sailing vessel crewed by students, who did research about whales off the coast of Massachusetts.

Thanks to Don, the program was introduced throughout Renfrew County; it had real-world applications, helped many students become responsible global citizens and develop an interest in sailing.

Taking students out on the boat to enjoy the thrill of sailing gave Don particular pleasure.

All of the above is to say it seemed appropriate to Doreen to make a donation in Don’s name to the Deep River Yacht and Tennis Club Junior Sailing program.

As Doreen says, “the program embodies his love of both teaching and of sailing.”

The club has decided to use this and subsequent donations to set up a bursary.

Donations will be used: (1) to give selected children who would not otherwise have the opportunity, a chance to get out on the water and learn to sail, and (2) to help sailing instructors with the expensive fees associated with obtaining their sailing instructor certifications.

If you’d like to make a contribution, please do so by Interac e-transfer to <> specifying “Don Clements Memorial Bursary” in the notes, or by sending a cheque to DRYTC, Box 960, Deep River, ON K0J 1P0.

  • For more local coverage, pick up a copy of this week’s NRT. To get the NRT delivered directly to your mail box or inbox each week, subscribe here.