Squadron AGM and Graduation

The Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron was pleased to recognize five new graduates of the Boating Essentials course. Three graduates who were able to attend received their diplomas and Squadron pennants from Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron Commander John Mason and District Commander Elizabeth Appleton.

The graduates are:
Warren Bean
Jeffrey Clarke
Shendah Davy
Joseph Grasso
Jeffrey Windich

Redwood189020150506-_DSC1344Elizabeth Applelton, Warren Bean, Shendah Davy, Joe Grasso, John Mason

Also recognized at the Annual General Meeting were Commander John Mason and Administration Officer Horst Mattern who are both celebrating their Twenty Year anniversaries serving on the bridge.

Redwood189020150506-_DSC1345John Mason, Elizabeth Appleton, Horst Mattern

The Annual General Meeting also saw the election of a new Bridge, with a newcomer, Joseph Grasso, serving as Supply Officer. The full list of the Bridge can be found through this link.

JB – Communications Officer

Leeward Ho!

A short report from the Squadron’s Executive Officer – John Mason.

There’s snow on the ground.  It’s cold outside.  Time for some winter boating!  John and Pauline Mason, and grandson Xavier, took a March charter out of Sint Maarten.  Well we, and 158 others, ‘chartered’ a cabin on one of Star Clippers 370 foot boats.  Have you seen the ad in the Canadian Yachting that comes with a membership to CPS?  Take a peek a page 95, April; that’s the four mast clipper we were on. (Editors note – it’s Star Clippers through Europa Travel and Tours, here’s a link to their website.)

Pauline and I have been on three river cruises in Europe; this was different but just as good.  Our state room had a queen size bed, a bunk for Xavier, and a bathroom with shower.  Quite big enough for the trip.

St. Maarten, Nevis, Dominica, Les Saints, Guadeloupe, St. Barts. Each day we stopped on one of six leeward islands.  As well as possible tours ashore there were options for rafting down a river, zip lining through tropical forests, snorkeling through reefs, that kind of thing; or you could stay with the boat for wine tasting, water sports, including a ride to a nearby beach to swim and snorkel. The days could be full.

The week on the boat can best be summed up by Xavier who said day after day, “This is the best day of my life!”  His best days included tubing down the rapids, climbing the mast, learning to scuba, (he reported he could live underwater) and, even I have to admit, some of the very best meals.  There was a choice of three chef prepared dinners each day. If chicken, Chateaubriand or lobster were not to your taste, there was a steak or veggie dish.  Five or six meals or snacks through the day – just what a growing boy needs.

Pauline and I agree it was an excellent trip AND the Green Flash exists.  As I climbed down from the mast I stopped to see the sunset.  After years of watching for it, it happened.  A small flash of green in the center of an orange Sun. I saw it.

I am ready to do it again.

To get out of the way of hurricanes and catch the lucrative Mediterranean market, the boats are repositioned twice a year.  I have always looked forward to sailing across the Atlantic and I now think this would be a way to go.  Want to come with me?

Up, up and Away

caribbean 2013 390 caribbean 2013 383

Flotsam and Jetsam – mid-December Issue

The Beacon Star’s Season’s Greetings issue had a photo of future members of the squadron on their cover (bottom right). Their photo was taken as they rode on the squadron’s Santa Claus parade float a few weeks ago. Check it out; they had their life jackets on.

A squadron member has passed on a video link reinforcing why it’s a good idea to attach  furniture to the floor and/or wall when you head out to sea. Despite the video’s title it apparently is a Pacific Sun Cruise liner riding out a storm off the coast of New Zealand on July 30th 2010.

Happy holidays to all. It’s a great time to think about upgrading or refreshing your boating skills. Check out the Parry Sound squadron’s course offerings for 2013.

Hubert Latzel – Remembrance

Those of you who have read the preceding posts are well aware that there will not be a formal service for Past Commander Dr. Latzel. I received the following message earlier today and am happy to post it as written (it was directed to the people at Torrance Funeral Home from Hubert’s family):

Hello Steve,
the link to donations for my dad is this (a little awkward, but it works):
– it allows general donations in multiples of $10.
Please specify that
– for “in Memory of”, please put in “P/Cdr Hubert Latzel”
Could you have this posted on your site?

I think that this is a great way to express our appreciation for Hubert’s contribution as a Parry Sound Power Squadron member and friend to many in the community. But I’d like the squadron to consider another way to commemorate Hubert.

It’s not often that an individual in a completely innocent way expresses one of their deepest wishes. This was the case with Hubert. Those of you who were at the last meeting of the Parry Sound Power Squadron Bridge will remember his wish/recommendation that the squadron take on the rehabilitation of the dock at Regatta Bay on Franklin Island. Hubert discussed the obvious need for repair and the impending challenge of working through the bureaucratic red tape to see it realized. He was direct and passionate in making this proposal to the Bridge.

Is this perhaps the  best way for the squadron to honour the memory of a friend and past commander? I think it is and and I will be bringing it before the Bridge at our next meeting. It’s not often that life and fate provides the opportunity to fulfill what was perhaps a man’s last wish. Hubert had a wonderful and selfless idea that I hope the Parry Sound Power Squadron will work to realize.

Past Commander Hubert Latzel – Funeral Arrangements

The following was provided to me earlier today. I guess we will need to finish the next meeting of the Bridge a little early and take the time for a drink in memory of Hubert.

Hubert Latzel: Suddenly, but of natural causes on his boat, near one of his favourite islands on Thursday June 28, 2012 in his 72nd year.  Loving father of Edrik, Markus and his wife Marilyn.  Proud grandfather of Maya and Marissa.  Fondly remembered by all his boating friends.  Cremation has taken place.

A private family service will be held at a later date. Cremation arrangements entrusted to the Torrance Funeral Home and Chapel.

If desired, donations to the Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron would be appreciated.

Condolences may be sent to  Please put the family name in the subject line, and they will forward the message to the family.

Our Squadron’s Loss is the Community’s Loss

The Squadron is saddened by the recent death of our immediate Past Commander: Hans-Hubert Latzel, MD. Those of you who didn’t know Hubert, and those who did, will enjoy the very brief overview of his life provided by another Past Commander of the Parry Sound Squadron, Marianne King-Wilson.

Past Commander Hubert Latzel died a few days ago.  He was found aboard his houseboat-cruiser, Whiskey Jack, where he lived each summer.

Hubert described himself as “addicted to Georgian Bay”.  These were his home waters, and he knew the area well.  An accomplished photographer, he focused on nature.  Whether the smallest patch of moss or mushroom, or the watersnake beside his boat, or the birds at his feeder, Hubert turned his lens to their beauty.

The natural world brought out his poetic side. In describing a tall gnarled tree trunk he saw a sentinel: “the custodian of Big Snake Island.  For others, it’s only a crippled tree, and for some it is just firewood.  But…close your eyes and listen–don’t you hear a deep roaring cry from a dying tree?”

Hubert was a keen observer of the world, science and politics; his blogs were an analytical and eclectic reflection of the thoughtful, outspoken person he was.
A willing volunteer,  Hubert was always eager to help at a Squadron function, and joined the Bridge within a few years of completing Boating. He was generous with his time.  First he served as Membership officer and then moved to Exec, and Commander.  He told the members he was honoured to be the Commander during the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Squadron, with so many celebratory events.

He never missed a Canada Day Sailpast.  It held special meaning for him, as “a newbie Canadian” as he called himself.  At the 2012 sailpast, flags were lowered on all boats in tribute to Hubert.

Hubert came from an ancient Austrian family of entrepreneurs who had started a school for weavers, later introduced the first modern kiln for quicklime, and then developed the sugar beet industry, with three agricultural schools to educate farmers.   Despite the ravages of wars, one of the schools is still operating.

War changed the course of Hubert’s life when the SS killed his father. Still a toddler, with his mother and three siblings, Hubert travelled on foot, in cattle cars, and by any means possible, to his mother’s home town near Dusseldorf.  Much of it was destroyed, and thus Hubert said, “I grew up between ruins.”

He pined for the woods and the animals and fresh air, and so eventually returned to a Jesuit school in Austria and a high school which taught natural science.  He graduated in Medicine from University of Muenster, Germany.

As a respected physician, he practised the healing profession for many years before his early retirement and move to Canada, where his son Markus had just started a family with his wife Marilyn.

Hubert easily took up the role of grandfather with a wealth of knowledge about nature and science to share with his granddaughters Maya and Marissa.  They spent happy days together exploring his favourite islands aboard Whiskey Jack.

Hubert passed the family gift for entrepreneurship to his sons Markus and Edrik, who now run successful businesses in Canada and Germany, following their own passions.

Hubert’s kindliness and generosity of spirit will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to Torrance will be announced in due course.

Hubert once said that in his next life he wanted to be a bird.  Now is that time, soaring free over the Bay, with a transcendent vista that can only be imagined.

The Whiskey Jack

Communications Officer note: Hubert’s heartfelt pictorial overview of The Snakes can be found through this link. With time, and as his site is inevitably retired and lost to the public, we will will host a copy at our site. In the meantime take the opportunity to peek through the eyes of another human being.