In Members, Stories 2023

The Club would like to acknowledge the recent passing of two former Sailing Club members, both of whom made significant contributions to our club in the past. The Club expresses its sympathy to both families.

Jim Ganderton

(thanks to Michael Clark for this excerpt from Jim’s obituary)

It is with profound sadness that Jim’s children have announced the passing of James Ganderton, on January 28 at his home on Salt Spring Island.

Jim graduated from the Royal Military College in 1961 with an Engineering degree before serving as an officer in the RCAF. Very soon after graduation he married Florence “Flo”, his high school sweetheart. Later Jim joined the Trade Commissioner Service with postings in Boston, Singapore, New Zealand and Philadelphia followed by a time with Spar Aerospace before they retired to Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

Jim and Flo were enthusiastic boaters for many years and he served as Commodore of the Salt Spring Island Sailing Club in 2002.

Jim had a sharp wit, a cheeky spirit and sparkling personality. He was a true gentleman and had the biggest heart. He had endless time for family and lifelong friends and was happiest celebrating their lives. He also had the deepest love for his wife Flo who had recently predeceased him. They enjoyed a 65 year marriage and together they raised daughters Joni, Diana, and their son Mark. The three children all married and presented Jim and Flo with four grandchildren.

Norm Elliott

(thanks to Bob Jones for this write up)

Many of you will have read in the Driftwood of the passing of Norm Elliott. Club members of 10 or more years standing will remember Norm as a devoted Club member who was up for many tasks. To those of you who are newer members, I would like to tell you of Norm’s most significant contribution to our club’s development.

At the end of 2011 the Club had completed the massive “Dock & Dredge” program, which removed some of our old and dilapidated fingers and enlarged the marina with new concrete walkways and many large and substantial fingers. What had previously been the “better half” of the marina now looked the poor relation to the new section. I had recently become the Rear Commodore and the new Commodore Derek Castle said, “We can’t charge equal moorage rates throughout the marina. We need to fix this.”

Thus commenced the Finger Building Project and Norm’s indispensable contribution to its success. Clearly we could not take up limited Club parking space with a large project. The materials alone would take up a full parking area. Norm stepped in and said, “I have flat land, space and a electrical panel with a 60 amp breaker.” Wow!! Our new Vice Commodore Patrick Beattie casually mentioned that he had a financial interest in the large truck-mounted crane operated by Brian Dawes. Double Wow! Now we really were good to go!!

Norm proved to be a wonderful landlord;  his substantial business holdings gave us wholesale pricing for the massive volume of fastenings. No charge for rent or power and Norm would frequently show up on a Friday afternoon with a case of beer and a bucket of ice. The Club’s working cash permitted 12 fingers to be built in the Spring of 2012. Over a Friday beer, Norm suggested that if he made a no interest loan we could keep going into the summer. I grabbed this with both hands. After a well-earned break, the project was completed in the spring of 2013 with further Club funding. Our savings over Island Marine’s pricing was about $150,000.

As a final gesture at the end of the project, Norm threw a garden party dinner for all the participating members and their wives. That was Norm, a friendly, unassuming gentleman who earned the admiration and respect of the many, many people he came in contact with. Our Club and our Island has lost both a benefactor and a wonderful man.


For newer members of the Club I would urge a review of the 2012 January to May archived Tell Tales, where there are many photos but, more importantly, the names of people you may know who made the whole project happen.

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