It is with great sadness that Frederic Fellouse, Commodore of the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation and past Commodore of Mooredale Sailing Club, announces that Derek Shenstone passed away on Thursday, September 18th, 2014. “This is a considerable loss for our community that goes beyond words.”

Derek Shenstone was a long time member of Mooredale Sailing Club, a community sailing club in the Toronto Outer Harbour. We sometime say that being a member of one of these community club feels like having a second family … well it surely feels like we lost a member of our family today.

To many, Derek was the personification of the spirit of community that our sailing clubs are all about. Besides being an attaching character cherished by many, he was always there to remind the whole community of what the clubs are all about: “a home away from home” where the mood is playful and respectful just like that “third place” that Oldenburg defines as accessible and accommodating – in which your place in the society has no importance, a place without extravagance or grandiosity and where regulars welcome newcomers and help someone new to feel welcome and accommodated.

Derek was all of that for our communities. Many people had their first sailing experience at one of the community clubs of the Outer Harbour. Derek made sure that no one new to the sport would be left behind the process of teaching an adult how to sail. He would patiently and with an incredible perseverance take on every challenge to get them to feel comfortable or to improve their seamanship. His secrets were known to all: ice cream and apple cider vinegar!

On the ground, Derek was the constant co-pilot of the Mooredale’s executive, expressing his encouragements as much as his disagreements every time decisions could affect the fundamental reasons of existence of our community clubs.

As past commodore of Mooredale Sailing Club and current commodore of the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation, Frederic Fellouse would like to invite all of you to observe a minute of silence the next time you go out for a sail to commemorate Derek’s dedication to the great sport of sailing … it’s people like him that make a dream accessible to all.