May 3rd dawned grey and listless as over a hundred Penderites convened in a life memorial for a stalwart of the sailing community. John Quitzau was a life-long sailor, leading the PI Yacht Club racing program in mastering the Gulf Islands’ “liquid assets”. With an ever-ready smile he combined a mastery of tides and wind with words of encouragement to fellow sailors.
Saturday morning was John’s final race as 7 boats convened for a last sortie from Otter Bay Marina. The Junior Sailing program contributed two boats manned by five of our directors in honour of the occasion. In a moving tribute, John’s ashes were then committed to the waters by his son Lester accompanied by the morning’s race vessels.
Shortly thereafter, Angie Quitzau, Lester and Honey Mae hosted a memorial dinner where we shared reminisces of a friend, community leader and avid sailor. It was a day of recognition, love and hope as only Pender can offer.
As a living memorial the family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Pender Island Junior Sailing. These can be dropped off at the Junior Sailing folder at the Pender Realty office or mailed to Anne Burdett or Dr. Don Williams.
We mourn John’s passing while gratefully appreciating his legacy in supporting future sailors.