On May 17th 2017, the Boat Community Lost John West.

John West interview in memoriam

The Victoria community, the yachting community and his loving friends and family lost a great friend.

John West was a beloved husband to Bonnie, step-father to Sean and a friend to so very many. He was also a great advocate for  Dorothy, a classic sailboat boat that will be forever in his debt.

A tireless source of maritime history and classic boats, John was a champion of British Columbia heritage and culture. John gave much of his time and energy to BC Heritage Society, the Victoria Heritage Foundation, and the St. Barnabas Anglican Church. Not least of all, he tirelessly supported the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. He was one of the main founders of the Victoria Classic Boat Festival in 1977, serving as chair from 1998 until 2005. He later acted as judging coordinator, imparting his deep knowledge of classic vessels.

Here’s a video featuring the 2017 Classic Boat Festival
sights, sounds and people, dedicated to John West:

John and Eric two male trustees standing chatting about Dorothy an antique sailboat. the man on the left is light skinned with thinning grey hair and thick rimmed glasses. The man on the right is light skinned wearing a red baseball hat and a red fluffy jacket.

When John came aboard the Dorothy project, he turned his encyclopedic knowledge and passion for historical and classic boats into action. Spearheading the drive to get Dorothy out of storage and back into the public eye, John pulled together the details of Dorothy’s design and history, and would recount stories culled from the logs of her previous owners as if he was there.

We interviewed John West several times between 2013 to 2016. I hope we were able to capture a small portion of his passion for history and the stories that classic boats tell about our culture and our collective history.

John, thank you for all you gave to Dorothy and the other magnificent boats you cared for.

John West's Obituary

You can read John’s obituary here. The memorial will be held tomorrow, Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 1:00 PM. A reception will follow at the Inn at Laurel Point, 680 Montreal St., at 4:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the BC Cancer Agency and/or The Maritime Museum of B.C. (634 Humbolt St., Victoria, BC V8W 1A4) in the name of John West.

You were one of the great ones, Johnny, and you, and your Cowichan sweater and your wizard brain about boats, will be forever missed.

One Comment

  • Angus Matthews says:

    John’s presence around everything he cared about was like a curling bow wave. He has left an impressive wake on the BC coast and in our community… he will be missed.

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