Eight Bells: John Roy
Published on August 15th, 2017
John Alexander Roy passed away quietly at home on August 12 after a short battle with cancer. He was 61 (born Oct 22, 1955).
Music was in John’s blood, playing both trombone and piano, but it was on the ocean that John found his calling. He first took to the water in the mid-60s aboard his father’s schooner, the Jeto. Soon after he began his 50-year relationship with the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS) as a junior sailor, instructor, member and Vice Commodore of Sailing.
Sailing bridged pleasure and business for John, and in 1980 he began working for Ocean Yacht Sales before buying the company in 1990. OYS was a business and a passion that John ran with the honesty and integrity that truly characterized him.
John was an early champion of sailboat racing, helping to inspire a generation of sailors with his enthusiasm and spontaneity to get out on the water and go. This spirit drew him to teaching sailing at the RNSYS and the Waegwoltic Club, becoming an instructor evaluator for the Canadian Yachting Association and the Provincial Sailing Coach for Nova Scotia.
His racing career spanned from one design dinghy classes through to Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Racing and more (much more). He had an uncanny ability to remember every race he had ever sailed, and those he sailed with will know that he was always on the lookout for the glisten.
John loved his wife and children, their holidays and ski vacations. And, once the kids started sailboat racing, there was nothing he enjoyed more than poring over sailing instructions with them the night before a regatta, or replaying their days on the water.
John is survived by his wife Tracey (Flinn), children Emily and Alexander, siblings Peter (Jean Kennedy), Red Deer; Barbara (Scott) Aikman, Wolfville; Paul, Seabright; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Douglas and Jean (Rafuse) Roy.
Visitation will take place from 6-8 pm Wednesday, August 16 at Snow’s Funeral Home, Lacewood Drive. A memorial service will be held at 2pm Thursday, August 17 at St. Andrew’s United Church, Robie Street, Rev. Russell Daye officiating. A reception will follow at RNSYS Saraguay House.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron Corinthian Fund, the Canadian Cancer Society or to the charity of your choice.
Editor’s note: John had written his dad’s Eight Bells tribute here.