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Eight Bells - John Evetts

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The obit for John was printed in the Sun today. Salish Sea members will remember him as a prominent Vancouver racer and boat builder (Alvis Marine) of dinghies like the Pirate and Tasar and his self designed Evetts 31 Half Tonner.

BITD he was also the IOR measurer here.



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I'm about as sorry to read this as I was when I first heard that Alvis Marine had closed, about a decade ago.  

I heard back then was that it was Alzheimer's disease, that finished him in the business.

Even just a couple of years before Alvis shut down, he could still regale a room with all his stories, a born raconteur. 

But on leaving his office one evening, a friend of mine mentioned, "You know, it's really hard to keep that guy 'on message'."

The story I heard was that he started his business doing fiberglass repairs around Greater Vancouver out of the trunk of an old Alvis automobile. 

He'd drive from YC to YC and pull out all his resins and gear from the 'boot' of the car.  I'd love to know what model it was, from anyone who can recall those days.  That would have been quite a sight.


I type pretty fast, so I will copy his obituary here from today's Sun, for posterity's sake.  The least I can do.  Here's to you, John:

"We are sad to say that the 'Long Goodbye' for John is over. He leaves his wife and best friend Marion, his two sons Lloyd (Tara) and Alan (Deidre), and friends and relatives in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.  John came to Canada in the late sixties, finally arriving in Vancouver ~ 1970 where he set up his business, Alvis Marine - combining his training in mechanical engineering, his love of sailing and a slightly competitive instinct.  Over the years, he and his team built, repaired and modified countless boats.  John greatly enjoyed his work, particularly talking to the sailing community ~ discussing the design of the Evetts 31, the Pirates for the training of cadets in the Canadian Forces or youth in the Lower Mainland sailing clubs; and the Tasars for the competitive sailors.  John loved Canada, from camping in the snow in the Laurentian mountains to skiing in BC; the winds and the ocean and watching a beautiful sunset.  He enjoyed it all.  His family is most grateful for the wonderful care he received at Capilano Care Centre and especially the last few years at Kiwanis Care Home.  John, we will miss your wonderful enthusiasm for life and the occasional mischievous glance!"

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Reading between the lines of his obit I suspected it was "Old Timers Disease".

Do you remember when he was doing the rebuild of the fire damaged Ocean 71 at Lynnwood? What a monster that thing was - surprising they could even lift it.

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John was my Dad.  My mom stumbled across this post somehow and sent it to me .  Nice of you to catch his obituary and post some stories, agreed he did tell a great one..

Dad moved out from Montreal to Vancouver and got started in the boat repair business (which led into boat building)... by towing a boat across the country.   The Alvis came with of course..

Thanks for sharing your stores, glad to know that he’s remembered :)   Here is the fabled Alvis on its journey West


This must have been quite a sight on the highway crossing the whole country!





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