OUR CO-FOUNDER CAPTAIN THOMAS G. FULLER
Canadian War Hero and Ship Captain Thomas G. Fuller, along with his wife Jeanne, is the founder of Bytown Brigantine Tall Ships Adventure and it's with his vision that we continue to train our sailors and crew to this day. Captain Thomas G. Fuller lived his life with courage, bravery, resourcefulness and undying passion for sailing, and these are the very values we instill in our trainees aboard the very ships he created with his bare hands. Captain Fuller was a living personification of who a sailor should be, and his legacy lives on in the most important projects he ever built: his brigantines.
Today, the bursary used to ensure that no youth is left ashore for want of funds is in the names of both him and his loving wife Jeanne and their legacies live on in each and every youth who steps aboard our ships.
A deep love for the open ocean always resided in the heart of Captain Thomas G. Fuller and over the course of his life he used his sailing prowess to leave the world a little better than how he found it. This began in WWII when Captain Fuller enlisted in the war effort and joined the British navy to wreak havoc on the Axis forces in Europe. Tasked supremely dangerous and noble missions to cut off key Axis supply lines along the coast of Yugoslavia, Captain Thomas fearlessly cut his way through boat by boat and decimated the German fleet earning the nickname "The Pirate of the Adriatic." He was awarded with the Distinguished Service Cross for his daring exploits during the war. Following the conclusion of the war, he continued commanding ships for the Navy until his retirement in 1952.
Once back on land, Captain Thomas G. Fuller returned to his father's highly esteemed construction company and continued to, quite literally, build on his legacy. Over the course of the next 20 years, the Thomas Fuller Construction company essentially renovated Ottawa and gave us some of the most recognizable landmarks in the city, still intact to this day. Already lauded for the company's work on the Parliament Buildings, the Thomas Fuller construction company designed and built the Ottawa Police Headquarters on Elgin, the Ottawa General Hospital, and the Ottawa Congress Center, just to name a few. If Captain Fuller had stopped here, he would have already accomplished enough for multiple lifetimes. Despite the overwhelming success, he still felt that there was something missing, something he must do. His heart was yearning for the sea, and with the support and encouragement of his ever-loving wife Jeanne, Captain Fuller embarked on perhaps his most important and impactful quest, one that would change thousands of lives for decades to come.
In the late 1970's and staring his own mortality in the face, Captain Fuller began the plans to build a brigantine with which to sail the seas, fully knowing that his days were numbered. Although it took years of grueling work to make his dream a reality, he never wavered in his commitment to make it happen and with Jeanne by his side, the SV Fair Jeanne was launched in Ottawa River in 1981. In what should have been no surprise to those who knew him, Captain Fuller fended off yet another adversary and overcame his illness to sail the SV Fair Jeanne with his wife for 12 happy, fulfilling years before his death in 1994.