Tribute to Cliff Patterson
It is with a very heavy heart that I relay the news of Cliff’s grave health. Lynn and I were fortunate to have an opportunity to speak with Cliff yesterday and convey, on behalf of the entire Bytown Brigantine Family, our deep appreciation and respect for his decades of devoted service in support of youth and BBI.
A wise person once said that a hundred years from now it will not matter the size of your bank account, the house that you lived in or the car that you drove, but what will matter is if you were able to make a positive difference in the life of a child.
Literally generations of young Canadians who have sailed aboard one or both of our little ships or participated in one of our winter programs, have been positively impacted by Cliff Patterson‘s dedication and contributions.
Imagine having the opportunity as a youth to have a “Top Gun” inspire you to learn more about meteorology or navigation! That’s right, Major Cliff Patterson is a member of Canada’s finest jet fighter pilots. More importantly his character is the essence of an Officer and a Gentleman.
For decades Cliff led the development of our Sail Training Logbook and represented Bytown at the bi-annual CMAC (Canadian Marine Advisor Council) conferences.
Cliff and his family have actively supported and participated in Bytown programs and events over decades. To Cliff’s wife Collette Sabourin, we offer our gratitude for sharing your Cliff with us and for your years of personal dedication to Bytown. None of us will forget the pancake breakfasts, work parties, committee meetings or events that were made all the better for your having been involved!
Countless people have been inspired by Cliff’s artistry as a photographer. Over the decades, Cliff has generously donated many of his images to Bytown and in turn they have inspired others.
Last week the Board unanimously voted to create an “Inspiration Award” in Cliff’s honour. The award will utilize, on Cliff’s suggestion, the marvelous, signed photographic artwork presented by Cliff as a gift., just prior to his move to the East Coast in 2019.
This photo is of the original photographic artwork by Cliff Patterson, aboard the brigantine Fair Jeanne,
sailing from Quebec City to Corner Book, NL during the RDV 2017 Tall Ship Regatta.
The Bytown Brigantine Inspiration Award
In honor of Major Cliff Patterson
Long -time Board Member, Shipmate, Volunteer Instructor and Mentor
Awarded annually to a member of each ship’s company who, through the creation and sharing of their artwork, images, or writings have most effectively inspired others by conveying Bytown experiences
This summer Fair Jeanne will be voyaging up the Saguenay River. We understand that Cliff used to train there, flying his jet amongst the fiords along the river. As we sail by the fiords we will call to mind the profound refrain of the poem “High Flight” by John Magee.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings.
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung.
Bravo Zulu Cliff for a life well lived!
Your Bytown family will not forget the friendship nor your demonstrated devotion to inspiring all of us while helping youth though traditional maritime experiences.
Simon A.F. Fuller