VALE  –  Barry Heatley

Sadly, in recent days we have lost one of our Honorary 60 Year Club Members, Barry Heatley.  Barry was introduced to sailing when he joined the club in 1957.  Initially Barry sailed in the training fleet, specifically on the second Pelican to be built.  Then on to VJ’s where he crewed for Gillian Metcher, the daughter of Past Commodore Ian Metcher and later, Trevor Betts who is now another 60 Year Honorary Member.  Trevor designed, then built ‘Teal’, an Australian 14ft Dinghy (now the International 14ft Skiff class), on which Barry crewed and together they won several State and National championships.  It is notable that in those days (early 1960s) most 14ft Dinghies were sailed with a crew of three.  Trevor and Barry changed all that.

For ten years Barry made a lot of his friends at SoPYC, many of whom are still around and will remember him well.  But as all young men did in those days, he and a mate flew off to England for a working holiday.  After that they flew to Canada for the same purpose.  In Canada Barry met up with Gillian who was nursing there and was travelling with another of Barry’s WA friends, Mike Cuss.  In London Ontario, Barry was the person to give Gillian away at her wedding to Mike.

Back in WA in the early 1970s Barry started his own business which grew very successfully until he sold it to Blackwoods.  He also married the lovely Wendy and produced a daughter Rejeana and a granddaughter Sofia.  This period was his opportunity to get back into sailing, initially with Laurie Betts (Trevor’s father) in a Div 2 boat ‘Elan’.  That was followed by a two year spell on Max Bourne’s dragon.  Then in partnership with Barry Combes he bought a Cole 32 ‘Minka’.  Barry raced ‘Minka’ at SoPYC for several years until he retired to a canal property in Mandurah.

Many club members will have known Barry and they will regret his passing.