Chris Parkinson, 1948 - 2022
We know him as Chris, Parky or Parko, and he was a significant part of Speers Point ASC for many years.
Parko retired from his Army Survey Corps career in the mid-1990s to more actively pursue his love of sailing. He soon moved to the Morisset Peninsula and joined the Tasar fleet at SPASC.
Before long, Parko was involved in the Club’s management, holding the office of President from 1998-99 to 2004-05. SPASC was then navigating lease and development issues through which Parko ably led the team.
Around that time, Parko also served as President of the NSW Tasar Class, and stepped up to the Presidency of the Australian Tasar Council. In true Parko fashion, it wasn’t long before he took on presidential duties at the World Tasar Council.
When he stood down as SPASC President, Parko assumed the role of Race Secretary, collecting and processing the club's race results for over a decade and moving club systems into the computer age. He and his wife, Beryl were subsequently honoured with SPASC Life Membership for their contribution.
Parko was an avid regatta sailor, travelling all over NSW, Australia and the world. He enjoyed meeting and socialising with the many sailors in the Tasar community and was always an excellent ambassador for SPASC and the Lake Macquarie region. As such, he was instrumental in bringing many sailing events to SPASC over the years.
After Beryl retired from sailing, Parko took myriad other crew under his wing, some with experience, and many without, but all of whom grew to love the sport further through his mentorship. As a testament to Parko's dedication, many of his proteges remain members of SPASC and avid sailors to this day.
Ever ready to assist with issues on the shore and on the water, Parko's generosity in providing parts and advice whenever needed endeared him to all who knew him.
A paragon of strength and resilience, he raced and guided us right up to his death last week. SPASC offers its condolences to Beryl and the Parkinson family. We have all lost an irreplaceable crewmember.
Vale Parko. May you have fair winds and following seas.