Passed away on May 25, 2014 at Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Alliston, following a brief battle with cancer. John W. Clarke practiced law for over 30 years in the town of Alliston. He is survived by his partner of 21 years, Monika Castaldi. Remembered by his aunt Grace of Kitchener, family and friends. John will be fondly remembered by Ed Murphy and the Friends of Wanapitei.
If so desired memorial donations in John’s memory to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated.
Camp Wanapitei Remembers John Clarke
Bruce Hodgins – John Clarke first went to Wanapitei in 1961 (before that he was a Wabanaki camper) as a camper and in that August he went on our first canoeing Bay Trip to James Bay, on the Matagami-Moose. The trip was all male. I was the trip leader and John Scott the Assistant. Ted Moores and John Clarke were participants. See the picture of the group returning by train (Wanapitei on Temagami, 2006, blue cover edition, page 59, or the white edition p.64, 1996). Then for several years he was on staff leading many trips.
Professionally, with a Master’s Degree, he became Registrar of the new Laurentian University. Then later he studied law at Queen’s. In the mid-sixties, John Clarke, Tom Roach and myself were the triumvirate running Wanapitei, all on the Board. Carol was running Trip Stores. John would appear at Camp to examine Life Saving candidates.
Later John was practising law in Allison and helped out Wanapitei as a Board member. John, Tom and I made and cleared out the Red Squirrel trail from the end of the cutting (jack pine) road to our Camp site. Milne had ceased cutting there in 1971. Before leaving Sudbury for Queen’s, John acquired for us the refrigeration system for an expanding Wanapitei. Up to that point we had used ice blocks cut and hauled out of the frozen Bay and put into the Ice House, slowly decaying. Dick Twain was in charge; we helped.
In 1971, Alistair Thomas and two other staff led a large group of Intermediate Boys, including four Hodgins, Glenn, Shawn, Dan and Eric, plus others including Bruce Flemons, on what was to be a trip to Killarney Bay. The trip moved carefully to the south west but slowly. No contact with camp of course. John Clarke flew in with his shared owned old sea plane. He and I, John the pilot and myself, took off and searched to the south west. We flew through heavy rain. No sight. Finally we landed on a small Lake on the route amid a thunder storm. No sight. We called and called and horned. Finally, a faint reply. The group portaged back one lake and found us. Great joy. The group on our advice cut the length of the trip at the village of Wanapitei (now inside Sudbury). We returned to Camp and sent cars to transport the trip south and west to Georgian Bay. The group paddled to the Cecil Hodgins site in Killarney Bay. All was well. High morale. Most of the participants became Wanapitei Staff members and shareholders and Board members—later of course.
All thanks to John Clarke.
Bruce W. Hodgins,