The Crests and the
Troughs in between:
Celebrating the power
of the Sail Training experience; mourning the loss of some truly inspiring
In the same week that Saimaniq Temela, a young man who is a
brilliant example of the power of sail training to spark incredible transformations
in participants, was awarded “Professional Sail Training of the Year, Under 25”,
we lost some of our most inspiring supporters; some of those who most
completely understood, and represented, the essence of Sail Training.
And as we are all one, working toward the same ends, we
share in this loss as a community, and we offer our support.
In this week we lost
a Daughter, a Father, and a friend. They will all be missed, from helping to run
port events, to showing up on the dock with a group of unsure trainees, to
taking on the challenge of sailing a Tall Ship at 94 years of age, they will
all be missed.
The difficulties and opportunities presented by a sailing
ship at sea can bring about some astounding growth in those who accept this challenge,
and who, through perseverance, camaraderie, teamwork, and coming to terms with
personal failings, find that they are much stronger people than they thought.
Stephan Morton understood this, and had seen firsthand many
times the results of this experience; the following tribute was penned by one
of those young people he had put aboard:
Brigantine Inc would like to pay tribute to the
memory of Stephen Morton, who worked tirelessly for many years so that kids
could experience the adventure of sailing. Always a strong advocate for the
program, Stephen would go out of his way to get kids on board, even if he had
to drive them across Ontario himself. His kindness and compassion didn't stop
at the kids he placed onboard and grew to envelop many who supported the program;
often offering to help anyway he could, even if it was just to give the crew
transport to the store for provisioning.
Stephen loved to see how the kids had grown during
their time aboard and he would always have those under his direct charge write
about their experiences and how those experiences had affected them. Often he
tried to find out when the ship was returning to Kingston so that he could show
up before them to welcome the ship home with a warm smile. Even after the
summer, he would encourage many of his kids to return and take part in the
winter program, believing it would help them grow further.
The best part about Stephen was his selflessness;
he never helped out to be remembered, rewarded or even thanked and wished
everything for everyone and little for himself. If he took any reward from the
program, it was seeing the transformation in the kids from the day they left to
the day they came back and he marvelled at it every time. Stephen was a solid supporter and a valued member of the crew.
In the wake of these
events, we have decided to honour the memory & legacy of our friends and
family by christening our bursary program the “Stephen Morton Bursary” in memory of those we have lost. This act
will help us to remember always how essential universal access to our program
is, and how powerful and positive the outcomes can be.
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