VALE ALVIN ATKINSON
Alvin Atkinson, the first Life Member of the Lake Eyre Yacht Club, passed away late February. A true adventurer in his own right, Alvin's adventurous spirit led him to navigate hundreds of kilometres over the Lake, many more than others before and since. Alvin and his crew documented their trips with scientific precision following their contact with John and Roma Dulhunty which allowed the first Bathymetric map of Lake Eyre to be drawn, took water samples for John who discovered the salinity gradient and even took the risk of sailing through a night to bring news of a fossil discovery knowing John was about to return to Sydney. This spirit of working to further knowledge of the last Australian wilderness is continued within the Club today by allowing scientists to join the Club as Associate Members.
Who could forget Alvin's evening slide shows and commentary entertaining the participants at our regattas - an inspiration to us all. I must mention the Ibis, Alvin's 20' trailer sailer that took him on these adventures and returned for the 2011 Regatta. Who else has had an island on Lake Eyre named after their boat?
Lastly I must mention Alvin's energy. My best example was to find him on his back under a sink when we were building the downstairs amenities block at the Clubhouse in 2010. In his mid eighties here he was happily using a wrench on the plumbing and barking orders for assistance to the young bucks (only in their 50s and 60s)... "Shifter", "Tape", "Pipe" etc.
Good on you Alvin, enjoy navigating the great lake in the sky.
Bob Backway, Commodore.