A Lasting Tribute for Dave Kruger

The Sludge

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Within this forum people have posted their kind thoughts about the passing and sad loss of Dave Kruger. It is now time to seek to develop a project which appropriately acknowledges and honours Dave's memory, his spirit, and his wonderful contributions.

I would be pleased if we can generate a modest sized committee to canvass avenues for recognizing Dave. I perceive it will also involve liaison with his family, plus raising funds for implementation. Might those who would like to participate in this development now let me know through private message or posting?

Many, many thanks. Sludge. (Michael)
 

mick_allen

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May 15, 2005
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Unfortunately this circumstance has come up several times before Dave - and a correct response is a difficult issue to judge, but here are some of my previous and present thoughts that may help to some degree:

The first serious time [and still continue to think about] was/is trying to figure out some way to honour the passing of Denis Fontaine and Richard Juryn who were 2 amazing adventure athletes who died in Howe Sound not that long ago [there were a total of 8 out there that fateful day and 2 others of them: Cheryl Beatty and Graham Tutti - almost didn’t make it as well] in 2007 just before the time a few of us were trying to get something happening in Howe Sound [the tragedy was always on my mind as I looked for sites there and wondered if Howe Sound was a place to recommend]. Subsequently I’d managed to find [still yet to be noted] a small 1-2 tent campsite next to that disaster and I wondered if a modest bronze plaque might be an appropriate response, ie paddler’s memorial, to what happened. I think that’s the first time I used the phrase that they were the 'best' and damn, damn, damn, damn it’s such a crying shame it happened and right in a place that I’ve spent so much time on, in both in reality and virtually.

I still think that a little plaque bolted to the rocks there might be ok, but am reminded of the littering of our parks with commemorations and bronze plates that turn them virtually into populated gravesites every few steps or so. Some people even decorate them – I’m serious. I sure wouldn’t want that to happen as it starts reminding me of those painted stones and ubiquitous inukshuks that have sprung up everywhere. But the site is small, intimate, contemplative and not used so that might mitigate concern a little bit, but I’m torn.

The second serious time was when the project manager of the recent Howe Sound campsites, Gordon Mckeever [who first showed up on WCP with respect to this!] died suddenly a few years ago. He was instrumental in establishing those new sites and naturally the same thoughts that I had with a recognition of Denis and Richard came up – and the thoughts that a memorial to Gordon in Howe Sound and at a site would be equally, if not more appropriate . . . and when others who were involved passed away . . . how many plaques do we want and would it ever stop??

And now recently Astoriadave, Dave Kruger. And so how the hell do we honour that wonderful guy? I’ve been racking my brains about what would be an appropriate response - and related to my musings above, a plaque at some remote site might be an idea, but based on what we all have sometimes bitterly seen [a few shown here] – sites once in a while get destroyed when you least expect and so poof, there goes the memorial for good.

So another semi-geographical idea I had was a travelling memorial: say we builders make a 2’ long carving of Dave’s kayak with an abstract Dave in command with a little note to take him to the next campsite the finder is going to. That way a spirit of Dave would be always with us, travelling around our coastlines and unexpectedly appearing once in a while at places we go. It’s sort of a heart-warming thought.

And at the least, every now and again I write a poem or song or two and so a WCP song with a ‘Dave verse’ seems to be a small but good idea to maybe add to it.

Another idea would be to reach out to the folks at the woodenboat forum as Dave was a staunch member there as well up until he had give up his Bartender that he had worked so diligently on. He was well known and respected there and possibly some ideas could come from one of those guys too. We were so lucky he felt comfortable here in the later years when it was a real struggle for him.

But Dave’s character was such that he was helpful, humourous, objective, rational and extremely informed so it would be appropriate if something could be thought up that had a few of those characteristics to reflect a little of what he was about . . . so I’m thinking that some sort of continuing bursary that I’m sure one of the educational institutions that Dave respected or went to would accept contributions to in his name – might be an relevant response. I know it wouldn't be much from us, but it would be nice to support some other upcoming interesting and interested young person to develop their particular endeavours and slightly minimize their huge debt burden.

Anyway, some ideas to maybe help the percolation of others.
 
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Roy222

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Jun 2, 2009
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Start a fund (organization as such) to encourage, train, and equip, young adults to get into the sport. In this way continue on with all the wonderful things you ( this group ) have said about Dave. It would be a lot of work to get started, but if done right, it would last a long time.
If nothing else put on a 1 day "free paddle " event in Dave's name. These kinds events tend to grow over time.
It might be possible by the middle of next kayaking season.

Roy
 

The Sludge

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Mick and Roy, thank you kindly for providing those thoughts and suggestions. They are very helpful points and start the process to percolate.

As previously indicated in the earlier Dave Kruger thread below, there are many possible forms which appropriate recognition might take. Moreover, there is no rule that it has to be one format alone. It might be an event in his name, marine camp, or a rendezvous? Perhaps an endowment fund or continuing award as mentioned by others? Perhaps an educational, training, safety or navigational feature or program undertaken in Dave's name? Perhaps we urge that this site contains a feature recognizing Dave's name and contributions.

I encourage others to suggest what step or program they might prefer to see considered?
 

pawsplus

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Jan 19, 2015
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Landlocked in Tennessee
I don't check in often enough so didn't see this. So I am resurrecting this thread. I want to do SOMETHING. The best launch point would probably be the one we launched from to go to Long Island in Willapa Bay.
 

The Sludge

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Absolutely, we must get underway. I am just going to consult privately with someone tomorrow before I throw out my suggested thought.
 

The Sludge

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Dave was a teacher, mentor and adventurer. I am encouraged to think we can develop a one day paddle event in Dave's name which introduces youth and young adults to the sport. That suggestion as per Roy 222 appeals to me as being reflective of Dave. Yet Covid, insurance plus resource gathering hurdles may or will be very difficult to overcome in this timeframe. Until covid is settled and safe, I wonder if it is realistically possible to put together such an event at all? I fear that we may need to postpone such plan, but certainly not reject it. It appeals to me a lot. I believe that Mick's suggestion of an educational bursary has the appeal of an easier target with greater likelihood of initial success?

I am mindful of Mick's helpful summary of issues surrounding a plaque. However, if momentum encourages placement of a plaque, I will happily send my contribution.
 
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