Confederation Marine Modellers
Remembering Robert (Bob) Farrant.
On 1st November we lost one of the staunchest supporters of the model boating hobby in this part of North America. A “Celebration of Life” for Bob was held on 24th November. Among the speakers were Doug Grinyer, Phil Dewsnap and Charlie Larking.
Doug began by explaining how he met Bob.
“I first met Bob about 40 years ago when first got into model boating at the Hobby Show and learned a few things from him. After Bob and Cher moved to Hamilton we became good friends and would often meet for coffee.
I remember a time not too long after they moved to Hamilton when Bob was in the hospital and he walked out, coming down the back stairs and took a cab home but had no money and had to get Cher to come down and pay for the cab fare. Cher then called me and ask what could she do, Gisele and I went to help her to try and get him back to the hospital but he gave us a hard time. The meds he was on made him not know what he was saying or doing. He tried to kick me where you know it would
hurt but missed and told me we would not be friends again. He then got in his car as he wanted to take Cher up on the mountain to show her something, what this was we did not know. Gisele was trying to get the key which was in the ignition and he threatened to hit her and she told him to go ahead he was not going to get the key. He hit her then got out and started to walk down Lake Avenue and hid behind some trees. When the cops showed up he walked out and over to the cruiser, got into the back seat and they took him back to the hospital.
A thing about Bob was that every time he heard that I had booked another boat display he was always the ﬁrst to say he would be there. He was the driving force for many years behind the Great Lakes Model Boating Association.
I do not think there is any one here that can’t say he did not lift their enjoyment in the hobby of model boating. When Andris and John talked him into going to Fifty Point to run his fast boat and they put in a lipo battery, that was all he talked about for days; how fast it was. He would wait for days to go back with the boys and do it all over again.
I think we all have a story that we could tell about Bob and I am sure we will miss him. I know I will miss him. He was a great friend.
Thanks Bob, you will always be remembered. Rest in peace and keep watch over us all.”
Doug was followed by Phil Dewsnap.
“For those that do not know me, my name is Phil Dewsnap. It is with great sadness that I stand in front of you today to celebrate the life of a friend. I think this celebration of life should be a joyful one, not a mournful one. Lets keep in mind who we are here to celebrate and remember all of the remarkable things Bob has accomplished in his life. I am sure Bob would prefer it that way.
Looking around the room this afternoon I realize how many people Bob has influenced. This is a man I worked with, played with, and had so much fun with. And consider both Bob and Cher part of our family and second parents to my 2 daughters.
I first met Bob in the mid-70’s. He was the announcer for our boat club at the Toronto International Boat show where his sense of humour and one-liners soon got the several hundred
in the audience giggling and smiling. Our club put on these shows several times a day for ten days straight and Bob always found something amusing to say. I do not know how he did it. As time went by, my wife Barbara and I got to know both Bob and Cher better and bonded instantly. We would spend hours in each other’s homes playing board games, watched many hours of vacation slides (photos) and playing cards, especially UNO into the wee hours of the morning.
Both being into the same hobby, we travelled to many shows and regatta’s — Ottawa, Kitchener, Buffalo, Rochester and even as far away as England. We attended a model boat
show in Greenwich London. Bob and Cher had arranged for our stay in an amazing condo overlooking the River Thames, near Canary Wharf. And what did we do the first night?? We sat around a coffee table putting back together Bob's display model the airline decided to demolish in transit. The sights of London could wait! Bob was totally dedicated to this hobby.
Then there was the Toledo shows, how can I not mention the Toledo Shows! It was supposed to be work, but it always turned into fun; AND HANGOVERS! It did not take Bob long in getting the other vendors in our area sharing jokes and smiling at his antics.
After standing all day at the show, we were ready for some food and relaxation, so we always had the same group of people that went with us to the some restaurant close to our hotel. On arrival Bob always received a huge hug from the owner. And once again it did not take long for the restaurant
staff to join in on his antics. At one point even the kitchen staff came out from the back and joined in with the joke telling, well beyond closing time. Bob never tired. We would go back to the same place every year and Bob would always receive that hug. He even got us the best table in the house.
There are just so many stories to tell that I cannot possibly mention them all. ln the many years that we have known Bob, I do not think I have met anyone that has spent so much time and total devotion in promoting our hobby — THAT’S OVER 40 YEARS!!! Never tiring or losing his enthusiasm. Not many people can say that.
On a personal note, Bob changed our lives and our view of life. His smiling face bought joy to all and will be dearly missed by our family and friends. l bring condolences from the Kawartha Marine Modellers and other friends that could not be here today.
Lastly to Cher, do not be a stranger, our hearts and homes will always be open to you.”
Phil was followed by Charlie, who had this to say.
“I joined Metro Marine Modellers in 1977. I met Bob and Cher in the driveway to the apartment. I said, “Hi, I saw you at the club meeting; where do you live?” He said, “Right here, where do you live” and I told him in the next building. That was the start of a great friendship. We helped each other. He was there for me, any time day or night, and I was the same for Bob.
We travelled all over with the boats. He was there for me when my mother passed away. Bob and Cher have been great friends for 41 years. Bob was always funny, I shall miss him a lot.
One story stands out. Dan, John, and I were going to the hobby show in Toledo, Ohio. We were driving along the 401 and Dan was driving. Just before London Dan asked John to look in the back for the green box that contained his booth for the show. John said there was no green box. Dan became very quiet. Then he said turn around at London and go back to Mississauga, all the way back. John and I moved all the boats into my car and set off again for Toledo. Dan instructed us very clearly, “Don't tell Bob about this!” Dan drove all the way to Bobcaygeon, collected the green box, and set off for Toledo. We got to the show and told everyone what had happened, but not Bob. We knew everyone would tell Bob. Bob saw Dan at the show and the fun started between them, and lasted all week long.
He was a great person to know, and a greater friend. Bob, you will be missed by all.”
Charlie was followed by some family reminiscences from Bob's nephew Jay, and Cher and her brother Ron concluded.
Let's close with some words from Bob himself. In the October 2015 issue of the Confederation Marine Modellers newsletter he wrote:
“I recall when Cher and I went to England in 1994 for a model show held at the museum in Greenwich that my boat got broken and damaged during transport. I needed a certain part that was beyond damaged. The next thing I knew was one of the members of the club there went to the manufacturer and got the replacement part, handed it to me and said " Maybe this would help" and left before I could even get my breath and thank him. It sure was a memorable trip.
Cher and I have observed the same hospitality here at CMM. Cher won that blue race boat that required assembly and Steve Gray helped her out with it. When she went to run at the sod farm, the motor ran hot and John Brokenshire promptly supplied a new water jacket for it and installed it on the motor. Then all three helped launch, retrieve and test the boat. Thanks, was all that was asked for. This happens many times at CMM events, with no hesitation the club members are there to help with a problem - batteries, radio, motor, speed control whatever the problem may be. This club is a very helpful group of people. Thanks for all the help, it is much appreciated.
This club is the best."