Sad News

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Tracey Brake
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Sad News

Post by Tracey Brake » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:37 pm

Hello all,

It is with great sadness that I am sending you this, I was informed last night that our friend John Platel has passed away in Nepal.He apparently fell ill in December and was hospitalized. I do not know any other details.
Please pass the word so others know...

Miguel Londoño

tom fraser
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:39 am

Re: Sad News

Post by tom fraser » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:37 pm

John will be greatly missed. He was a dear friend of over 20 years. Too many young pilots were trained by John than I can count; my own Son being one of them. For more than a decade, John, Al Baldwin and Norm Perfect were the backbone of our training team. i for one will dearly miss his good spirit and humour.

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Charles Petersen
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Re: Sad News

Post by Charles Petersen » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:18 pm

We should hold a Celebration of John's Life at the club when our season is operational. I'd like to raise a glass to his long and plentiful contribution to passing on the gift of flight to so many.
They will soar on wings like eagles - Isaiah 40:3`

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James Kingdon
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Re: Sad News

Post by James Kingdon » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:36 pm

I for sure will miss his good humour and friendly welcome. Can't believe he is gone.

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Jim Fryett
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Location: Elora, Ontario

Re: Sad News

Post by Jim Fryett » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:09 pm

The last time I saw John was at the tail end of the season as everyone was packing up and getting ready for the oncoming winter. As always, John was keen to help me with a few chores and we were able to have a nice chat. When he was telling me of setting off for his annual trip to Nepal I had no idea that this would be the last time I saw him. John was a kind and generous person and a real asset to our club, it is pleasing to know that he was able to fly gliders to the end of his life. Thanks for all that you contributed John.

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Tim Wood
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Location: Toronto/Fergus

Re: Sad News

Post by Tim Wood » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:34 pm

Sad news indeed. He will be greatly missed. There were many hidden and praise-worthy aspects to John's character. I believe that he had a career at the Bruce nuclear generation plant before his retirement. He then learned to fly at York and became a mainstay with Norman Perfect of field operations for a number of years. He took pride in being at the field before the hangar doors opened, and always stayed until the last ship was put away. Earlier in his life John was in the British Army, and was a gifted cricketer, having played briefly for one of the English county teams. Recently he became one of a group of founding benefactors of an orphanage for street children in Nepal. His annual routine was to live amongst us at YSA during the summer months, including BBQs on his deck at the field on Friday nights with friends, then he would spend his winters in Nepal. His bird feeders behind his trailer supported a healthy community of birds. They are going to miss him too. He was a humble man and a devout Christian. He regularly attended St Joseph's church in Fergus.

RIP John.

Tim Wood
G E Tim Wood
tel; 416-486-2088 (Toronto)
519-843-2088 (Fergus)

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Ivor David
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Re: Sad News

Post by Ivor David » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:16 pm

John was a great asset to our club. He was very hard working until his early 80's when he, not unreasonably, eased off. I was always pleased to have John poke his head into the office and he almost invariably had a few words about how we could do a few things a little better.

He had spent some time working in construction in Wales and often spoke a few Welsh words of greeting to me. I do not speak Welsh but the words he used were essentially the same basic ones I knew so I understood what he was saying. Fortunately it never went further than that so I think his knowledge of Welsh and mine were about the same.

John was one of the old guard instructors who for many years formed the backbone of our youth course instruction. There is no doubt he will be missed at the club house, flight line, and the campground. I believe he was 86 years old.
Ivor David

Gregory Sachs
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Re: Sad News

Post by Gregory Sachs » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:41 pm

John Patel was my first Instructor, and a good one. John will be missed.... Gregory

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Jim Fryett
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Location: Elora, Ontario

Re: Sad News

Post by Jim Fryett » Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:30 pm

This poem was provided by Eilean in commemoration of John's contribution to Dave's misadventure last fall. Fortunately John knew where to look for his missing friend.


While quietly fishing along the winding Grand River
Dave hooked a little fishy then eventually another.
He gently put them back and watched them wriggle away,
Smoked his pipe, enjoyed the peace, wishing he could longer stay
But dusk was falling, the mossies looking for dinner -
Time to head for home in his trusty 'new' blue Bimmer.
The climb up the hill was easy at first
But the boulders were slippery and Dave was dying of thirst.
Then, before he knew it, backwards he went
Grabbing at a sapling which flew up as it bent.
The next thing he knew he was flat on his back
And couldn't get up as the mossies attacked.
He landed between rocks on a bed of moss
The only plus in the summer he lost,
For yes, after found in the middle of the night
He was taken to hospital where he began his fight.
To be healthy again became his clarion call
For he had ruptured his spleen at the end of his fall;
That's why he couldn't get up and meet me for dinner
Which is why John and I went looking for him and the Bimmer.
And find them we did just where John said
But it'd be hours before he got home to bed!
Every day I thank John, who, from ten until one
Offered support as we waited for the ambulance to come.
Now Dave is waiting for winter to pass
Doing exercises in a Fall Prevention class
But no longer will he go fishing alone -
He'll have a buddy to help him come safely home.
So, Dave and John, this couplet is for you,
Two little lines that for you both ring true:
'Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love and pleasure.'

Eillean M. MacKenzie
Nov.-Dec. 2019

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Rainer Zimm
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Location: Goderich, Ontario

Re: Sad News

Post by Rainer Zimm » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:15 pm

Mr. Platel was a true "GENTLEMAN" and a giving and consummate community-minded soul.

I gave him some pointers and optimizing flying the Blanik back in 1997 (he always reminded me of that for years afterword altho' I thought it was just some trivial info that I passed on).

Amongst other things he taught my son Erich to fly ~ safely

He was always there if you needed him.

His curries were exceptional and shared with all at his trailer or the YSA Campsite ~ ANYTIME!

His presence was uplifting.

He was one good golfer (which I knew nothing about until I invited him to show me a few pointers... I was impressed). Knock a ball 280 yards... ~ No problem ~ SWEET)

86 years are one good number of innings. But as Pink Floyd once said : "Wish you were HERE!"

I am honoured to have know him... and that he was part of my (our) LIVES ~

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don kuehn
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Re: Sad News

Post by don kuehn » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:25 pm

John gave me some timely insights when I was a newbie instructor. He was also a wonderful friend. Our world was a better place because of him and he will be sorely missed.

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