Former Commodore of Hillarys Yacht Club, Chris Grant, leaves massive void

Commodore Chris Grant accepts the North Coast Series trophy in 2014.
Pandora in full flight with Chris Grant at the helm off Hillarys last year.
Pandora crew sailed in a mark of respect to Chris Grant … pictured after the race are Sandy Grant, Seb Venaille, Terry Mather, Phil Maslen, Rob Bortot and Jeremy Grant.
Commodore Chris Grant accepts the North Coast Series trophy in 2014. Pandora in full flight with Chris Grant at the helm off Hillarys last year. Pandora crew sailed in a mark of respect to Chris Grant … pictured after the race are Sandy Grant, Seb Venaille, Terry Mather, Phil Maslen, Rob Bortot and Jeremy Grant.

FORMER Commodore of Hillarys Yacht Club, Chris Grant, was out cycling on the morning of December 4 last year getting in some in practice for his weekly cycle with the club’s Fat Boys group when he suffered a heart attack and could not be revived.

Long-standing crew member Rob Bortot was surprised when Chris did not arrive for the afternoon’s race on Pandora before learning of the tragedy from family members.

The following week the crew, together with son Jeremy over from Townsville, sailed Pandora and in a mark of respect fellow crews wore black armbands and flew black ribbons from the stays.

Chris Grant was an enthusiastic and talented sportsman at CBC in the Terrace, competing in swimming, athletics, hockey and football.

Later in life this love was transferred to his team, the Dockers, and to sailing where he just loved being on the water.

He met his future wife Sandy, a student at Mercedes College, at dancing classes and over time they raised four children.

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He was a devoted family man adored by his grandchildren.

Chris became a licensed surveyor in 1967 and worked all over the State from Esperance to the Kimberley; he recalled “funnily, one of the hardest things was getting a transfer from the Gibson Soak Tigers football team to play in the Kimberley”.

Following a stint in the US, Canada and the UK on a Churchill Fellowship, Chris was instrumental in establishing the “Dial before you Dig” system and in 1985 became Surveyor General of WA.

Later, at the behest of BHP, Chris took leave to head a land titling project in Thailand which subsequently led him to work overseas as a consultant for agencies such as World Bank and Aus-Aid in countries as remote as Afghanistan, Ghana and Peru, including post-tsunami Aceh.

As he had done in all the communities Chris found himself, he thrust himself into the running of the yacht club, leading to his election as Commodore in 2013.

Known for his commitment to others, great sense of humour and wit, statesman-like leadership and wisdom, Chris was a much-loved and respected member.

He will be sorely missed by members and by his wife Sandy, children Jeremy, Amanda, Emma, Donny and their families.

Through the family’s generous donation of Pandora to the club for training purposes, Chris’ love of sailing will be passed on to the next generation of sailors.