Photo courtesy of Brockville Recorder and Times
Rowing Canada Aviron is very saddened by the passing of Ben Tekamp this past Sunday, October 12th, 2014, in Brockville. Ben was 69. Among his many accomplishments, he was a beloved former Mayor of Brockville, Ontario.
Ben was involved in various capacities in Canadian Rowing, starting as a rower at the Brockville Rowing Club, graduating to the provincial level, and eventually to the national scene.
Benny, as most of his friends called him, served as RCA president in the early 1980’s and held various other positions within the organization during his involvement at the national level.
One of Ben’s major highlights was being the Canadian rowing team manager at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. Provincially, he was one of the original founding executive members of the Ontario Rowing Association, known today as ROWONTARIO. He also served as treasurer at the Brockville Rowing Club. In addition to rowing, he coached, and was an executive member for many years.
Ben was an active umpire in Canada for more than 30 years, having obtained his RCA umpire’s license in 1969. Upon receiving his FISA license in 1975, Ben served on various international juries, including one at the Los Angeles Olympics.
Always a colorful individual, a past interview quoted him while he was reflecting on his involvement with his beloved sport.
“It’s unbelievable. I started in 1969 and if you had told me then that I would still be doing this in 2008, I’d have said you were crazy,” he was reported as saying.
“It’s a great sport. The people and athletes you meet along the way have been wonderful. You say to yourself where the hell did the time go to?”
In reference to his seniority within the group of worldwide licensed rowing umpires, TeKamp quipped,
“When you get to that level in the world, you know you’re nearing the end!”
Ben will be missed by all of his friends in the rowing community. He will be remembered for his passion, commitment and enthusiasm for both the sport and to those he met along the way at the local, provincial, national and international level.
Rest In Peace Ben.
A special thanks to Mike Walker, President of Rowing Canada Aviron, for his contribution to this article.