Tributes have been paid to Northern Ireland sailing stalwart Doug Smyth OBE who passed away this summer writes Betty Armstrong.
Doug, a member of Carrickfergus Sailing Club and former Chair of The Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland (RYANI) died on 21 August 2019 after a long illness.
Doug was RYANI Chair from 2002- 2004. He took the organisation forward as a Limited Company and developed it into the governing body it is today.
For his support to the sport of sailing he received a lifetime achievement award and was proud and honoured to receive a gold medal.
Doug’s contribution to our sport was notable. He put huge effort into Sailability and Belfast Lough Sailability, and he wrote the constitution for the Carrickfergus Berth Holders Association, which was adopted as the standard across the UK. He and his wife, Lillian regularly cruised in the Western Isles.
Doug had a varied career, including Chief Executive of Dr Barnardo’s and Chief Executive of Northern Health and Social Services Board. On his retirement, Doug was the Chair of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. He was also an accomplished musician.
A keen sailor, Doug was a member of several clubs and organisations and was well respected in the sailing community. He continued to keep an interest in RYA Northern Ireland, offering advice and support to help develop sailing and boating opportunities in the region.
Condolences go to Lillian, his wife of 59 years and their family.