A little bit about Clarence (Clancy) Vowels
When you look up community service in the dictionary, you should find a picture of Clarence Vowels. From the curling club to the hockey clubs, the Levack ski hill, Scouts, and St. John’s United Church, many have benefitted from Clarence’s commitment, generosity and skill.
Clarence Vowels grew up in Parry Sound, where as a youngster he enjoyed playing hockey and baseball. He attended Victory Public School and Parry Sound High School where he met the love of his life, Bernice.
Clarence went on to attend Haileybury School of Mines after graduating secondary school and he and Bernice married and moved to Levack in 1960. Since then, he has since taken a leadership role in athletics and other community organizations in Onaping Falls.
Winter living in Onaping Falls has been enriched by having Clarence as an active member in our community. As a Curling Club member for 40 years, he served in various capacities of the club executive for 35 years. First, as vice president for six years and later, president for nine.
Clarence started working with hockey teams in 1970. He worked as a manager and coach developing the skills of many of our young players. He coached a variety of levels in hockey, from road teams to the high school team, and a few years with the Junior B Miners. Clarence fondly remembers many talented teams. In particular, he had most fun coaching the high school team who played their hearts out every game.
“The challenges of any coach or manager is to motivate the players; that is the hard part. So, you have to make it fun and interesting.”
One former player describes him as competitive. “He wanted to win, but he was fair and positive with everyone.” His ability to maintain order while motivating his players led him to be a well-liked and respected coach.
Additionally, Clarence helped maintain the Leback Ski Hill for many years and in warmer months he could be found on the baseball diamond with the Little League. But his service to the community was not limited to athletics. He is also a long time active member of the St. John’s United Church, and in earlier years helped out with the Scouts.
In 2015, Clarence’s athletic abilities were recognized as he was inducted into the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame. He was a member of the first junior team from Parry Sound, Junior ‘C’ Shamrocks, who won the All Ontario.
Today, Clarence and Bernice continue to make their home in Levack. Both remain actively involved in recreational activities at the pool and the Golden Age Club. It should be noted that Clarence’s many contributions to our community would not be possible without Bernice’s support. They have celebrated 58 years of wedded bliss, and in doing so have provided wonderful role models for younger generations. They are proud parents of Deanna, Stephen and Penny, and prouder grandparents of Emma and Ben.
As we head into a New Year, perhaps we could reflect on Mr. Vowels dedication to community service. May we all find some inspiration in his generosity and imagine the community we could have if we all took a small step towards improving upon what earlier generations have built.