August saw the sad passing of a well known figure to the boating community in the Athlone area. Kerry Sloane passed away after a short illness at the age of 81.
Kerry led a full, varied, and interesting life, serving with the Irish army and also establishing one of the first boat hire companies on the Shannon in the early seventies. Although his army career was long and illustrious, serving in the Congo and Cyprus, many of us will remember him from his time as owner of the Athlone Cruisers boat hire company and the Jolly Mariner bar/restaurant marina
Kerry also owned the Rosebank Marina in Carrick on Shannon from where he operated the Flagline boat hire company for a period. Over many years, Kerry worked tirelessly to build his business and to contribute to the economic and tourism life of Athlone. He had a very strong sense of community, being deeply involved with Westmeath Tourism, Midlands East Regional Tourism Authority (MERTA Westmeath Community Development Athlone Chamber and the Rotary Club of Athlone. and many other organisations large and small, to whom he gave his time,energy and expertise without question.
A former Army officer and a successful businessman, he gave much of his time and energy to the promotion and tourism development of Atjhlone, tyhe river Shannon and lakes of Westmeath and the Midlands. Kerry was also very supportive of the activities of boaters on the Shannon through the years, lending his cruisers to the rowing club for their regattas, providing cruisers to the Lough Ree Yacht Club, hosting IWAI Athlone branch meetings in the seventies and eighties, the Peoples regattas and festivals in the nineties and the Shannon Rally on occasion. In fact one of Kerry’s cruisers won the Premier award on the Shannon Rally (Noel Maitland skipper) in recent years. My own memory of Kerry is from a time when I worked for him as a schoolboy on summer holidays alongside him and my father and I remember him as an incredibly hard working many who never saw problems as something that could defeat you but rather as solutions waiting to be found. We extend our deepest sympathy to Maura, his wife and sons Diarmuid and Niall and his daughter Emer, sisters Eva and Nuala, grandchildren and all his relatives and a wide circle of friends. May he rest in peace.