It’s with regret that we noted the passing of Dronz Arigho late last week at his home in Fleet, Hampshire, UK. Dronz was member of Sutton Dinghy Club in the early 50’s through to the early 60’s before joining the Merchant Navy as a radio engineer. Dronz spent much of his youth in Sutton, staying regularly with his cousin Ann Dyer, mother of our former Commodore Andy Johnston. Dronz and Ann were some of the first junior members of the Club. Friends from that era included Andy Deveraux, Jonathan Tucker, Gerry Sargent, Andy Knowles and Robert Hogg.

Dronz crewed for Desmond Keatinge, a founding member, the Clubs only Captain and former Commodore, cutting his teeth as a crew and helm on Pollux, one of the Clubs original International 12s. One of Dronz cherished memories from his years in Sutton was winning the 1955 Commodores Prize on another International 12 called Dorado, which is still at the Club and owned by our former Commodore Aidan Henry. 

After a career in the Merchant Navy, Dronz worked for PYE, the radio and electronics company. During this time, Dronz helped deliver the yacht Shielmartin, from Sutton to the UK for its new owner who also worked in PYE. A yawl, Shielmartin, had been built by Desmond Keatinge, former Honorary Secretary of the Irish Cruising Club, to a design by his friend and well know Irish yacht designer J.B. Kearney. It was built and launched from Keatinges Boat House on the beach beside the current Club house.

Dronz travelled the world, continued to sail and until recently kept a small sail boat in Corfu. He returned to Ireland regularly to catch up with long time friends Gerry Sargent, Andy Knowles and family in Ireland.

Condolences to his wife Lanee, daughters Lin and Vonni, son Dronz and the rest of his family from the Committee and members of Sutton Dinghy Club.
Ar dheis Dé go Raibh a Anam.