Russell McIlwain Dunn
Born: January 29, 1935 (Toronto)
Died: February 24, 2014 (Toronto)
For 65 years, Russ Dunn competed in the famed blue-and-yellow colours of the Balmy Beach Canoe Club, winning eight Canadian championships between the ages of 13 and 33. He founded CanMas (Canadian masters championships) for older canoe sprinters and competed at three world masters games.
In 1989, he received the prestigious R. Edgar Gilbert Award from CanoeKayak Canada for his contributions to the discipline of sprint racing.
An award in his name is presented annually at the Canadian masters championships. As well, the trophy presented to the national champion of the junior women’s C1 1000 race bears his name.
Dunn also played football, basketball and hockey for the famed Toronto canoe club. In 1955, he was a founding member of the Balmy Beach rugby club and became president in 1958. He was elected commodore of the club in 1961 and later served three years as president.
He was always happy to be competing on the water, enjoying many victories for Balmy Beach, including as a member of the club’s war canoe in a mile-long race at the Dominion day regatta in 1957.
Off the water, he worked for IBM for 37 years as a parts and operations manager with postings in Toronto, Bromont, Que., and the United States.