Born in Renfrew in 1943, Bill had a long wait for his first motorcycle. He idolized his uncle Jack’s Harley Davidson, similar to what he rode delivering mail in WW2 and often watched his dad working on the bike.
Bill graduated Eastern Ontario Institute of Technology (EOIT) in 1967 as an Industrial Engineer and was hired by Ford in Oakville; a badly needed pay cheque as that summer, he had married Barbara.
He moved to Nortel in Belleville and discovered Bayside Quarry. Bill joined the BTB and finally bought his first bikes, 1958 Triumph and 175cc Kawasaki. Bayside Trail Blazer off-road motorcycle club was formed primarily to do trials in the Bayside quarry. In 1974, Bill became President. Membership and events organized by the club grew quickly to include trials, motocross, enduro, ice racing and notably dirt track racing.
In early 1978 the club was approached by John Morgan on behalf of Norm Carr Family about running a race at the Quinte Exhibition Grounds on the 1/2 mile track. As President, Bill was adamant that if the BTB were running a race in memory of Norm Carr, a popular dirt tracker who was killed in an accident while travelling to a race in 1977, any money made would be for the benefit of advancing motorcycling in Ontario.
Under Bill’s managerial guidance the BTB organized the first Norm Carr Memorial Half Mile for August 1978. The event was a huge success financially having drawn over 3,000 spectators to watch more than 150 riders. This race saw the emergence of teenager, Scott Parker from Michigan. Scott was very young and not very tall and was allowed to use a milk crate so he could hold his bike up behind the other riders to start. He passed everyone to capture the Norm Carr Trophy for the first of three consecutive years and went on to become a dominant force in dirt track.
Funds raised and subsequent Norm Carr Memorial races in 1979 and 1980 provided the seed capital to purchase 50 acres that make up the BTB Park adjacent to Shannonville Speedway. With more than 100 kilometers of trails it is an example of Bill’s continued passion for off-road motorcycling. Glen Cooper says it best when he refers to Bill as a volunteer-a-holic! Without the exceptional efforts of volunteers like Bill, many competent riders would have nowhere to compete.
Bill’s career as a circuit board engineering manager took him back to his roots in the Ottawa Valley in the 1980’s where he supported not only his own passion for motorcycling but nurtured his two sons’ involvement in motorcycling. The family’s commitment to motorcycling translated to building and operating an MX track at Burnstown, joining EOMA and attending races all over Ontario, Quebec and down East, resulting in 2 Provincial Championships and a lot of tire changes.
A tornado touched down near Bark Lake, north of Maynooth, destroying a huge amount of forest and Bill recognized the opportunity to clear old logging roads making them into superb riding loops for novice to expert riders of dirt bikes and ATV’s. Bill organized work details over the next many years with modest support from OFTR to clear these trails providing a first-class series of riding trails.
Bill retired in 2008 and joined the Renfrew County Chapter 9987 Harley Davidson Owners’ group and held executive position of Road Captain.
In 1973, Bill had begun organizing trail-riding weekends twice a year, spring and fall and rides have been going continuously ever since; a time of fun, trophy hunting through hill climbs, trail riding, enduro, and Jamieson’s version of dirt track/mud bog.
For 50 years events held in Calabogie and Madawaska areas had attracted a loyal following with about 25 being typical out of 100 different participants over the years. As participants have aged, some have migrated from dirt bikes to ATV’s. To Bill’s immense joy the 2nd generation of dirt bikers are ensuring the tradition continues. 2023 Fall ride had 1st grandson.
Bill had a vision and worked very diligently towards that goal. That vision was to acquire property and build a club-owned short-circuit track oval, enduro and MX track near Belleville, Ontario.
Property ownership is a dream seldom achieved by motorcycle clubs; to purchase property and build a facility is an accomplishment indeed.