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Campion Marine founder passes away

The man who founded Campion Marine in Kelowna passed away unexpectedly on Sunday.

Gordon Elliott was 82.

"It is difficult to find the words for such an announcement. Our dad was such a great leader, his life filled to the brim, very diverse and rewarding," his son Brock Elliott, president of Campion Marine stated in a news release.

"He made lasting impressions with so many people from his professional accounting career to his strong interest in agriculture, farming and ranching, to the power boat industry."

Gordon Elliott founded Campion Marine along with Ross Jardine in 1974.

Over the past 38 years the company has grown from a small, regional boat builder to the largest fibreglass boat manufacturer in Canada.

Company GM, Chris Forrest, says, while the economy has caused a slowdown in the boat industry, the company's goal is to manufacture about 1,000 boats per year.

Forrest says Campion Marine ships boats to more than 30 countries worldwide.

While Gordon Elliott was no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, his experience and knowledge was invaluable.

"He was hands off day-to-day, but I know Brock talked to him pretty much every day. I talked to Gordon just about every day," says Forrest.

"He's a great sounding board and he definitely set the direction for our company. For not being here day-to-day he was hands on."

Forrest says that experience will be missed.

Just last month, Campion Marine tested its new EFusion motor, a 180 horsepower electric motor - the first of its kind in the world.

"When we were talking about doing something like that we definitely talk about it prior - the pros and the cons," adds Forrest.

"If it was something he didn't feel we should be looking at we definitely wouldn't be looking at it."

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