Obituary for William (Bill) Regan 1934 – 2021

Bill Regan was a long-time member of Fermanagh Orienteers from its early beginnings in the 1980s and was orienteering and helping out at events well into his late 70s.

Bill, a Yorkshireman, had first come to Fermanagh with the RAF. He was stationed at Castle Archdale. Little did he know then, he would be running frequently through these woods in his 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s!  Castle Archdale was the Club’s first map and has been used many times for events and club training. Whilst stationed at Castle Archdale he met his future wife Pauline and when married settled back in Yorkshire. They returned to Fermanagh in 1969

Bill put all his energy and enthusiasm into everything he did. He was a keen sportsman and took up athletics. He became a member of Erne Striders Athletic Club where he gained coaching qualifications. He met and got to know some of our club members who were also members of the Striders. In 1986 he joined our still very new Orienteering Club. In Orienteering he found a sport which not only challenged and kept him fit but offered many ways to contribute. There was not only his coaching expertise but also his management and handyman skills which he brought to the organisational side of the sport. He loved going away to events taking a great interest in how they were set up. He travelled with other club members to events all over Ireland and GB; to the JK, Scottish and Welsh multi-days and even further afield to Spain.

He was a terrific asset to the club taking the initiative to store, repair and prepare all the kit for events even making road and other signage (in the days before such things were available commercially). A modest character, he always shunned the limelight but was eventually persuaded to do his 3-year stint as Club Chair. He was a bit of an archivist so in the 15th year of the Club’s existence he produced a well-researched ‘History of the Club’. It started with a great little poem he had composed. (A man of many interests; he also painted and restored classic racing bicycles!)

Later, particularly after he retired from work, he also got into coaching and mapping many primary schools across Fermanagh and the Omagh area. He was a great club member and was greatly missed when ill health prevented his further participation. He died recently after a prolonged illness.

A wonderful man, our hearts go out to his wide family circle of children, grand-children and great grand-children.

Bill’s Poem – Inside my head

Standing waiting at the start, clutching compass beating heart, finger on the stopwatch switch,

Thinking controls fence and ditch, time to go and time to run, settle quickly, the waiting done,

First control a broken wall, takes importance overall, follow path, a stream in flood,

Navigation is very good, there it is a pleasing sight, marker coloured red and white,

Go in, check and punch your card, now number two should not be hard,

Run distance, fence and wall, be careful crossing not to fall, control should soon be into view,

Yes, there it is my number two, and so it was with three and four, five was harder, six was poor,

Seven a navigation dream, and eight the topping of the cream, just one to go, and then the end,

A time to stop and rest and mend.