The Leander Boat Club and the rowing community in all of Canada are better for Claude Saunders life-long dedication to the sport.

He competed out of Leander from 1932 to 1948 and competed in the 1936 and 1948 Olympics.

Saunders was the first Canadian to receive a FISA referee’s licence and became the first referee from this country to officiate the sport of rowing at the Olympics (1964, 1968).

He served as the chairman of the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catharines, the world’s largest rowing regatta, from 1958 to 1998.

Saunders was president of Leander for 34 years and was on the club’s board of trustees until his passing in 2007.

He was one of the founders of the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association and was the chairman of that organization for 30 years.

Saunders is a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada.