Column: Remembering Al Corace of Manotick

On Thursday, August 4 at 8:57am, I had the esteemed honour of meeting the latest addition to my family, Lucas Alexander Scott Moffatt.  Luke joins his big brother and sister, Lane and Peyton.  This was a very happy time for my family and we are excited to finally meet this little guy.

The birth of my son, however, comes on the heels of the loss of a good friend of mine, and fellow Kiwanian, Al Corace.  On July 19th, I attended the Grand Opening of Highlight Travel & Cruises, launched by friends’ Leslie Coates and Mona Schuller.  As usual, Al was there to support his friends with that typical massive smile of his.  The great thing about Al was his sheer joy for life and it was truly infectious to all those who spoke with him.  The following morning Al passed away, he was only 67.

As a kid growing up around Manotick, I played softball in the Rideau-Osgoode Minor Softball Association (ROMSA).  I was a couple of years behind my brother, but I always went to see his games as well.  I’ll always recall the years when my brother, Chris, played on a team with Jeff Corace.  Often the case in ROMSA, the coaches were parents of one the players on the team.  After playing ROMSA for 13 years and knowing all the teams my brother played on as well, there weren’t too many coaches that stood out more than Jeff’s dad, Al.  I’m almost certain that Al was the only ROMSA coach that always seemed seconds removed from a Mets-Yankees game, with his thick New York accent and his passion for the game.  It was then that I first met Al.

I joined the Manotick Kiwanis Club over five years ago now and among the many familiar faces was, of course, Al Corace.  Al was the type that would always make you feel welcome, could always cheer you up, and would always leave you with a smile on your face.  In this past year, he served as President of our club, which under his leadership, became the fastest growing Kiwanis Club in Eastern Canada & The Caribbean.

I am truly blessed to have been able to call Al Corace a friend, after getting to know him again as an adult after all those years in ROMSA as a kid.  There are few people I know that had a more positive outlook on life or were as passionate for their community as him.  With the passing of Al and the birth of my son, I can only hope that Luke grows up to be a man with the same positive attitude, good nature and overall passion for life as Al Corace.