John J. Clair, Jr.
Hall of Fame Class of 1970
John Clair, as a youngster, began skiing on the gentle slopes of a golf course in Jamaica, New York whenever snow was present. As his own proficiency increased and skiing grew in popularity, he helped form the Long Island Ski club (1938). Clair also served the Metropolitan New York Ski Council for thirty years.
John J. Clair was born in Jamaica, New York in 1907. He is a perfect example of what an individual can do for ski sport through its governing bodies when genuine desire and dedication exist.
Becoming a member of the United States Eastern Amateur Ski Association in 1950-51, Clair served as its treasurer and was its first president from 1952 to 1954.
On the national level, Clair was a director of the National Ski Association of America from 1952 to 1954 and during 1953-54, served as chairman of the International Competitions Committee. He was a member of the United States delegation to the F.I.S. Congress held at Igls, Austria in 1953, again representing his country during the F.I.S. meeting in Palun, Sweden in 1954. Clair chaired the U.S. Olympic Games Committee for the 1956 Winter Games in Italy and was a member of the finance committee in 1960 and 1964. Wearing still another hat, he served as a member of the Olympic Transportation Committee in 1964. He also attended quadrennial meetings of the U.S. Olympic Association in 1953 and 1957, representing the USEASA.
Interspersed with all of this, Clair also found time to be a founding member of the Long Island Ski Patrol and became National Ski Patrolman No. 1158. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the NSPS beginning in 1952, putting his well-known fundraising abilities to the chairmanship of the finance committee of the NSPS in 1968.
Liberally sprinkled through these activities, Clair found time to be a director of the New York State Winter Sports Council in 1952, its secretary in 1966-67 and its president in 1967-68. Such proven ability and drive placed Clair on the executive committee of the newly-formed New York Committee for the U.S. ski Team Fund where his knowledge of fund raising proved itself once again. His long contacts with members of the U.S. Ski Team and those of foreign teams gave Clair still another chore of love; his close proximity to the international airports made him “unofficial greeter” of nearly every ski team that left or entered the United States through these metropolitan airports.
Through all of this, John Clair, Jr. helped raise three children, served as the president of the Jamaican Estate Civic Association for eight years and lent his talents to Archbishop Molloy’s committee for Catholic Scouting for another five years. He represented Swix Wax and became known universally as “Mister Swix”. It is men such as John Clair who held organized skiing together.
John Clair was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1970.
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