Sir: I am glad to see that Mike Bennett finally made it to The Chatham Sports Hall of Fame. I had nominated him for that possible induction more than a few years ago, but the nomination failed for lack of support. I think Mike was still working at The Chatham Daily News when I nominated him.
I have known Mr. Bennett since high school, when he was sports editor for “The Green & White” Chatham Collegiate Institute newsletter as well as a correspondent for The London Free Press. I can’t say that I always got along with Mike, even back in those high school days, but that had nothing to do with his writing ability for sports reporting which was always top notch and unique in my thinking, from the traditional standard material that I used to read in newspapers in those years.
Mike was able to personalize his stories, and often included various people from around the Chatham and Kent communities, that were at times hilarious to read and kept one wanting to read his column every time it went on the news stand. It is just a shame that the new technology and downsizing of newspapers in our society of today has resulted in many writer’s like Mike to either be reduced in availability or no longer have jobs promoting community sporting events and the people that take part in them.
There are many other good writers out there in Chatham-Kent, now retired, that like Mike, should some day be considered for some sort of honour for their works in our communities. I’m talking about the likes of Bill Saunders, Randy Coote, Bill Reddick, and Gary Patterson to name a few. Other media personalities, announcers, writers and such in other fields of the news media should also be considered for their stellar work as well.
Hopefully, like Mike Bennett, these other news media members may someday get their final notoriety for their work, and not after they have passed on to the after life.
All the same, way to go Mike! You are now in a place for all time that you richly deserve!