Community Living St. Marys and Area remembers longtime volunteer Allan Bennett

By Marg McLean

For more than 43 years, Allan Bennett gave his time and many gifts to people with disabilities and their families, our community and our organization, Community Living St. Marys and Area.

Through the years, Al wore many hats with our Association. In the 1970s, he was one of the first sheltered workshop managers. He held this position for several years before retiring in 1979 just after the new James Purdue Centre was built.

In the 1980s, Al could be seen fixing and repairing for the Association. Many of us remember him driving his motorcycle with his tool box on the back and sometimes one of his kids. Al never hesitated to help and we all knew he could fix anything.

Al joined the Board of Directors in 1987 and again, he filled many roles including that of President. One of his greatest contributions in his recent years has been to tell stories.

We often refer to him as the ‘Association Historian’ for he always remembered what something was used for, special birthdays and anniversaries of people supported and volunteers.

Of course, Al’s dedication and investment in Community Living was supported by his wife Jill and their family. In June 2013, Al was made an Honourary Life Member by the Board of Directors to recognize his outstanding contributions.

Al made an extraordinary commitment to improving the lives of others. Al died on Saturday March 19, 2016. He will be missed.

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