VALE JOHN BENNETT.
Sadly Doncaster has lost another member. John always had a smile and was ready for a laugh. He was open about his illness calling it “ A bugger of a thing.”
At the well attended funeral John’s son Glenn was the Celebrant, his nephew Chris , his Grandchildren Will, Jenna and Siena and two representatives from Canterbury Football Club all contributed to his eulogy.
John grew up in Melbourne, attending Chatham Primary School and Caulfield Tech. Much to his Mothers consternation his favourite trick as a toddler was to hold his breath until he turned blue.
His school reports usually stated, “Doesn’t try hard enough.” It was difficult for his Mum as a single Mother, and the small family moved around many of Melbourne’s suburbs. He had a colourful early life, as a teenager working various jobs, once at Buckley and Nunn, also collecting glasses at the Caulfield Race Course.
He was described as gregarious, an extrovert, independent, courageous, and someone who would never give up.
He loved sport, whether playing it, coaching or being the trainer. He played Aussie Rules with Canterbury F .C. from the age of 20. He was awarded a Life Membership and was still going to watch them play till several weeks ago.
He played basketball with the Bulleen ‘Boomers’ and travelled overseas in the Australian Masters Team.
With energy and passion he coached the Doncaster Heights Football U13’s and U 14’s to their Premierships.
He was adventurous . Once he travelled alone to the far north of Australia in bus which he had fitted out himself. There he lived alongside the indigenous men and women. He also took the family to Fiji, Central Australia, Darwin, Airlie Beach and Mildura . Later he travelled overseas with his partner Julie, but this time they bought a camper van for journeying all around Europe. They too were adventurous attending the Running of the Bulls in Spain and the Octoberfest in Germany.
Work wise he had property investments, was a truck driver and a bus driver and also ran a successful accident accessor and an insurance investigation business. He was able to retire at age 44.
He joined our Bowls Club in April 2011 having previously played for Auburn, Richmond and Flemington/ Kensington. A year later in the season 2012-13 John won the Presidents Handicap ( the 100 Up.) Sadly we have no photos of John in our uniform.
He loved playing in the Tournament Triples games and so when he could no longer drive Ian Golding and Brian Morris would always bring him and take him home. He was very very social, loved a beer and fought the wicked dementia to the end. Julie said , “He really was a dag.” So true, everyone liked him.
VALE JOHN, your many friends will miss you….Lyn Goodman.