Benard “Bunn” Deschamps

A patient, understanding teacher

Benard “Bunn” Deschamps was a man who’s love for sports led him through life. As a young man growing up in Penetanguishene, he played hockey and baseball and just about every sport that was in season. In baseball he played with future big leaguer Babe Marchildon. In hockey he was good enough to win a spot playing pro hockey in Miami before coming hack to star on the Midland intermediate champions of 1940-41. He lost a kidney due to an injury suffered in Miami but continued his playing career after he recovered. His participation certainly didn’t stop with the end of his playing career. It was just beginning. Bunn had to keep involved and had to share his love and knowledge of sports with others, especially young people. “He wanted to help kids share his love of sports,” said his daughter Andrea recently. “He was always there for the kids, his own and others. He often couldn’t afford to play sports as a child, so I guess he wanted others to have the chance. He used to help supply equipment for the kids. I remember he used to bring home broken hockey sticks from the arena and fix them for the kids.” In over 50 years of athletic participation, Bunn gave a lot of his time to coaching and teaching. He was coach and manager of the wonderfully successful Midland Indians teams in the 60’s. For years he conducted clinics and practices to help youngsters learn the game of baseball. It was his first love. “He was always willing to share his knowledge of sports with others. He loved to talk about baseball and hockey. He loved to see kids playing sports. He figured if they were playing, they couldn’t get into any trouble,” said his daughter Andrea. The highlights of his career were the 1940-41 hockey championship and the numerous titles won by the Indians. But, he enjoyed his participation, coaching and teaching youngsters as much as anything. “His patience, understanding and knowledge of sports made him a great teacher,” said Andrea. “He cared about people. He very seldom talked about himself; he loved talking sports. He was a strict father, wanting us to be respected and respectful of others. He passed that on to other kids as well.” Bunn and his wife had three children – son Buzz and two daughters, Andrea and Brenda. Brenda was unable to participate in sports for health reasons, but the others were always involved. “We always followed him everywhere. He wanted us to be a part of his sports too,” said Andrea. Bunn Deschamps’ legacy of giving to the local sports scene lives on in the Bunn’s Kids organization, a group that helps fund young people to participate in sports. The group was founded in October of 1992 to carry on his work. So far they have assisted over 700 kids get involved in sports and other community activities. Andrea and Bunn’s family is very proud of the work done by Bunn’s Kids. “The money raised is from this area and it stays here,” said Andrea. ‘And of the 16 people on the committee, all but two of them either played for him or with him or knew him personally” It’s a fitting tribute to the man who gave so much to his community Bunn Deschamps passed away in 1992 but left a legacy that lives on.