DR. SEBASTIAN DAVID – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
Fort Macleod is indeed a poorer place for the death of Dr. Ian Bennett, but undoubtedly a better place for having known him.
Dr. Bennett, an excellent physician and dedicated member of our community, died Feb. 13 in Lethbridge at the age of 73.
Ian immigrated to Canada in 1965 where he joined a medical practice in Lucky Lake, Sask.
In 1971 Ian and his family moved to Fort Macleod where he joined the Walker Clinic.
As a physician, he was both knowledgeable and caring — though some might experience that caring as “tough love.”
His special expertise in obstetrics and anaesthetics served his patients well, enabling full service medicine to continue in Fort Macleod for many years.
As a colleague, he was generous with his time and his knowledge, and he continued to give support to others even after his retirement; he had been involved with the Alberta Medical Association’s Physician and Family Support Program for years, becoming one of their leading figures, and helping to develop a program that is a model for others around the world.
He was always interested in teaching, and led the way in arranging rural continuing education for physicians, and in having medical students and residents come to Fort Macleod for part of their education.
He served for several years on the executive of the Chinook Physicians’ Association.
As a member of this community, he was involved as participant and as advocate, playing golf (though his language was sometimes more impressive than his strokes), curling to a high standard, and working as physician and executive member for the Fort Macleod Broncs senior hockey team.
He served on town council from 1974-’79.
In the wider community he also made his mark. He worked tirelessly to help bring the Foothills Detox Center to Fort Macleod, and ensure its success, and it was partly in recognition of this that he was made an honorary chief of the Kainai Nation.
Besides his loving wife Arline, Ian is survived by his two daughters, Pam (Eric) and Lindsay; his five sons, Anthony (Dal), Graeme (Yvonne), Christopher (Natalie), Darrell (Lana) and Jason (Tammy); grandchildren Morgan, Liam, Owen, Braden, Anders, Iliana, Stephanie, Claire, James, Summer, Kruze, Jeff and Rowan; as well as extended family members Chad and Janine and their children Tyson and Grace.
Ian was predeceased by his parents George and Lillian and his sister Joan.
A memorial was held March 2 at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge.
(Dr. Sebastian David was a long-time colleague of Dr. Ian Bennet’s in the Walker Clinic in Fort Macleod.)