Michael Collinwood Preece ——-‘ He had the Heart’

Better know to many as Mike” Michael Collinwood Preece was born to Mr. and Mrs Kenneth Preece on 18th December 1942 in Devonshire Bermuda. His early education began at Simmons’ Nursery School in Pembroke and Excelsior private school before transferring to Sandringham on Middle Road in Southampton Bermuda now known as the Bermuda Institute of Seventh Day Adventist. Because of his dedication to his studies he eventually graduated from Sandringham Institute with honours. He attended the Grace Methodist Church on Sunday mornings, Gospel Hall afternoons and Adventist on Saturdays. His life was steeped in religious worship and teachings. Upon leaving school his job was  with the Bermuda Telephone Company. He then went on to join Lee Harvey at V.S.B Radio Station Bermuda. Michael was blest to be apart of a musical family and because of love for dance earned the name of Bermuda’s ‘Trusting King’ . He was a determined entertainer.He won the battle of the groups at the well renowned Rose Bank Theatre where he sang and danced to the tune of ‘Duke of Earl’. He eventually operated his own record store for a short while.  He kept himself busy and eventually moved on from this vocation into the sports field and his passion became soft ball. After studying all facets of the game it rules and history, in 1958 he began his career as an umpire officiating in men’s Softball at the  U.S. Navel Air Station Base at Kindley Field. In 1962 he began officiating at ladies softball matches. He soon developed a reputation as one of the Island’s top umpires in both disciplines. In 1978 he became an I S F certified 023 umpire and in 1975 he became a certified Concacas 0013 umpire. He was well-travelled and proudly became an Ambassador for Bermuda. Between 1974-2001 he participated in four ISF world championships and 16 Concacas/Compasa games. In 1978 he became the second Bermudian Umpire to officiate in the final of a world championship clash between the U.S. and Canada. He encouraged others to qualify as umpires. He received honours in 2007 for softball when he was appointed to the Development and Umpires Commission and to the Technical Development Committee of Concacas. He was inducted into the softball Federation Hall of Fame I.S.F.023 on June 14th 2008. Mike received the honours of having the Bermuda Softball Diamond at Bernard’s Park named after him. He was a dedicated employee  of Youth and Sport for 32 years. Michael was a constant professional and made sure that whenever there was an event to be held at the Softball stadium that the field was in good and proper readiness for each game.  He was well-known and well-respected. He was a friend to all who came in contact with him a professional and an Island Icon who left us with a standard of excellence. His legacy did not go un-noticed.