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Mike Botelho (1948-2024): printer and hockey stalwart

Michael Botelho (Photograph supplied)

A veteran Bermuda Press Ltd employee started in the days of the hot metal presses at The Royal Gazette and went on to the specialised department assembling books.

Mike Botelho was also a much loved member of the island’s field hockey community in the heydays of the sport in the 1980s and 1990s, when hockey was played at the old National Sports Club in Devonshire.

Paget Wharton, a long-serving former general manager at Bermuda Press, said: “Mike was congenial, helpful and he was decent — simple as that.

“I was very grateful to have him. He worked with me, not for me.”

Mr Botelho started out at a former incarnation of the daily publication, when the Gazette was printed by hot metal typesetting.

Mr Wharton recalled: “I was in the printing division and he was in the newspaper division, operating the Linotype machine. That was his original skill.

“He then came over to Bermuda Press, where we had a couple of Linotype machines. We migrated from hot metal to cold type to digital, where we are today.

“After that evolution, hot type faded into the abyss.

“He was then transferred to the bindery division, putting together books and pamphlets. He operated a lot of the machines we had there.”

Mr Wharton added: “Mike was a gentle soul, very knowledgeable and great at his craft, and fun on the social side. I have nothing but kudos.”

The Bermuda Hockey Federation called him “a true gentleman of the sport”.

“Mike came to pretty much every game — rain, blow or shine — and when he wasn’t playing as a goalkeeper for the men’s clubs, or umpiring men’s and women’s games, he would be sitting off on the concourse mingling with the other players and spectators and sharing stories and maybe a beer or two — memorable days that will be for ever cherished.

“Mike was a kind soul and always took the time to encourage players who lacked confidence or experience, and was instrumental in the development of young, up-and-coming umpires.

“He was a solid, dependable umpire who I don’t believe ever showed a card to any player — his gentle demeanour commanded respect from everybody, on and off the pitch, and he was always a favourite with the players.

“His signature move was to stop the game from time to time for a bathroom break — nobody ever really knew if that was a ploy to calm the game if it got a little feisty, but it always brought a smile to everybody’s face.

“Mike was the recipient of many member-voted ‘fair play/dedication to field hockey’ awards during his hockey career.”

The BHF added: “It was a privilege to know him. He will be very much missed.”

• Michael John Botelho, a longstanding employee at Bermuda Press Holdings, was born on January 23, 1948. He died on May 30, 2024, aged 76

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Published June 08, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated June 08, 2024 at 8:02 am)

Mike Botelho (1948-2024): printer and hockey stalwart

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