A conversation with the 2023 Chatham Sports Hall of Fame inductees – Part 3

With four new names being added to the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame this fall, CKSN has contacted the inductees to learn more about their athletic careers.

Today’s interview is with Sue Muir, the daughter of Bruno Casanova who will be inducted in the Hall of Fame as a Builder.

What would you consider the biggest highlight of your father’s career?

Dad’s biggest highlight of his career. I think the biggest highlight of my father’s career is how professionally he touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way. Hearing and reading everyone’s stories how dad positively influenced and helped them in their lives is quite incredible. I had no idea. I always thought my dad was amazing and to me bigger than life, and now I truly believe he was. Reading the stories from players he coached, how they respected him and taught them so much about life on and out of the ballpark. Speaking with his former employees, most of whom had lost their fathers very early in life, as did Dad. How he hired them and became a father figure to them. One told me he would have been completely lost if it was not for my dad. Their stories of my father were truly heartwarming. My dad passed 30 years ago and his name keeps being honoured. In 2021, the Town of Amherstburg named the street leading up to the newly built arena The Bruno Casanova ay. Now 2023 he is being inducted into the Chatham Hall of Fame. These tributes are incredible and to me a definite highlight of his career.

Who were his biggest influencers or mentor?

I honestly cannot answer this question. Dad lost his father when he was 17. He had two younger siblings he had to take care of. None of their relatives stepped up for them. I cannot say where he got his big heart.

Were you aware your father was being considered for the Hall of Fame?

Yes, my Aunt Clara Stacey who lives in Chatham contacted me to see if she could give my name to Larry Lahey. He was putting together the nomination to induct Dad into the HOF. She was so cute she said, “Sue you may not think this is a big deal, but trust me this is a very big deal here in Chatham.”

What were your thoughts when you got the call that he would be inducted into the HOF?

The day I found out, was so busy. I had checked my emails earlier in the day and did not have a chance to check them again. I did receive a call, and thought it was a Telemarketing call, ignored it. I was climbing into bed when remembered there was a voice message. I listened to the voicemail and found out he was inducted. I almost cried to be honest. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I felt such pride of my father’s accomplishments and I felt so grateful that his accomplishments were being acknowledged. I told my husband, jumped out of bed and called my sisters, aunts, and cousin. The entire Casanova Family is absolutely thrilled and so very proud that dad is being inducted.

What advice would your father give to his younger self?

This is a very tough question to answer as Dad was not your typical teenager. At 17 he was the head of the household, he had a sister 15, and a brother 13. The three children were on their own to fend for themselves. Dad and his sister had to quit high school to support themselves and their younger brother. They had absolutely no choice in this matter as they did not want to be taken away and separated, they successfully hid this from the Children’s Aid Society. They continued to stay in the house paying all the necessary bills. This formed a very loving, tight-knit, loyal family bond that carried on for the remainder of their lives. I cannot even imagine the hardships that my father endured as a teenager, so the advice he would give himself. Maybe he would have told that 17-year-old boy, that everything was going to work out, that he was doing a great job.

The awards will be handed out to the class of 2023 on Thursday, September 28 at the Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham. Tickets are on sale now.

Follow CKSN for more from the newest Chatham Sports Hall of Fame inductees.

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