To most of us, Len Coates was the name on a masthead or a byline, a writer we enjoyed or even a motorsport reporter whose access to the world stage we envied.
To much smaller group, Len was a friend, an employee and the key part of a team. To many more Len was an accomplished story teller, an accomplished journalist, a trail breaker and leader in his profession.
To Rod Campbell he was a large part of his life, co-worker, confident, first employee in a new venture, life long friend. Rod came from California and spent the last day of LenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life with him.
Len Coates was a larger than life presence even as a student at Ryerson. As editor of the Ryersonian he led a pitched battle with the faculty and administration over faculty control of editorial policy, a position he saw as censorship. Ultimately it resulted in the founding of the Eyeopener, totally controlled by students. LenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s graduation present to himself was to marry the DeanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s secretary!
A long sequence of events, a separate story, led to the establishment of the Len Coates Awards, a troika of $4000 awards covering three areas of his life.
The first, presented under the auspices of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame an institution in whose founding Len played a significant role, to the Most Promising Student in First Year, this year, Matthew Bragga.
The second, presented by the Coates family represented by brother Bert Coates, is awarded to the Most Promising Student in Second Year, this year Kevin Hamilton
The third, presented by the Campbell Family represented by Rod Campbell, is awarded to the Most Promising Student in Third Year, this year Brian Coulton.
Photos for this article were provided by Rod Campbell. The first shows Len Coates with Jody Scheckter while to second is Coates in a Lola Mk1 at Mosport in 1964.