‘Remarkable’: Late journalist Win Miller lauded for mentorship

Many knew Win Miller as a longtime news reporter and from her later work chronicling leaders in the area farming industry.

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Many knew Win Miller as a longtime news reporter and from her later work chronicling leaders in the area farming industry. But the late Chatham woman also dedicated more than three decades of her life to being a mentor.

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Miller, who died Aug. 31 at 104, was a constant positive influence for Chatham native Paige Flint from age seven up.

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Flint, now 41, said she first met the former London Free Press reporter, a trailblazer for women in journalism, at a church group and “we just developed a relationship.”

She said Miller spoke to some of her teachers who thought she had some promise but doubted she’d go far.

“If anybody knows Win, you don’t tell her you can’t do something,” Flint said.

When Flint said she wanted to go to university, Miller said they were going to make that happen.

“She made sure that I succeeded even when I didn’t think I could,” Flint said. “Win is the most amazing, remarkable person I’ve met. She changed my life.”

Miller, best known in Chatham-Kent for her longtime work as the Chatham bureau chief for The Free Press, had a journalism career that spanned five decades starting in 1936 when she began working for the Windsor Star as a student reporter covering stories at the former Chatham collegiate institute and Chatham vocational school.

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From there, she covered other news for the Star, went on to become news editor at radio station CFCO and in 1957 became the London newspaper’s point person in Chatham, where she remained until she retired in 1982.

Flint said Miller helped guide her to determine what post-secondary programs and schools would be a good fit and even took her to visit universities.

Flint studied criminology at the University of Windsor, noting Miller completed her university degree there during her retirement.

With Miller’s support, Flint became the first person in her family to not only graduate high school, but also university, earning an honours degree in criminology. She spent 13 years working for the Ministry of the Attorney General and in 2021 moved to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

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While in school, Flint would call Miller when she encountered tough questions, noting her mentor would help guide her to the right research or clarify what was being asked.

“She was just always available, always willing to go the extra mile to help me and make sure I felt supported and I felt guided.”

The generation gap didn’t really exist between the two because Flint said Miller kept herself young, which included working well past retirement age, and keeping herself in the know.

After her journalism career, Miller was the Kent County Agricultural Hall of Fame’s biographer for two decades.

Miller was 63 years older than her, Flint said, “but in soul and heart she really wasn’t.

“Win will always be a part of me, because I truly would have never been where I am today, if wasn’t for her,” she added.

Noting she is mentoring a couple of young girls, Flint said she can only hope to be the kind of change agent in someone’s life that Miller was to her.

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