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RC celebrates Whiteley, near-centenarian

CORRECTION: Rogers City is honoring Harry Whiteley. His name was spelled incorrectly in an earlier version of this story.

ROGERS CITY — The Rogers City Council has declared a day of celebration for one long-time resident.

Nov. 8, now and forever, will be known as Harry Whiteley Day in the city. Whiteley will turn 100 years old next month.

Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan said officials were glad to honor him on his 100th birthday.

According to the council’s proclamation, Whiteley owned and operated The Presque Isle Advance for decades. His father, Hal Whiteley, owned and operated the newspaper before him.

In addition to his work with The Advance, McLennan said, Whiteley was “community minded.”

He was named Rogers City’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 1969 and was the grand marshal of the 1977 Nautical City Grand Parade.

“Probably his biggest claim to fame is he served many years, actually several decades, on the state Natural Resources Commission,” McLennan said.

Whiteley was appointed to the Michigan Conservation Commission, now called the Natural Resources Commission, by five governors, where he served as a board member and chairman.

He served as the first chairman of the Downtown Development Corp. in Rogers City, chairman of the Thompson Harbor State Park Advisory Commission, president of the Presque Isle County Sportsmen’s Club, and president of the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce.

He also served on the board of the Greater Michigan Foundation, Alpena Community College Foundation, and Jesse Besser Museum Board.

He is a past president of the Michigan Press Association, Michigan Outdoor Writers Association, and East Tourist Association. He also served on the board both the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 to serve on the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission.

Whiteley now resides in Petoskey.