Former Mintex director and community stalwart dies aged 89

Malcolm Bentley.
Malcolm Bentley.

The longest-serving member of Cleckheaton Rotary Club and former director at what was once the town’s largest employer has died at the age of 89.

Malcolm Bentley, of Wyke, died peacefully at Ashmeadows care home on December 27.

For many years Mr Bentley worked at Mintex Limited, later becoming a director, and was a member of the rotary club for 49 years.

He was also a member of Cleckheaton Central Methodist Church for 50 years, acting as a lay preacher and choir member.

His son Stephen Bentley said: “He was a very substantial figure in local society.

“He was a man who was very well-liked and respected and a man of integrity and substance.”

In 1975, Mr Bentley undertook a sponsored solo horseback ride around the Spen Valley to raise funds for the Ilkley Kidney Home.

And in 1977 he was the principle organiser of a ‘Three Masts Walk’, taking in the radio masts at Pole Moor, the Holme Moss and Emley Moor. This raised £7,300 for local charities.

As a former governor of Whitcliffe Mount School, Mr Bentley was involved with starting the Young Inventors award to highlight the work of pupils studying design and technology. It has now been running for more than 25 years.

In 2001, he took over the collection of unwanted glasses for the charity Vision Aid Overseas.

More than 100,000 pairs of were collected.

He was made a Paul Harris Fellow in 2007 – the highest honour Rotary awards its members.

Cleckheaton’s club president David Sugden said: “Malcolm was the longest-serving member and he was a very devoted member to the club, attending meetings up until about two or three months ago.

“He was a man of good stature in the community, a fine example to all of us. He was a man of great integrity and patience. We shall miss him.”

He became a group executive of the BBA Group and was a director of a number of overseas companies, spending a good deal of time travelling, especially in South Africa.

He is survived by his son Stephen and daughter Catherine, grandchildren Joseph, Graham and Claire and a great-grandchildren Yoann and Merric.

His funeral will take place at Central Methodist Church on Tuesday, January 17 at 11am.