Former CESA stalwart passes away

CESA has paid tribute to Donald Bird, a stalwart of the catering equipment and tableware industry, who passed away this week.

The association said it had learned with great sadness of his death on 2nd June, aged 88.

Donald had been the chairman of the Catering Utensils Association up until it merged with CESA, becoming the CESA Catering Utensils Group and eventually the
Light Equipment and Tableware Group, which it is known as today.

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He chaired the Group until 2005, working tirelessly for the industry, and was at the heart of the development of initiatives such as the Light Equipment and Tableware Forum.

CESA described him as a “visionary and an inspirational leader and thinker”.

The association added: “Donald also sat on the Hotelympia Exhibition steering group on behalf of the light equipment industry for many years, always presenting his position with vigour to protect the interests of the companies he represented.”

Born in 1925, Donald started his career with Samuel Groves just after the war, where he worked his way up from the packing department to become sales director.

“Despite advancing age, Donald maintained his ties with the industry he loved – he attended the CESA 2013 conference and will be much missed at events. The industry owes him a huge debt of gratitude,” said CESA.

Donald lived independently following the death of his wife Kathleen and had moved into sheltered accommodation in January this year.

The funeral will take place on June 24 at Edgbaston Old Church, Birmingham at 1pm, followed by a reception at the Botanical Gardens.

The family has asked for donations to go to St John Ambulance, as Donald supported the charity and had been president of a Midlands branch.

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