PETER JOHN GERALD BENTLEY OC, OBC, LLB (Honourary) Peter died peacefully in his sleep in Vancouver, B.C. September 6, 2021 at the age of 91. He is survived by his wife Sheila (nee McGiverin) and their 5 children, Barbara Hislop (John), Susan Kololian (Vahan), Joanie Ball (Mik), Michael Bentley (Lesley) and Lisa Turner (Terrence), 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Peter was born in Vienna, Austria, March 17, 1930, to Leopold and Antoinette Bentley (Bloch Bauer). Together with his parents he fled Austria in 1938 to Canada, where the family became established in the forest industry. Peter settled into St. George's School where he learned English. After a brief and inglorious career at The University of British Columbia (UBC), Peter joined his father and uncle, John Prentice, at Canfor where he had already worked several summers in the bush. Together they grew the company into a fully diversified international leader in the forest industry. Peter went on to lead the company for over 30 years. The safety of the employees was always a core focus. Peter's business life extended beyond Canfor. He served on several major company boards including Shell Canada, the Bank of Montreal, the International Advisory Board of JP Morgan Chase and the Carlyle Group, and smaller companies, including most recently SierraSil Health. Despite his rocky academic career Peter always valued education. He served as Chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), received Honourary Doctor of Law degrees from UBC and UNBC, and was awarded 'The Distinguished Community Leadership Award' from Simon Fraser University in 2007. He served on numerous faculty advisory boards at many institutions. He was awarded as a 'Builder' at St. George's School and served as the Board Chair at York House School for many years. A dashing figure, Peter was a gentleman, and noted for his impeccable manners. Peter was aware of his privilege which inspired him to give back. His philanthropy extended to all areas of his life. His involvement in community organizations reflected his personal commitment to build a better society. Peter served as Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and was awarded the 'WAC Bennett Award' as a builder of sports in BC. He founded the Vancouver General Hospital Foundation in 1980, which later merged to become the VGH/UBC Hospital Foundation. The Foundation has now raised over a billion dollars for patients in the Province of British Columbia. He is a past chair of The BC Business Council, served 14 years on the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and many years on the Vancouver Police Department Foundation. In the Arts, he served as a member of the Board of Governors for The Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, The Vancouver Art Gallery, The Vancouver Recital Society and The Playhouse Theatre. For his extended philanthropic and volunteer contributions to the province he was awarded 'The Variety Gold Heart Award for Philanthropy.' Peter was always an avid sportsman. From skiing, skeet shooting and car racing to tennis and his beloved golf, if he participated, he meant to win. He collected 3 block letters at UBC, won numerous club championships at various golf clubs in Canada and the US and was a scratch golfer for 13 years. In 1966, he worked to bring the Canadian Open to Vancouver. Peter was a part owner of The Vancouver Canucks and instrumental in securing the franchise's admission into the NHL in 1970. A lifelong season ticket holder, he rarely missed a game either in person or on TV. He always had an opinion on how the team was playing and the quality of the referees! Peter loved all things about aviation and automobiles. He loved flying and was fascinated by the mechanics and workings of any plane he travelled on. His love of fast cars resulted in acquiring the distribution of Mercedes Benz in Western Canada. This later led to the representation of the BMW distribution for Canada. When not travelling or moving at high speed, playing cards in the locker room or at home, brought great satisfaction to Peter. He leaves many friends across Canada, around the world and in Rancho Mirage, California where he and Sheila spent significant time over the past 50 years. Peter's family would like to extend their deep gratitude to Cyndi Anderson who served as Peter's assistant for over 18 years. A special thank you to Cherry Roque, Lilibeth Rarogal, Adele Cruz and the Makaroff family who assisted in so many ways over the years. A sincere thank you to Dr. Iain McCormick and the staff of the Vancouver General Hospital. Despite the awards, trophies and accolades, Peter will be remembered by his family for his passion for business, his love of athletics and his example of giving back to society. A private gathering will be held for immediate family only. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to one of the charities close to Peter or a charity that is meaningful to you.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Sep. 9 to Sep. 13, 2021.