By James Atkinson
The liquor industry has joined with community and charity figures in paying tribute to Neville Bayfield, who will be remembered in a service at Sydney's Newport Arms Hotel next Wednesday (scroll down for memorial details).
Neville Bayfield, the CEO of Bayfield Hotel Group and chairman of Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) for more than 30 years, passed away on Wednesday morning following an extended illness.
LMG CEO Doug Misener told TheShout that Bayfield hired him into the LMG business and was "a mentor, a coach, a shrewd strategist, and a trusted friend".
"Under Neville's stewardship the business formed HLW and expanded out of NSW into a national business," he said.
"Without Neville's substantial contribution we would not be where we are today. He was highly regarded throughout the LMG business, and will be sorely missed."
John Murphy, managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil's Australian Beverages division, said: "Neville was a great friend."
"He was a man of vision, leadership and integrity who did it his way – a legend of the liquor industry. He was backed by a great lady in Pam, and their family. Neville will be sadly missed by me and all of the team here at CCA."
James Brindley, managing director of Lion Beer, Spirits & Wine Australia told TheShout that as a supplier, he learnt a lot from Neville Bayfield, who was always very generous with his time, both in charity and in business.
"I think he represented what's best about the industry. He was a very hospitable person, big on friendship and fellowship, which is what the pub business is all about."
Unwavering support for charity
Bronwyn Bishop MP, the Federal Member for the northern beaches seat of Mackellar, said Neville Bayfield's contribution to the hotel and hospitality industry will long be remembered.
"His leadership in the industry was combined with ethical and family values, which led to his contribution to community life, both financial and hands-on involvement.
"He was an adornment to the industry and leaves a family determined to follow his example and recipe for a successful and caring life," she said.
Michelle Haber, of the Children's Cancer Institute Australia, told TheShout it was "an honour and a pleasure" to know Neville and his family, whose support of the charity had been unwavering over the last decade, raising over $1.8 million.
"Wherever they had an opportunity to lend their support to a cause that they were passionate about, they did so 100 per cent," she said.
"If ever there was a query or a challenge, I would seek Neville's advice and know that it would always be sound and caring and supportive. He was wonderful." [continues below]
Mark, Neville and Wayne Bayfield
Australian Hotels Association (NSW) CEO Paul Nicolau said Bayfield, "has been perfectly described as a person of character, clout and leadership; one who will remain held in high esteem and a man whose actions and accomplishments have changed the liquor industry landscape and the way the industry operates".
"The AHA (NSW) Executive and staff convey our deepest condolences to Neville’s wife Pamela, his sons Wayne and Mark and his extended family."
Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) CEO Terry Mott said: "Neville will be missed as one of the great characters who have helped make the industry what it is today – a truly relationship based industry!"
"He established a very successful family business and played a key role in establishing the LMG liquor marketing banner group.
ALSA joins with the rest of the industry to offer our condolences to Neville’s family and many friends – he will be missed by us all."
"One of life's true gentlemen"
Bayfield was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1997 in recognition of his services to the Royal Life Saving Society. CEO Rob Bradley said he had made a wonderful contribution to the organisation.
"Neville was an outstanding example of a person who has dedicated much of his career to the promotion of water safety and life saving at both the national and international level," he said.
Bayfield was also an honorary life member of the Warringah Rats rugby union club, which Bayfield Hotel Group sponsored for many years.
Club president Mike Sheeran told TheShout that Neville was "one of life's true gentlemen".
"The club's pretty stunned by it, it's just going to be weird not having him around. He'll be sadly missed."
The Bayfield Family said in a statement that a memorial will be held in Neville's honour at The Newport Arms Hotel, Wednesday 8th August, at 10am.
"All that knew Neville are welcome to come and pay respect.
The Bayfield Family have kindly asked in lieu of any flowers, that donations be made to Neville's much loved charity, The Children's Cancer Institute of Australia (envelopes available at memorial)."
Click here to visit the Children's Cancer Institute of Australia website.