Search site



Obituary: John Verity

Colleagues will be very sorry to learn of the death, on 19 May 2004, of Mr John Verity, former University Catering Manager.

Born in Rochdale in 1926, John Verity joined the Westminster Bank on leaving school in 1942. He remained with the Bank until 1951 but his time there was punctuated by four years service in the Grenadier Guards, for which John retained an undiminished affection and pride throughout his life.

From the early 1950s onwards, John acquired substantial and senior experience in the catering trade, working in a number of private and public sector organisations. His responsibilities ranged from the development of new motorway service stations to the organisation and planning of domestic and catering services for the new Greater Manchester Police Authority. John was a Member of the Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management Association, and a Member also of the British Institute of Management.

Personal circumstances brought John across the Pennines in 1974 and he was appointed Domestic Bursar of Charles Morris Hall in May of that year, rapidly establishing a very good rapport with the students. John moved to Bradford College as Hall and Catering Manager in April 1977 but, little more than two years later, was back in Leeds on his appointment, in September 1979, as University Catering Manager.

Responsible for the entire operation of the central catering services, including University House, the Senior Common Room and a variety of other outlets, John brought great integrity, resourcefulness and a wealth of professional expertise to his demanding brief. He enjoyed good working relationships with his staff and the many other groups and individuals with whom he had dealings.

In an often bleak economic environment, John nursed the services to a substantial improvement in their financial position, whilst at the same time winning plaudits from many sources for the high standards they regularly attained. Writing in the University Review at the time of Johns retirement in 1991, the then Bursar, Dr Ray Head, observed that it has been an excellent team effort, as he would be the first to tell you, but it is something which would not have been achieved without his leadership.

Perhaps above all else, John was unswerving in his loyalty to, and absorption in, the life of the institution; at many University functions, his erect and dignified figure was to be found guiding proceedings well into the night.

The funeral will be held at Woodlands Crematorium, Woodlands Drive, Scarborough, Y012 6QN at 1.20 p.m. on Friday 28 May. Family flowers only, please, but donations may be made to St Catherines Hospice, Throxenby Lane, Scarborough, YO12 5RE.

John is survived by his daughter, Ann, a graduate of the School of Dentistry at Leeds and a Tutor in Postgraduate Dental Education, son-in-law Nigel, and grandsons Tim, David and Nick.

The Parkinson Building flag will be flown at half-mast on Friday.

Published: 26 May 2004