Chalk Fund Chair remembers Jeffrey Bernhard OBE

Jeffrey Bernhard OBE (1923-2023)

It was with great sadness that we have heard of Jeffrey Bernhard’s passing at the age of 100, which milestone he achieved on 7th August 2023. Jeffrey sadly passed away in his sleep on 24th August, less than 3 weeks later. I feel very privileged to have attended, along with many others, his 100th birthday celebrations.

Jeffrey was an inspirational figure within the landscape and horticultural industry, having initially set up Bernhard’s Landscapes and subsequently both Nursery and Sports Surfacing companies in his name.

He was the founding Chairman of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) in 1972 and in 1975, utilizing a legacy from the widow of another BALI founding member Geoffrey Chalk he established The Geoffrey Chalk Memorial Award Fund, becoming the inaugural Chair, a position he held until his 90th year when his intellect and knowledge of the industry was still as sharp as a tack!. Now known as The BALI Chalk Fund the charity continues to promote education and training within the landscape industry. Jeffrey continued to be incredibly interested in both his own businesses, as well as the many organisations where he had held the most senior of positions, until his passing.

He was awarded an OBE by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 1985 for services to the Industry as well as the many charities he was associated with.

Jeffrey was also a devoted family man. As his son Stephen has put it, Jeffrey was ‘an iconic individual as a father, grandfather and great grandfather and has been a role model for today’s generation of the family’.

He was also an iconic and irreplaceable role model and inspirational leader within the Landscape Industry and I, together with many others in the industry, feel hugely privileged and honoured to have been amongst his many friends and associates. He will be much missed and long remembered.

Peter Jennins OBE
Chairman, BALI Chalk Fund

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