In the passing of Bernard Molloy a few months shy of his 71st birthday, the cleaningindustry has lost one of its recent great characters. A consummate networker, Bernard was a regular face at industry events. His charming personality, good humour and extraordinary industry knowledge will be greatly missed by those lucky enough to have spent time in his company. He was a passionate, inspirational and well-loved professional, and a role-model to a generation of young engineers.
Always the diplomat, Bernard seemed to have his finger in several pies, and as he often fulfilled multiple briefs he would talk passionately across a number of subjects with great authority. Bernard excelled in the public domain, and was exemplary at putting people together whom he felt could mutually benefit from a meeting.
Right to the end, Bernard was a champion of apprenticeships, having started out on that path himself. He trained as a mechanical engineer and rose up through the ranks to become a general manager with BT Rolatruc (now Toyota Material Handling) in the late '60s. In 1986 he was appointed managing director of Hako Machines UK, where he oversaw the design and development of a new product range which grew to make up 30% of the total group turnover.
In 1999, he returned to the forklift world to become joint group managing director of Lansing Linde, where he increased market share from 19.5% to 33% over five years. In 2009 Bernard took over as managing director of Hoppecke Industrial Batteries, installing new facilities and systems that have helped transform the company’s fortunes. In 2011, Bernard landed the position of global director of Unipart Industrial Logistics, a role in which he used his considerable guile, experience and connections to help promote the brand.
Parallel to his commercial engagements, Bernard devoted considerable energy to projects that were close to his heart: he was chairman of Superport Liverpool where he generously gave his time to champion the city where he was born and promote apprenticeships; played an active part in the CILT (chairing its warehouse and materials handling forum); chaired the Northern England Regional Committee of the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce, and was a business adviser to Coventry Rugby Club.
Bernard received many awards in his lifetime, including being a Freeman of the City of London, Automotive Logistician of the Year 2014/15 and being honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award (The Manufacturer) in 2018. Bernard volunteered for the 2012 Olympics as a gamesmaker, and in his younger days he was a competition level water skier and an advanced alpine skier.
The industry will be poorer without Bernard. C&M sends its deepest condolences to his wife Ann, his family, colleagues and many friends.
There will be a celebratory event open to all who knew Bernard to honour him and his legacy in Liverpool in the autumn. More information will be available in due course on the Liverpool City Region LEP website.