TREVOR BEDFORD, MBE (1935 – 2018)

07 Jun 2018

The Hong Kong Rugby Union are saddened to learn of the recent passing of Trevor Bedford, a great servant to local rugby in a wide variety of capacities – our Vice President Jamie Scott has kindly penned the words below that give an insight into all he contributed over many years.

A service will be held on Tuesday 12th June in the Milton Chapel at Chilterns Crematorium, Amersham.  The family have requested no flowers, but donations in lieu to High Wycombe RUFC Ltd, sent c/o Wright Funeral Services, 106 High Street, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 OBE, UK.

Our thoughts are with Lucinda, Louise and all their family.

“Trevor John Bedford, MBE (1935- 2018) was a former HKRFU Vice President, occasionally serving as President in an acting capacity (1979 AGM). 

He played rugby for the HKFC in the early and mid-1960’s and was a member of the 1965 Hong Kong representative team to Japan in that year. 

He was 1981 Taipan at the then annual HKFC fixture between the Taipans XV and the Commander British Forces.

He served as a HongKong Government District Officer for the New Territories, being briefly kidnapped and detained in 1967 by a disgruntled group of farmers on the other side of the then Border. 

He also served as the Commandant of the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force, an honorary appointment by the Governor of Hong Kong. He was made a Member Of The British Empire (MBE) in 1972.

In the private sector he progressed to the office of Chairman of the Hong Kong Land Group, becoming its Chief Executive Officer in 1978. 

He also served as Chairman of Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Director of the Jardine Matheson Limited, the Hong Kong/Canton Railway Corporation a Member of the board of Directors of the Hong Kong bank, Hong Kong Electric Holdings and the Hong Kong Telephone Company and many other public companies. 

Trevor Bedford and the HongKong Sevens
The Hong Kong Sevens was originally the idea of the Marketing and Promotions Manager of Rothman's Export for a Pan Asia 15s Rugby Tournament. Rodney Bentham-Wood wanted Rothmans to sponsor a Pan Asia Euro XV's Tournament.  After discussion between Bentham-Wood and the chairman of the HKRFU, South African entrepreneur, A.D.C. "Tokkie" Smith, it was decided that a Sevens Tournament would be cheaper and simpler to set up.
The idea was then implemented-and more importantly jointly financed- by Trevor Bedford (then Chairman of Hong Kong Land, Jardine Matheson, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and Director of HSBC) Duncan McTavish (Past-captain of the HKFC Rugby Section and HongKong & Whampoa Dock) and Ian Gow, the Rothmans' Tobacco company executive for Hong Kong. 
Before the advent of the IRB (now World Rugby) Hong Kong was among a number of Unions affiliated to the RFU Twickenham. The RFU turned down the initial proposal for Home Union involvement, so the HKRFU changed its focus and sent out invitations to Asian and Pacific sides, leading to the first Hong Kong Rugby Sevens on 28 March 1976.

It was no coincidence that the companies Trevor Bedford was associated with, that is to say, HongKong Land, Jardine Matheson, Mandarin Oriental and HSBC all bought their own 1976 HongKong Sevens Patrons Box at then not insignificant cost of $HKD 5,000-and the rest as they say, is history.”