Patrick Meaney, for the past nine years chairman of the Rank Organisation, had a long career in both industry and commerce.
From the early Fifties Meaney worked for Thomas Tilling - a haulage group which latterly expanded into being a wide-ranging conglomerate - and at the time of the takeover of Tilling by BTR he was managing director. He joined the Rank board in November 1979 and became chairman at the end of 1983. I can well remember his taking the chair. His drive and enthusiasm and his ability to get on with others steered Rank from strength to strength and the team of Meaney and Mike Gifford was a great combination.
Meaney was known to many people and was always well respected. His easy manner and charm perhaps masked his quick assessment of situations and problems which he always faced up to with sensible solutions. His enthusiasm for the many businesses that he was associated with was obvious and nothing ever seemed to be too much trouble. He was well known for his keen interest in rugby union where his great love was for the Harlequins.
Meaney was a director of many companies, including ICI, Midland Bank (where he was deputy chairman), Tarmac and MEPC. He was also deputy chairman of the Horse Race Betting Levy Board. He was closely associated with the CBI, the Advertising Association and was past president of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He took many of his holidays in France and was a great lover of opera, being a frequent visitor to Covent Garden and Glyndebourne.
At Rank he will always be remembered for both his jovial way and his great ability.