ONE of Northern Ireland's most loved and respected travel industry figures has passed away after a short illness, aged 78.
Former Lurgan man Wesley Pentland died on Sunday (September 23), leaving behind his beloved wife Yvonne, sons Philip and Stephen, and their extended families.
Apart from his family, Wesley’s two great loves were the travel trade and the Salvation Army.
Having started his career in travel working at Portadown Railway Station, Wesley went on to manage Co-op Travel in Belfast before taking over at Rigby Travel in Howard Street during the 1960s.
In 1978, Wesley bought Rigby Travel and within a couple of years, the business was renamed Wesley Pentland Travel.
In the mid 1980s, Wesley became the only Northern Ireland person to act as National Chairman of the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT), and followed this by again becoming the only travel figure from the province to ever hold the post of President of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
Wesley also acted as the Northern Ireland Secretary of ABTA for almost 20 years.
During this time, Wesley became the voice of the Northern Ireland travel industry with regular appearances on television and radio and features in the press.
As Divisional Envoy in the Salvation Army for 55 years, Wesley preached extensively throughout Northern Ireland and the world, taking the opportunity on his many travels to link up with the Salvation Armies in Europe, Canada and the USA.
Wesley will be sadly missed by everyone in the travel industry and the wider Northern Ireland business community, and by his many friends in the Salvation Army.
His funeral is 11.00am today (Thursday September 27) at the Salvation Army’s Divisional HQ, 12 Station Mews, Sydenham, Belfast. BT4 1TL.