Who Was Mac Bevan?
Malcolm John Bevan: 1933 - 2011
Malcolm Bevan was a dear friend, confidant, mentor and source of inspiration to the trustees of MBCT. He sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2011. To those who knew him, Mac was a very special, if not unique, person and the goodness and strength of his character shone clearly. A few days before his death he said that fairness towards others had been the rule of his life and this is certainly true.
Shining through his life was his altruism and self-sacrifice. He was a truly humane man. He never put himself first. He was always considerate and mindful of the welfare of others. He gave time and energy to helping and supporting people. This charity has been formed in memory of Mac to honour his generosity to all and continue the compassion he showed to others.
“A man’s true wealth is the good he does in the world”
Born in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales in 1933, Mac spent his childhood in the S. Wales valleys. He had a happy childhood – his father was a miner. Mac often spoke of the hardship experienced in the mining communities of S. Wales in the 1930’s and 1940’s – but he had a loving family. He recalled spending a lot of time running in the gorse and bracken on the hillsides of Blaengarw. Mac was an intelligent boy and he attended the local grammar school. He was always a fervent believer in grammar schools because he believed that children thrive and are best served in schools suited to their educational needs. Mac believed that the grammar school gave him the opportunity to change his life.
He continued his education at university, in Swansea, and was awarded an honours degree in English and History. After university Mac joined the RAF and he was an officer in the education corp. At the age of 29 he left the RAF to enter the teaching profession. He spent most of his teaching career in Birmingham – with a few years in Redcar (North Yorks) and Chatham (Kent). Mac was a talented teacher and he had a distinguished career. He took early retirement from his final post as Deputy Head Teacher in 1989.
All of his friends held Mac in great esteem, with huge love and affection. Mac had showed amazing loyalty to his friends. He had an outgoing personality and he made friends easily. People recognised his kindness and genuine interest in their lives. He made friendships which have stood the test of time – and his friends knew that he was always there for them. He was reliable and for many he was a rock and a constant in their lives. Mac was always a pragmatist and in any situation he showed great common sense and he has helped many through difficult times in their lives.
Mac was a true gentleman with impeccable manners. He was a cultured, educated and well informed man. Mac loved words and he was an avid reader of all kinds of literature. He had an extensive and comprehensive personal library. He loved satire and many will know that he was often satirical in his everyday speech. He loved music – especially Baroque – but he was also at home listening to jazz or the great dance bands.
However, Mac was not limited to nourishing the soul through the arts and classics, he was also keen to support the work of numerous charities in order to reduce the suffering and hardship faced by people around the world. He was deeply affected by the conditions many people lived in and contributed to a number of charities, to help them carry out their work.
Mac had a unique ability to communicate with, and to inspire, the many pupils he has taught. They liked him and responded to his genuine interest in them and the kindness which he showed to them. One of his former pupils, who became a friend for over 40 years, said, “...he was a mentor who supported my learning and personal development throughout my life. In fact he taught me the meaning of kindness and generosity.” Many of Mac’s pupils are thankful not only for his friendship but for his guidance and support, and for his help in gaining qualifications and employment.
One of Mac’s favourite sayings was ‘Bless him’ and the trustees were certainly blessed to have known Mac and spent many wonderful hours in his company. It is now the aim of MBCT to pass on these blessings to other people through education, moving toward eradicating poverty and making a difference.