Bernard Peter Atha

Born in Leeds in 1928 to a working-class couple, Bernard was the third of five children and had a happy and loving family life. Evacuated during the war, he then attended Leeds Modern Grammar School followed by Leeds University, graduating with LLB Hons and being called to the Bar. He did his National Service as an officer in the RAF after which he began a short career on the variety stage. When his parents became ill he returned home and took up teaching as a source of income, a career he found extremely rewarding. He also enjoyed working as an actor in TV and film for some years. Always interested in sport, he was appointed vice chairman of the Sports Council of GB and helped set up the organisation of Sport for the Mentally Handicapped. His many accomplishments include chairing the Leeds Playhouse Board, being one of the first directors of Opera North and being instrumental in the creation of a magnificent home for Northern Ballet He was the Founder Chairman of the British Paralympic Committee, served on the Leeds City Council for more than fifty years and was awarded the OBE and the CBE for his contribution to disabled sport and local government.