A second edition of Victor Bewley’s Memoirs has been published by Veritas. The memoirs, which Victor recounted to his granddaughter Fiona Murdoch, several years before his death in 1999, give a fascinating insight into his life.
Victor became director of Bewley’s Cafés at the age of 20 and, the following year, managing director – a position held by his father and grandfather before him. He never felt he was a natural businessman but, as the eldest son, he knew from a young age that he was expected to take over the running of the popular Dublin cafés. He was thrust into this role following his father Ernest’s untimely death in 1932.
There was far more to Victor’s life, however, than the successful running of the cafés for 45 years. Although a shy and sensitive man, he had a quiet determination to improve people’s lives in any way that he could.
His memoirs reveal why in 1972 he and his brothers, Alfred and Joe, handed over Bewley’s cafés to the staff and what drove him to dedicate great time and energy to improving the lives of many, especially Travellers. Also, how he initiated cross-border reconciliation talks, including with loyalists and republicans, and how, on one occasion, he ended up carrying secret messages from the IRA to the British government.
One section of the book, which is dedicated to his faith and spirituality, gives an insight into his firm belief of ‘that of God in everyone’ and the Quaker values that underpinned the way he led his life – equality, honesty, fairness, integrity, peace and community. He certainly put his Quaker faith into action and always sought to understand people and why they behaved the way they did.
The book is available from Veritas at this link >> https://bit.ly/3f0P1Vb