Saturday, 23 October 2010

O W J Henderson 1924-2010

I am sorry to learn that Captain Bill Henderson has died, following a short illness.

Captain Oscar William James "Bill" Henderson OBE DL served in the Irish Guards achieving the honorary rank of captain in 1949.

His family owned the Belfast Newsletter from 1844 until 1991 when he was the final member of the Henderson family to be in control between 1964-91; he was, by his retirement, the only member of a three person Board with Executive responsibilities.

Century Newspapers, the holding company, sold the title to Thompson Regional Newspapers in 1991 as the family could no longer guarantee the viability of the paper following Bill Henderson's retirement despite attempts to hire suitably qualified management.

In 1953 Henderson became Ulster Unionist MP for the safe Victoria seat. In 1958 he became a director of Ulster Television before taking up the post of managing director of the Newsletter, moving to Chairman of Century in 1964.

Between 2005-10 he was a trustee of the Ulster Reform Club. Between 1970-81 he was President of Knock Motor Cycle & Car Club in Belfast.

The Henderson family residence used to be Norwood Tower, a mansion in east Belfast set in about 50 acres with two gate lodges, thus the connection with St Mark's parish church and east Belfast generally.

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