Lives of the fellows

Joseph McArthur Rank

b.28 April 1918 d.? 1999
Hon FRCP(1978)

Joseph Rank’s substantive occupation was as president of the food manufacturing firm Ranks Hovis McDougall, having previously been successively chief executive and chairman of the firm.

Before joining the company he had served in the RAF, and was personal pilot to the head of the South East Asia Command, a post which suggests he was held in high regard and confidence.

He took an informed interest in nutritional affairs, and was chairman of the British Nutrition Foundation between 1968 and 1969, in succession to Sir Charles Dodds [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.151]. He also took a deep interest in the development around 1980 of the yeast-based protein food patented as ‘quorn’, even though at that date the advantages of a source presumably innocent of prions awaited future discovery. His standing in his professional occupation is attested by his presidency of the National Association of British and Irish Millers (between 1957 and 1958) and again as centenary president in 1978.

In relation to the College, he was one of our Friends, and a conspicuously genuine and active friend. During Nigel Compston’s [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VIII, p.103] tenure as treasurer he was persuaded to be chairman of the appeal committee, and his skill, influence and enthusiasm contributed greatly to a successful outcome. He greatly appreciated the honorary Fellowship to which he was elected in 1978.

He was notably friendly and approachable and active in charitable causes through the Rank Foundation. His status in the wider community is attested by his appointment as High Sheriff of East Sussex, where he lived.

Sir Douglas Black

(Volume XI, page 472)

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