VOLUNTEERS preparing for this year’s Leeds West Indian Carnival have been devastated by the death of a long-standing supporter.
Grantley Bovell is the man best known for feeding an army of helpers during each bank holiday carnival, has passed away.
Mr Bovell, pictured, died last week at the age of 74, after an illness.
Well known for his tireless work in the Chapeltown community and numerous associations, Mr Bovell originally came from Barbados many decades ago. He arrived in Liverpool by ship when he was 18 in 1959, then soon moved to Leeds seeking work.
The former factory worker was a large part of his Leeds community.
He was a founder of the Leeds Black Elders’ Association and former chairman of the Mandela Centre and active member of the West Indian Centre for many years.
He was part of Caribbean Focus, the Chapeltown Boys’ Club and always a huge part of the annual Leeds Carnival event, feeding up to 200 volunteers each year with his fabulous Caribbean food.
Life long friend Arthur France, who is chairman of Leeds Carnival, said: “We have lost one of our main cornerstones in the structure of the building.
“He will be sadly missed. Grantley was always willing to help people with their problems. I do believe no one is indispensable but he certainly is irreplaceable. He was one of the best.”
Mr France said that everyone involved in this year’s carnival was devastated by the news and their thoughts were with his loved ones: “The carnival has to go on, but Grantley is in our thoughts.”
He leaves his partner Roseta.
His funeral is to be held at 10.30am on Thursday September 4 at St Aidan’s Church, Harehills.