Willard Gordon Galen Weston

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Willard Gordon Galen Weston, OC, OOnt, (born October 29, 1940) is a Canadian businessman and descendant of George Weston of the George Weston Bakeries Limited. Weston is the son of Willard Garfield Weston and grandson of the founder George Weston. Brother Garry Weston (1927-2002) took charge of Associated British Foods plc, the family's UK operations.

While he studied in London, Ontario at the University of Western Ontario, Weston was roommates with Dave Nichol, whom he would make President of Loblaws in 1976. He and his family are the second richest family in Canada, with a net worth of US$8.4 billion, and the 59th richest family in the world (according to Forbes[1]). His family's fortune comes from their interest in such stores as Loblaws, Holt Renfrew, and Selfridges. Following the death of his brother Garry Weston, Galen's interests have again spread to the United Kingdom, against the unwritten pact which followed the division of their father's assets into the British/European enterprises, notably Associated British Foods, controlled by Garry, the North American bakeries George Weston Limited controlled by Galen, and the US interests controlled by eldest brother Grainger. Their six sisters received nothing.

Weston is married with two children, Galen Jr. and Alannah. His wife Hilary (born Hilary Frayne in Dublin in 1942) served as the 26th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1997 to 2002. His daughter Alannah is to marry the grandson & heir of late Baronet Sir Desmond Cochrane & his Lebanese wife Lady Cochrane Sursock.

In 1990, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005, he was awarded the Order of Ontario.

IRA Kidnapping

According to reliable garda sources, ABF decided to pay the IRA IR£2.2m through Control Risks, a London-based security firm. The food company had been told the IRA was planning to kidnap another of its executives, or would attempt to seize Tidey again. The company, which owned the Quinnsworth supermarket chain, decided to cut a deal with the IRA rather than take the risk.
Garry Weston, ABF's then chairman, also feared that his life and his family's safety would remain under threat if the company did not meet the IRA's demands. His brother, Galen, was the subject of an IRA kidnap attempt in 1983. A gang of terrorists surrounded his Wicklow home, but gardai had already tipped off the businessman and he was in London. Galen Weston and his wife, model Hilary Frayne, moved to Canada shortly afterwards.[2]

See also

External links


  1. Rich List
  2. The Sunday Times June 29, 2008, 'Ireland seizes €6m IRA funds from Tidey kidnap' John Mooney