Bentley to be named Citizen of the Year

Andrew Wagstaff
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Board of Trade to honour active volunteer at Nov. 16 banquet

PARRSBORO – On Nov. 16, a large public event will be held in Parrsboro, and, for once, Rob Bentley will not be involved in setting things up behind the scenes or providing the musical entertainment.
The director of the Parrsboro Citizens Band and president of the Parrsboro Lions Club will be named Citizen of the Year by the Parrsboro and District Board of Trade at its upcoming banquet on Nov. 16.

Parrsboro Citizens Band director Rob Bentley sorts through some music for an upcoming event at The Hall. Bentley, who is also president of the Parrsboro Lions Club, will be honoured by the Parrsboro and District Board of Trade as the Citizen of the Year on Nov. 16.

Bentley said he was both flattered and honoured when informed of the event, surmising that his efforts as a volunteer have carried a high profile, but have been no less important than others.

“It feels good to get recognition,” he said. “I guess I do a lot of things that are visible. I know a lot of people who do a lot of important things, and a lot of charity stuff too, but you don’t see it. I guess when I’m running around, setting up gear for Sunday night concerts, this year I’ve been King Lion… those are sort of visible kinds of things.”

Bentley has been a fixture at Parrsboro events since moving here seven years ago with his wife, Dr. Patricia Dauphinee. He can usually be found scurrying about backstage, testing sound equipment or lights. It is after the event begins that he will often be found out front, leading the way.

Why does he put in all the time? He admitted to the “dirty little secret” that he finds the experiences all very rewarding.

“I feel good if I there’s some talent or ability I have that can be put to use, rather than sitting home and griping about the government not doing something,” he said. “It feels better for me, and better for everybody.”

Music, in particular, has been in his life “forever.” Whether it was playing in a band as a full-time musician, or on the side while career and family came first, it has always been there.

This type of background made him a natural fit for the busy role of Parrsboro Citizens Band director.

“If you enjoy doing something, it doesn’t seem like work at all,” said Bentley. “I’ve had the odd job that’s been a lot less work but felt like torture to go to every day. I’m lucky to be at the stage in life where I can do something I like, and it adds up to something at the end of the week.”

The father of three was born and raised in Halifax, but also spent some of his childhood years living in Ottawa. He graduated from Dalhousie University with a degree in commerce, and from Saint Mary’s University with a degree in business administration.

He worked for an insurance company for close to a decade before moving with his family to Wisconsin in the United States. There he managed a medical clinic and also worked part-time teaching music at a local high school. From there, they moved to Parrsboro.

Although not sure what to expect, he is looking forward to the upcoming event. Sitting back and relaxing might be the toughest challenge for him.

“It might feel a little uncomfortable, sitting on the other side of the table,” he said.

Tickets are available at Sweet Brier Boutique, the Tee Shirtery, or by calling 254-3196.

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: Dalhousie University

Geographic location: Parrsboro, Halifax, Ottawa Saint Mary Wisconsin United States

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