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ETRA Founding Father Dies at 81

Published October 17, 2011

GENT, Belgium (BRAIN)—Jacques Lenel, a former French retailer who played a key role in the formation of the European Two Wheelers Association (ETRA), has died.

Lenel, honorary president of ETRA and vice president of France’s national trade federation for cycles and motorcycles, passed away at his home in Charleville-Mézières in Northern France on Oct. 11. He was 81.

Lenel was one of the initiators of ETRA in 1995 and has been an active member of the committee ever since, rarely missing a meeting. He served as president from 1999 to 2003 when he handed the role to Nigel Hill.

He and his wife, Jacqueline, owned a successful bicycle and moped shop in the center of Charleville-Mézières up until a few years ago when they passed the business on to a young successor. Lenel continued to visit the shop every afternoon. After his retirement, he devoted his time to the French association—the Fédération Nationale du Commerce Et de la Réparation du Cycle et du Motocycle—and to ETRA. He firmly believed in the importance of two wheel retailers cooperating and communicating beyond national borders.

At the ETRA meetings, he was always accompanied by Jacqueline and committee members came to appreciate the couple very much. They were extremely amiable and courteous and thoroughly enjoyed the company of the committee members at the informal dinner that would precede each ETRA meeting. On several occasions, Lenel and his association hosted an ETRA meeting in Paris, a highlight for many committee members.

Lenel's wife Jacqueline passed away last year. Lenel will be remembered at a funeral on Wednesday in France.

Photo courtesy of ETRA

Topics associated with this article: People

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