Talvez a principal contribuição da Escócia para o resto do mundo não seja o uísque, por mais importante que seja esse produto, mas a exportação de seus filhos que carregaram seus talentos nativos, reforçada pelo ensino de nossos domínios, escolas de damas e universidades veneráveis, para os cantos mais distantes da terra. O que levou nossos presidentes a este grande e amigável país é de interesse, mostrando no microcosmo onde estão nossas habilidades e interesses. Todos contribuíram com algo de suas personalidades para a Sociedade e ajudaram, de maneira individual, a manter viva as tradições de hospitalidade e costumes da Escócia por meio da Sociedade à qual foram eleitos para servir. Algo sobre algums deles, muitos já não mais conosco, é registrado com gratidão e reconhecimento dos membros de hoje e daqueles que virão da Sociedade de Santo André do Estado de São Paulo. Clique nos nomes sublinhados abaixo para uma breve biografia (apenas em inglês) de alguns de nossos presidentes mais estimados.


1991-92  Barry M. Wolfe

1992  Jim McLean
1993  David Green
1994-6  Graham Wallis

1997  Fraser Wilson
1998  Bruce Healey
1999  Gordon Leslie
2000  Russell Pender
2001  Gregor William Mowat
2002  Colin Pritchard
2003-05  Sean Hutchinson
2006-07  Stuart Duncan
2008  Douglas Munro
2009 Ivan Clark
2010-12 Christiana Tess
2013-14  Jonathan Hannay
2015 Tom Searle
2016-17 Ian Cook
2018  Jeremy Barnes

2019-20 Rhonda Watters

2021 Paul McMahon


Our first President was born in 1869 on his father's farm "Robinsland” in the parish of West Linton, Peeblesshire. He was educated in West Linton and started working as an apprentice with the British Linen Bank in Peebles. After joining the London and Brazilian Bank he was sent to Pernambuco in 1891 and subsequently went to Rio. He married during his first leave and returned to Brazil to work in Campinas and later in Sao Paulo. In 1912 he joined the recently formed Banco Comercial do Estado de São Paulo (today Banco ltaú) becoming the Bank's Vice-President.

In addition to being our President, he was a director of Lidgerwood & Co. Ltd, The Brazil and Paraná Plantations Syndicate Ltd, Cia. Americana de Seguros and director of the Hospital Samaritano. His son Bill became Hon Secretary of the Society in 1926 and his grandson is a member today and was recently the Chairman of the British and Commonwealth Community Council. Our first President died in London in 1933, after a serious operation, from which he never recovered.


Writing about him more than fifty years after his being elected second President of tile Society, the "Folha de Sao Paulo" in an article on the popular mountain resort of Campos do Jordão, informs its readers that the "agrimensor escocês" John Robert Reid, formed a commercial- residential nucleus called Vila Nova shortly after the railway link with Pindamonhangaba was completed in 1914. It goes on to tell in a somewhat garbled, but basically correct, manner how our man changed this name soon after to Abernessia.

An old member keeps the record straight by recalling that Robert Reid was born in Inverness and educated in Aberdeen. On his arrival in Brazil he settled in the then wilds of Campos do Jordão where he built a hydroelectric plant.

The settlement referred to by the daily paper followed soon after and wishing to perpetuate the name of his birthplace and the city where he went to school, he joined the two. Hence Abernessia and, today, a felicitous reminder of home for Scots on holiday in Robert Reid's beloved Campos hills.

He is also remembered as appearing at all the Society's early Banquets in full Highland regalia.


Born In 1874. he served an apprenticeship at Woolwich Arsenal and went to sea on Mediterranean and Oriental runs. Married in 1899, he suffered a serious accident and on a sea trip to South Africa to recuperate, arrived in Buenos Aires where he was offered a post in the Southern Railway. During the many years he stayed in the Argentine he was an active member of the St Andrew's Society of the River Plate and he moved to São Paulo in 1912 and started a firm installing imported lifts. This concern grew with the city and is now Indústrias Villares S.A. which manufactures the "Atlas” elevators. Always a keen reader, his favourite sports were billiards and golf. He became Vice-President of the Society in 1925 and served as President in 1926, taking the post over again the following year. He remained an active supporter of all the Society's activities until his death in 1953 and he and his son, a member today, were always to be seen together enjoying the fun at the post-war Banquets.


Known to one and all as "Juta" Smith, gave many years of Invaluable service to the Society. One of our Founding members, he became Vice-President in 1927 and moved up to the Presidency the following year. AHM Thomas was slated to take over in 1928 but had to decline as he anticipated he would have to spend progressively more of his time outside Sao Paulo, so "Juta” was persuaded to stay in office for yet another year. In 1931 he was elected to the committee continuing to serve thereon until 1935. In 1936 he took over the job of the Society's representative to the St Dunstan's Hostel After Care Association Fund and in 1937 was elected President again. The following year he acted in an ex-oficio capacity and in 1939 he retired and left Brazil. He hailed from Dundee and came to Sao Paulo as Secretary and Treasurer of the Cia. Anglo Brasileira de Juta S.A., which company he had joined after Any Service In the 1914-18 war. It was then in the process of organisation, and in 1926 he became its Managing Director. He was a Past Master of the Lodge of Unity nº 5560 and at one time held the post of President of the São Paulo Branch of the British Legion.

Up till the time "Juta" started interesting himself in it affairs, the Society's only activity was the Annual Banquet but he was responsible for instituting the Essay Competition at St Paul's School and he also presented a set of Sir Walter Scott's books to the school library as the subject set for the early contests had always to do with the Laird of Ahbotsford's work. In this connection however, it is recorded in the minutes that at the Annual General Meeting in 1938, the retiring President "Juta" Smith reported that "to commemorate the accession to the throne of a Scottish Queen the Society had held a Coronation Essay Competition”.

Many other innovations were introduced while "Juta” Smith was at the helm. There was the children's Hallowe’en Party at the Church Hall; donations were made to home charities; the precursor. of today's “Haggis Alley Glee Club", termed the "Caledonia Octette", performed for tile first time at an "at Home" held in “Mappins" in 1938, which event foreshadowed today's get-togethers and Ladies’ Night. "Juta” was also instrumental in equipping our honorary Piper with "a uniform” in the Royal Stewart tartan at the Society's expense. But perhaps best of all, this outstanding character will be remembered by old-timers by the proposal he made, tongue in cheek, at the Annual General Meeting in 1933 to the effect that the Society should give serious consideration to subsidising the St George's Dinner. Whether our-friends from across the border took the hint or not, was not recorded.

“Juta" Smith was presented with a silver bowl subscribed to him by the members at a farewell social evening organised in his honour and held at SPAC on August 19th, 1939. On his retiral he returned to his hometown and lived there until his death in the late 1950s.


Our seventh President elected to serve in 1930 was also a Dundee man. He came to Sao Paulo sometime in the 1920s representing one of the large jute machinery groups, and he was a great authority on this fibre and in the manufacture of textiles in general. A well-travelled man, he had lectured at the Dundee technical college, lived in Russia pre-First World War and, as well as Brazil, was well known in Argentina and other parts of South America, being responsible for placing many young Scots in jobs in mills in these different countries. A married man with no family, he was a very keen Freemason and was a Past Master of the Centenary Lodge in San Paulo. he first appears in the Society's records as being a member of the "Caledonia Octette" In 1928 and was elected to the Committee the following year. Thereafter, he became President in 1930, served in an ex-oficio capacity in 1931 and took on the Vice-Presidency in both 1935 and 1936. George was the Society's Demosthenes. He spoke ex-tempore, incisively and delighted his brother Scots at the Banquets with his biting and withering remarks about our traditional rivals.

The saddest moment of his life must therefore have been when it was deemed necessary as late as November 28th of the year, he was President to cancel the Banquet "in view of the disturbed conditions in the city". In his remarks to the AGM in 1931, George referred to this incident as " the Flodden of the year". He retired from Brazil prior to the last War but returned for a visit sometime in the late 40’s and spoke again then at one of our Banquets.


Born in Edinburgh and after serving in the 1914-18 War when he was badly wounded and lost a leg, he came to Sao Paulo in 1921 to join the Banco Comercial do Estado de São Paulo as Exchange Manager. Yet another Founding Member, he served on the first Committee of the Society and thereafter again in 1926, 1929 and 1934. He was elected to the Vice-Presidency in 1930, becoming President the following year, carrying on to 1932 as well. He was not only a keen member of our Society but also of the British Legion, having been present at the meeting held here on December 6th 1921 which formed the Association of Ex-Service Men in Sao Paulo (now the Legion) and taking over the Presidency of the Branch in 1929. He and his wife were enthusiastic organisers of the entertainments provided at the Society's social evenings at which she played the piano and he arranged the programmes and acted as MC for the dancing. It was during his Presidency that Sao Paulo received the visit of the Cameron Highlanders Band and Pipes and Drumswhich played to packed crowds in the city. He was also faced with the responsibility of controlling the intake of our national beverage at the Banquet he was due to preside over in 1931 because a certain criticism had been levelled at the high consumption the previous year - 10 cases for 180 people. His Committee however, according to the minutes, "found the Banquet very enjoyable" but agreed that in future an effort should be made “to limit drinks to a quarter bottle per head”. It was this year that HRH Prince of Wales, later Edward V111 made a hole-in-one at the 3rd hole at Santos Sao Vicente Golf Club.

Unfortunately, Mr Ford, was prevented by ill health from attending the Banquet that year.

He died in 1940 and the following eulogy is recorded in the Society's Minute Book when recording the proceedings at the 1940 Annual General Meeting - “Before closing, Mr. Hawley addressed the Meeting and referred to the passing away of Mr. FC Ford, a former President of the Society. In his remarks ... (he) stated that the late Mr. Ford had been one of the Society's most enthusiastic members and had rendered (it) valuable service. Keenly interested in all matters relating to our objects, he had always been willing and ready to help in its affairs. He was greatly esteemed by all those who encountered him and by his death, the members had lost a valued friend and the Society one of staunchest Scots”.

An excerpt of the Minute was sent to Mrs. Ford together with a message of deep sympathy from the members.


"Jock" as he was known to everyone In the English-speaking community, was an Edinburgh born chartered accountant who came to Sao Paulo shortly before the start of the "14-18" War to join McAuffife, Davis, Bell & Co. (now Arthur Andersen & Co.). The manager in Brazil at that time was another Scot, John Bell, and when he left in the 20’s, Jock took over and during his reign as manager, built up an excellent accounting practice here.

He served the Society well and over a long period, being a Founding Member an Honorary Auditor for eight years, President in 1933 and ex-oficio Committee Member in 1934. He was elected to the Committee again in 1949 and "chaired” the 1947 Banquet which was organised before the Society started operating again after the war. He was also the Society's elected representative on the advisory Committee of the British Benevolent Fund set up in 1940 at HBM's C-G's request.

Some of the old-timers recall that Jock was the person chiefly responsible for the visits to São Paulo of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders' Band when they went to Buenos Aires for the British Exhibition there in 1931. When first they passed through Santos in March that year and were brought to Sao Paulo, they marched from the Largo Sao Francisco across the Viaduto do Chá with pipes and drums playing, led by Capt. Fairfax Lucy, to give a concert to packed lunchtime crowds in front of the Teatro Municipal , and at least one person present on that memorable day vividly remembers the short, plump figure of Jock Belfrage, our tenth President, marching along proudly at their head. Jock had a great sense of humour, and it is minuted under the heading "Education" that at the Annual General Meeting in 1934 he solemnly proposed that "as the geographical education of many members of the Anglo American Club ,seemed to have been sadly neglected, the Committee should take steps to purchase a good map of Scotland for presentation to the Club”.

During the last war Jock was treasurer of the Red Cross effort in São Paulo. He retired in the `50’s and lived with his wife in the south of England until his death a few years ago.


Our eleventh President, a Founding Member, was Aberdeen born, but the family later moved to Kirkcaldy where his fattier had a drapery business, this trade also being followed by Willy. He spent some time in Glasqow at Mann Byers before going to Lourenço Marques in 1910. After ten years there, he joined Mappin Stores (Brazil) Ltd and in 1924 came to São Paulo as General Manager.

Always a willing and reliable "colony" men, he served for many years as churchwarden at St Paul's and on the board of directors of St Paul `s School. He was active in Masonic circles and at one time was well known on the golf course and tennis courts here.

He became Vice-President in 1932, was elected again to this post the following year, taking over the Presidency in 1934 and acting again on the Committee ex-oficio in l935.

The Society has always depended greatly and been able to count on fellow countrymen in "high places" and Willy was no exception and was always ready to help when needed in obtaining special services from Mappins.

He and his wife Cissie, also of a good Scottish and St Andrew Society background, lost their son George, a Dollar Academy boy, in the war and another boy Johnny at an early age. Doris, their daughter, was a favourite ”turn” at the entertainment which used to be provided at Ladies Night in the early 50’s and from time to time she is still welcomed at our functions when she and her husband Duncan Stalker are here from their Nova Friburgo hideaway and their visits coincide with one or other of these events Willy Dawson greatly enjoyed the company of his three grandchildren, all educated at Morrison's Academy in their father's home town of Crieff. Willy died in 1969 and his wife in 1974.


When thinking of the Presidents who by dint of hard work over the years and readiness always to give their unstinted moral and financial support to the Society, the name that comes to mind as "primus inter pares” is undoubtedly that of our twelfth President. Dave Burnett can boast as long a record of service to the cause of keeping alive Scotland in Brazil as anyone, viz:

Founding Member: 1924

Committee Member: 1927, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1937 and 1939 and ex-oficio 1936

Treasurer: 1926, 1928, 1929

Secretary: 1940, 1941

Vice-President: 1934

President: 1935

Member organizing Committees for 1945, 1946 and 1947 Banquets

Born in Edinburgh, he arrived in Sao Paulo in 1919 to join a well-known firm of Chartered Accountants with whom he worked until taking over the post of Secretary and Treasurer of the Cia Anglo Brasileira de Juta SA in 1927. In the accepted Scottish tradition followed by "lads o'pairts” he rose to be Managing Director of this now defunct company in 1939, continuing in this post until he retired.

His interests were not confined to the Society. He was a familiar figure for many years on the bowling green at SPAC where he was to be seen most weekends, a staunch supporter of the Anglo American Club, a canny “bidou" player and possessed of a vast circle of friends through his work with the British Legion and the Masons. He was an ex-President of the Sao Paulo Branch of the former and a Past Master of the Lodge of Unity nº 5560. Despite all these honours and his high commercial rank in the Colony, Dave is remembered as always being ready to encourage the raw young Scots just out from home with a friendly smile and a word of advice when needed given with a warm, familiar accent.

Any reader of a curious turn of mind may wonder why it was that Dave was apparently dropped from the Committee in 1930 but it might be of interest to explain here that in these days, when home leave was for such a longer period than it is now, it was not customary to stand for office in the years on which one was going to Scotland for one's well-earned holiday. In the year in question, it is stated in the minutes that "Mr Burnett brought back from the Auld Country heather, mealie puddings, oatcakes and tartan ribbon for the Banquet”. It is also recorded that Dave made a present of the oatcakes to the Society which presented somewhat of a problem to the Committee for that was the year in which, for political reasons, the Banquet had to be cancelled. -It was decided finally, however, to sell the oatcakes, which produced the sun of $ 130.000 which was given to "Mrs. Hallett for the Benefit of the poor children of the Bras”.

At the 1949 Meeting to start the Society's activities off again, a special vote of thanks was given to Dave for "the very able way in which he had looked after the Society's financial-affairs during the War”.

He was also our first direct contact with the St Andrew's Society of Edinburgh, with which we were affiliated for several years.

Upon leaving Brazil when he retired in 1966, he was made an Honorary Member of the Society. Until his death last year, he lived with his wife and one of his daughters (the other being and living nearby) in Cheam In Surrey, but was always ready to run up to town when he got a phone call from a Paulistano Scot to have a bite and a dram and a crack in the Canning Club. He was, moreover, undoubtedly The Historical Committee’s outstanding "foreign correspondent" with his remarkable memory of everything to do with the Society and the Scots Colony during his forty-seven years in Brazil.


Another Aberdonian President, Mr. Lyon came to Brazil prior to 1914 to work for Byington & Cia, as Secretary. He later joined the Sao Paulo Gas Company where he remained until his retirement in 1951. He served on the Committee in 1932 and 1933 and despite the fact that he was of a quiet and reserved nature and was not in any sense an "office seeker", he was persuaded to take over the Presidency in 1936 by virtue of his close friendship with Past Presidents Ford and Dawson at a time when there was a dearth of candidates for the post. In accordance with tradition he continued to serve on the Committee in an ex-oficio capacity for another year but thereafter gave up all active work for the Society although continuing to give his support to our different activities. Mr Lyon is remembered as a man enjoying a quiet life with his friends and in the company of his wife who was well known to the young ladies of the Colony to whom she taught shorthand.


Bob, our fifteenth President, hails from "the kingdom" having been born at Leven in Fife. He studied mechanical and electrical engineering at the Paisley Technical College and, on qualifying, joined the Coats organisation. He came to Brazil in 1929 having been appointed engineer at the Ipiranga mill here. Incidentally he travelled on the same ship as another Coats man en-route for Argentina who, many years later, also became a President of the Society. Bob stayed in São Paulo for ten years during which time he was a keen Society member, joining the Committee first in 1933 and serving as Secretary for the three-year period 1934/1936. The following year he became Vice-President and took over the Presidency in 1938.

He departed these shores in l939 and left behind an imposing reminder of his stay with us in the form of the Linhas’ "lum" which he built, and which stands today a monument to Bob's skill and ability. One of Bob's colleagues from these far off days recalls that a number of his less serious minded acquaintances at the Anglo American Club, on hearing that our fifteenth President was evaluating the best of the different ways to demolish the “auld lum” before beginning to build the new one, suggested to him that all that needed to be done was to remove one brick from the bottom and the whole structure would fall without further trouble or labour. Had Bob followed this advice, he would have anticipated by about forty years São Paulo's first "implosion”!

On his return to Scotland he became Chief Engineer of the United Thread Mills at Paisley and after eight years in this responsible position held other high jobs in the Group until his retiral in 1962. A bachelor, Bob continues to live in Paisley and enjoys getting news of our activities. He still recalls with regret having missed winning the Quaich one year by only one stroke!


With the election of “Jimmy” Melville to the Presidency at the 1939 AGM, the hegemony of the East of Scotland as the prime source of Presidential material for the Society was again upheld. Our sixteenth President was born in Aberdeen in 1905 and on finishing his schooling at the famous Grammar School there, he served an apprenticeship with the North of Scotland Bank before joining the Royal Bank of Canada. After arrival in Rio de Janeiro in 1927, he was posted to Sao Paulo. The War years were spent in Santos in charge of the Bank's branch in that city and later he returned to São Paulo as Manager, which post he held until his retiral in 1966. Jimmy's departure from the Bank was keenly felt at the time by many members of the Colony, especially widows, for whom his door had always been open without any formality. He was never too busy to see the not so well-off who appreciated with gratitude the valuable advice he gave them in the management of their not always abundant assets.

He shares with “Juta" Smith the distinction of being a three-time President of the Society to which he gave long years of active and enthusiastic service. Just consider - Treasurer in 1933, Committee member in 1936, Secretary for two periods in 1937 and 1938, President in 1939,1940 and again in 1949, and ex-oficio on the Committee again in 194l and 1950.

A wonderful record made even better by the fact that he served on the organising committees for the Banquets in 1945, 1946 and 1947 before the Society got going again after the War.

Much was accomplished during these years. In 1939 under his Presidency, the scope of the School Essay Competition, up till then limited to the works of Sir Walter Scott, was widened to include “any subject having a direct connection with Scottish life, tradition, activity etc” as is stated In the minutes of the day. He had to take the step, not altogether popular in some quarters, to stop the Society's social activities when he was in charge in 1940. In 1949 some much needed changes were made in the Society’s internal regulations and, so that readers will not think Committee meetings when Jimmy was in the chair were dull affairs, it was minuted that the loss incurred on that year's Banquet "had come about because the Committee when estimating costs, had taken rather an optimistic view of the whisky consumption”!

Going further back over the years to when Jimmy was Treasurer in 1933 for another lighter recollection, there is an entertaining minute relating to the organisation of the Hallowe’en party. First, it is recorded that the President "Jock" Belfrage and his Committee on being admonished by “Juta” Smith who reminded them "that the children of today are the men of tomorrow”, decided they had better hold a Hallowe’en Party and among other supplies it was agreed a case of apples would be required for docking. The minute, verbatim, goes on to read "Mr Melville the Treasurer-, undertook to buy the apples in the market and deliver them at the Church Hall on the 29th on his way to Divine Service. This statement was not taken seriously by the Committee”!

Jimmy today lives quietly with his wife between São Paulo and their Itú "sitio" enjoying the company of his son and daughter and their families and is always pleased to see and have a bittie blether with any of the Paulista Scots who like to drop in on him.


Born in Paisley, Archie McLean came to Brazil for Linhas (now Coats Corrente) in 1912. Expecting to stay for a period of 6 months, he finally returned to Scotland on his retiral in 1949.

An all-round sportsman, Archie played top class football in that game's infancy in Brazil, for which country's international selection he was chosen on at least one occasion. As a result Archie McLean’s name, because of his fleetness of foot, he was known professionally as “O Veadinho” (the little deer) - is revered in Brazilian sporting circles, and on one memorable occasion, when he was making a sentimental return visit to Brazil in 1966, this talented Scot received a standing ovation from the large crowd of spectators attending a game at Pacaembu stadium.

He was just as successful in his other sporting activities, being several times bowls champion of both his Brazilian and Scottish clubs. Record holder of the Quaich, he won it 4 times. His final love was golf, which he was still practising almost daily at the Elderslie course, near Paisley, until his death, at the age of 84, in 1971. The Society's eighteenth President in 1941, Archie remained in office on account of the second WorId War until 1949. In addition to being a Founding Member, he served as a Committee member in 1928 and 1931 and was Vice-President of the Society in 1939 and 1940. To Archie fell the honour of chairing the first post-second World War Banquet in 1945, while on 16th March 1949 he also presided at the meeting held to re-start the Society. A keen Freemason, he was Past Master of the Centenary Lodge. His two sons were members of the Society and, indeed, Robert, the younger, became not only the first Brazilian born President of our Society but also the first son of a past President to be elected to this office.

Archie McLean had a vast circle of friends and acquaintances and perhaps he can best be described in a phrase contained in a letter about Archie received from one of our overseas correspondents... “he was a most loveable Scot”.


Anyone who has been connected with the St Andrew Society here in São Paulo during the post-war years will have come across our twentieth President who, since 1949 when the Society was reconstituted after the second World War, has been one of our keenest and most hard-working members, both on and off the Committee. Probably no-one has been so enthusiastic about Society matters; so vociferous in defence of Society objectives; or so eager to help at any of our functions as Toby Dods.

The first of-our Glaswegian Presidents, Munro Watson "Toby” Dods was born in 1908, and was educated at the High School of his native city. On the day that the General Strike began, in May 1926, he joined the Coats (now Coats Corrente) organisation and, loyal in his work as in all other matters, Toby stayed with the same firm until his retiral in 1968.

Before his arrival in Brazil, Toby had a long and colourful Latin American sojourn. His first posting was to Rosario, Argentina - as a shorthand typist! - which afforded him a first glimpse of Brazil from the second-class deck of the old "Almanzora” in the company by Bob Bisset who was to become our fifteenth President. Thereafter he worked in Buenos Aires where he assisted at the British Exhibition at which the Cameron Highlanders, who had created such a sensation in São Paulo en-route to Argentina, were the stars of the show. Toby subsequently "threaded” his way through Uruguay, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Mexico and, outside of business, has visited all other countries in Latin America. We in Sao Paulo are fortunate to have Toby in our midst, as he was bound for Hungary, as managing director of the Coats subsidiary in that country, when the untimely death of his predecessor in Linhas (now Coats Corrente) caused his appointment to be switched to Brazil to has made his home here since becoming Sales Director of Linhas in 1945 and has lived between Sao Paulo and Sao Vicente since his retiral.

Toby was elected Vice-President at the 1949 meeting and went on to become President in 1950. He continued as a Committee member on and off until 1970, when he stepped down to make room for new blood. Well-known as one of the most polished professional and regular speakers at Banquets and other functions, Toby was also responsible for resurrecting the “Haggis Alley Glee Club", and for the creation of both the "Brás Baun" and the "Govan Girls’ Choir of São Paulo". He instituted and did much of the writing for "Scotch Corner", which for many years provided weekly news of the Society's activities in the "Times of Brazil". Tireless in his efforts for the Society’s social gatherings, Toby wrote and produced entertainment for get-togethers, and was the creator of the Jubilee Ceilidh. Since 1975, he has been Convener of the Society's Historical Committee. He was made an Honorary Member of the Society at the Jubilee Banquet in 1974.

Apart from the St Andrew Society, Toby's interests have encompassed tennis, bowls, at which he regularly represented Scotland and Linhas, the Boy Scout movement, with which he served as Assistant Commissioner of Wolf Cubs in the Argentine and as District Commissioner of the Scouts in Uruguay, and, not least, the theatre.

Toby has been involved in dramatic groups since an early age, having performed with the Scottish National Players, the Morland Graham Players, as well as acting professionally on "Radio 5SC" in Glasgow. On coming to Sao Paulo, he helped to start the SPAC Greenroom, and contributed to their productions for many years particularly in Pantomime, in the capacity of actor, scriptwriter, producer, and director. Many of his performance are fondly remembered by São Paulo audiences, but none more so that his boisterous rendering of “Hard-Hearted Hanna" in "Jack and the Beanstalk" in 1957 and his memorable portrayal of Dr Brubaker, the psychiatrist, in "The Seven Year Itch”.

During his stay in Montevideo, Toby married Mags Miller, and they have two sons. Murray, the elder, lives in Rio and is a member of the Society, while Robin, until recently President of the Caledonian Society in Lima, is currently living in Italy. Robin is known to many of our members having played the pipes at several of our functions in São Paulo.

Toby is possibly the member of the Sao Paulo community who has related to a St Andrew Society for the longest time, as he remembers being taken, at the age of nine to a Halloween party in Provan's Lordship, the oldest dwelling house in Glasgow. He was in the company of his father, then Secretary of the Glasgow branch of the Society, and recalls that he was almost put off all things Scottish for life when served with what he thought to be ice-cream, only to discover that the bowl contained "champit tatties"!

Despite having lived abroad for so many years, Toby remains very proud of the fact that he is a Scotsman, and he will always be remembered for the dedication with which he has worked for the entertainment and edification of fellow countrymen in Sao Paulo.


Until leaving Sao Paulo in 1973 to take up a business appointment in Rio de Janeiro, Duncan was a staunch and valuable supporter of the Society and an indefatigable worker both off and on the Committee during the forty-seven years he resided here. Our twenty-first President, born a Paisley "buddie" but with an Islay family background, was brought to São Paulo in 1926 by our eleventh President “WiIly” Dawson to work in the old Mappin Stores. Duncan rose to be chief buyer of this traditional British concern and, along the way married a hometown lassie Margaret, daughter of one of the Coat technicians working at the time at the Ipiranga mill. He became the father of two boys Ronald and Douglas, educated at St Paul's here and Paisley Grammar School and both obtained degrees in Glasgow in their chosen specialities, the older now living and working as a metallurgist in Canada, while the younger is a professor of modern languages at Hull University. Duncan frequently travels to Canada and the UK to enjoy the company of his grandchildren. He left “Mappins" in 1951 and became buyer for the São Paulo Gas Company and, after retiral in 1969, joined the Light where he is still working at the time this monograph is being written.

There never was a more “kenspeckle” member of our Scottish colony and Duncan, known as "Jimmy", has a host of friends and acquaintances among Brazilians and foreigners in all walks of life. Always active in the Society's sporting contests he played soccer regularly with some of the great figures of the past, such as our eighteenth President Archie McLean, In the old Britannia Football Club and later was regularly included in the Society's representation on the golf course and the bowling green. Coming of a theatrical family, he was no stranger in São Paulo dramatic and musical activities and some years back could always be seen on the SPAC stage filling a small character part in the Christmas pantos. His last musical appearance was as drummer in the “Brás Baun" at the Ceilidh following the 1973 Banquet.

He served on the Committee in 1932 and 1949 and again in an ex-oficio capacity in 1952. He was Vice-President in 1950 and President the following year. Duncan was responsible for a number of innovations to our Society’s procedures and functions and many of the little “touches" which are now traditional and are so much appreciated by our guests, such as the giving of "favours" to the lassies at Ladies Nights, were introduced by him. Before leaving for Rio, he did a considerable amount of groundwork analysing past minutes and compiling complete membership lists, all of which was of considerable assistance to the subsequently formed Historical Committee.


The twenty-second President, better known as "BG" or "Bank" Anderson to distinguish him from others of that ilk, such as "DC", Jimmy and Piper, was born in Perthshire in 1906 and came to Brazil in 1928 from the Imperial Bank of Persia to work in BOLSA's (now Lloyds Bank) São Paulo branch. He went to Vitoria shortly after, returning here in 1934 and joined the Society in the following year. This was not a long stay - it seems that "BG" was always on the move and he served in Belém and Manaus and then Rio before coming back to São Paulo for a longer spell in 1944 and rising to Accountant of the branch in 1946, and Sub-Manager some three years later. This was when he became active in our affairs and a keener Scot never served on our Committees. He became Secretary of the newly constituted Society after the War and continued in this post until 1951 when elected Vice-President. The following year, in which he assumed the Presidency, was one in which all the Society's traditional activities were characterised by great success. He transferred to Rio again in 1952 and although he came back to São Paulo for a short period in 1954, he left Brazil in 1955 and was in the London Head Office’s service, on inspection chiefly, until his retirement in 1962. " BG" died ten years later and is perhaps best remembered among the old-timers by the outstanding work he did organising the sending of food parcels to the Auld Folks at home after the Society recommenced its activities in 1946.


Hugh Houston was our twenty third President in 1953, having previously served the Society as Honorary Auditor in 1938, 1941 and 1952, as Hon. Secretary in 1939, as Hon. Treasurer in 1949 and on the Committee in 1951. He was co-opted to the post of Vice-President in 1952 on the resignation of Jimmy Hogg and was elected president in the following year.

A Greenock man, Hugh was born in 1911 and educated at the local High School and Glasgow University, where he obtained a degree in accountancy - he was one of those breed of chartered accountants who took great pride in telling folk that he was a “Scottish C A”.

Hugh arrived in Brazil in 1937 to work for McAuliffe, Turquand, Young and Co. with whom he stayed until 1947, whereupon he became Vice-President and Financial Director of Johnson & Johnson which post he retained until his death in 1956.

He was a keen golfer and, as can be seen, was deeply involved in Society affairs. It was in the last days of Hugh’s Presidency that the Society eventually got around to having a Burn’s Night. It was held at SPAC with only 29 Scotsmen present (presumably so few because the 25th January is a public holiday). What the gathering lacked in numbers however, it made up for by the prodigious thirst the 29 brought to the board and they succeeded in reducing notably the large stock of whisky which had been left over from the Banquet. It is recalled that the toasts were noted chiefly for their inaudibility. Despite all this at the 1954 AGM it was strongly recommended that this be made an annual event, but no other was held until 1957.


Our twenty-fourth President in the year 1954, having been Vice-President the previous year, was Ross Taylor also prominent at most Society functions at which he acted as toast master and MC for many years. Ross was born in 1910 in the Banff town of Portsoy and was educated at Hillhead High School, Glasgow. On leaving school he worked for a while with Drysdale & Co. Engineers, Yoker, before joining Vestey’s Union Cold Storage.

Ross was originally destined for China but turned up in Santos in February 1933 and stayed in Brazil for the remainder of his working life during which time he "served his masters" in the different towns with meat packing plants i.e. Mendes, Pelotas and Barretos as well as Santos. In the early war years, he was appointed Chief Buyer of the Frigorífico Anglo and remained in this post until his retiral in 1971.

Ross was given a farewell party by the Committee and friends at the house of Vice-President Eric Binnie as he had decided to live his retiral in Scotland but the pull of the Southern Cross was too much for him and he was back within twelve months and hasn't spoken of living elsewhere than Sao Paulo since.

A keen Mason, during the year he was President of the Society he also was Worshipful Master of the Unity Lodge. His sports were golf, tennis.


No other family has given greater service to the Society than the Steels, father Steel having been a Founding Member and serving on the Committee in 1927 and as Vice-President in 1929 and again in 1931. Arthur's big brother Willy will be reported on in the following paragraph, and his son Alastair is a member of the Society.

Our twenty-fifth President was born in Paisley in 1909 where he attended the local Grammar School until coming to Brazil with his family (his father being General Manager of the Linhas (now Coats Corrente) factory at Ipiranga) in 1923. After leaving school here and working for short spells in different British concerns, Arthur joined Linhas, working in Recife, Maceió and Rio de Janeiro as well as Sao Paulo, during the 26 years he was with the Coats concern. He left in 1956 and joined Cia Com e Ind Glossop staying with them until the firm closed in 1965. Although he was retired officially from the import firm which he started up then in partnership with a friend, he can still be found there most days of the week.

Always a keen sportsman, Arthur has the distinction of having not only played regularly in inter-state matches against Rio at soccer, cricket and bowls, but also of having captained São Paulo teams in all three sports in these inter-state competitions. Moreover, he captained the Rio state sides, while resident there, at soccer and bowls in several of their matches against São Paulo teams.

He is an old and valued member of SPAC and continues to play bowls on the green there and indeed still holds his place regularly in São Paulo’s interstate side.

He has an enviable record of service to the Society. A Committee member in 1953 and 1966 and ex-oficio in 1956, He was one of the Honorary Auditors in 1958, 1959 and 1960, Treasurer in 1964 and 1965, Vice-President in 1954 and earned the coveted Presidential pennant which was presented to all Past Presidents at the Jubilee Banquet, by reason of his election to the top post in 1955. An energetic man of firm opinions, Arthur continues taking a keen interest in Society affairs, attending many of its functions and always to the fore with praise, criticism, advice and recommendations at the AGM of the Society. Now that his son and daughter-in-law are again resident in São Paulo, Arthur and his wife Elaine can enjoy and keep youthful in the company of their grandchildren.


Willy followed his brother Arthur into the Presidency, becoming the twenty-sixth in line and the twenty-second holder of the position. Yet another "buddie", he was educated at the Paisley Grammar School and worked in the Anchor Mills' dye-works in his hometown before coming to Brazil with the family in 1923. Willy was employed by several different firms in Sao Paulo until he settled in the Frigorífico Anglo, remaining from 1930 until his retiral in 1971 with his great concern which has always been so generous in attending to the Society’s requests for mutton and haggis.

During most of this time he was with the Blue Star shipping section and it was the contacts his job provided, together with his sporting interests and his Masonic work, which made him so knowledgeable about the members of the colony and, ipso facto, so very useful as a Committee member when arranging a seating plan for a Banquet or other such occasion.

His value in this connection and with the other unspectacular but essential jobs which Willy was always prepared to undertake, uncomplainingly and efficiently, such as collecting subscriptions, controlling the issue of the whisky at our parties, door control at our different functions and so on, is testified to by the fact that he was elected to office on no less than twenty occasions, sixteen of them consecutive. This is an enviable record and it 1974 Willy was made an Honorary member in recognition of all the work he did for the Society.

Willy makes his first appearance in the Society's records as being present at the AGM. on 19th February 1929. He joined the Committee in 1954 and at his first meeting suggested that a badge and chain of office be acquired for the Society's President. It took until the Jubilee year, twenty year later, for this proposal to be finally adopted and the insignia acquired! The following year Willy became Vice-President and then President in 1956, serving ex-oficio on the Committee in 1957.

Then, after a five-year interval, Willy came back on the Committee in 1962 and served as a committeeman until his death in May of 1979.

He was noted among his peers for his ability to put his many contacts to good use for the Society's benefit wren the time came to replace our liquid stocks, or when gifts of different products or articles were required for picnics, raffles and the rest.

A widower for some years, when not at one of his usual places in the SPAC pavilion or at the bowling green, he was sure to be found either enjoying his family's company at Campos do Jordão or in looking after his two little grand-daughters at the swimming pool or seeing them home from school.

It is said that no-one is indispensable, but no-one will be harder to replace as a Committee member or friend than WiIly Steel.


If asked to describe briefly the most outstanding and memorable characteristic of our twenty-seventh President, one could not do better than refer to his "dynamic enthusiasm". Bill infected everyone with this and especially so his Committee with the result that it can be said that the year 1957 was probably the most successful of any for the Society during its first half century. It was estimated that the total attendance at our functions that year amounted to some 2.000 persons and not only was the year notable for the numbers attending these but also for the number of events organised. Six “get-together” evenings were planned for, and these proved so popular that a seventh had to be fitted in. Attendance was in neighbourhood of 650, including large and enthusiastic contingents of young Scots on holiday from schools in the UK. Good programming was probably the secret of their success with balanced entertainment of a varied sort being provided. Then the Scottish Dancing classes, led by Bill Cadger, attracted many enthusiasts, seventeen classes in all being held between April and September. Over and above all this, the Society, after many years of having to borrow and transport heavy, expensive and delicate record players, loud speakers and the rest for its functions, at last acquired its own sound equipment which was kept in a specially rented locker at SPAC where most of our affairs took place. This was paid for by the proceeds of the charge made on those participating in the dancing classes, from individual donations and from the sale of tickets at a raffle held at one of the get-togethers, the prizes being bottles of whisky generously donated by our twelfth President “Dave” Burnett. A weekly special column of our colony hews entitled "Scotch Corner” appeared in the "Times of Brazil" , a most successful Burns Supper was held on the appropriate date, attended by members and their families and, as a special novelty, it is recalled that the presence of a number of young Scottish and English Lassies from the cast of “Holiday on Ice" livened up our Ladies Night when they came along after their show in response to our President’s invitation. Before taking over the Presidency, Bill had served as Treasurer in 1954 and Vice-President in 1956. He also did the customary stint as an ex-oficio Committee member in 1958. Bill was a Glasgow man to the core. Born in what he and other of his fellow townsmen were once proud to call "The Second City of the Empire" he was in every sense one of its worthy sons. He had a varied and interesting life before coming to Brazil. Born in 1898 and descended from a Black Forest watchmaker who, with his brother, settled in the West of Scotland in the early nineteenth century, he began work with a firm of Clyde shipbuilders while, as was the custom of ambitious lads, going to night classes at Bellahouston Academy. Later he went into partnership with his stepfather in the ship rigging business and when things were bad on Glasgow's river in the 20’s, he decided to make for the USA. There he found jobs, studied accountancy and finally made up his mind to go in for Public Utilities. In pursuit of this objective he got engaged by the Electric Bond and Share (the company which gave its name to São Paulo's trains the "bondes”) and within a week of being taken on, he was aboard a ship bound for Rio. Then began long years of hard work up and down the coast from Natal to Porto Alegre and lastly to Campinas before settling finally in Sao Paulo in 1941 where he became Chief Accountant for the 22 companies of the Cia Paulista de Força e Luz. His wife Lottie and the family had joined him earlier when he was in Vitória and after the move to Sao Paulo, they remained here until their retiral to Scotland and a house on a hill above Ayr in 1969. Regrettably Bill died in 1972 and his wife now lives in the South and spends most of her time keeping in touch with her scattered family and 11 grandchildren. One son Willy is a member of the Society and was on the 1966 and one of their sons-in-law, Martin Handy is also a member.


Born in Glasgow in 1911, Bob was educated at Allan Glens School until the family move to the South of England after his mother's death. It was intended he should become an engineer but at the time he was ready to start training, it was not easy to find an opening as an apprentice because of the recession and Bob, as always impatient to get on with things, took a job in a produce firm and came to Brazil in 1932 to work for them.

The company closed soon after and he decided he would stay on here rather. than go back to the UK. He built himself a career thereafter in the shipping and import/export business, working along the way for one of our late members Alistair Ian Grant in Santos; in Recife in the agency business; opening an export department fur Wilson Sons; and organising and running a subsidiary here for the Gibbs Williamson group before, finally, starting his own firm which involved him once more in shipping. He devoted all his energy and experience in the interest of the lines he represented, until a serious illness resulted in his death in 1964.

Our twenty-eighth President joined the Society In 1935 and his name first figures in our records as a member of the organising committee for the 1946 and 1947 Banquets after the War. He later served as Secretary in 1956 and 1957, becoming President the following year and working ex-oficio on the Committee in 1959. Bob’s willingness to help successive Committees at times of shortage of our national brew, with generous supplies of whisky at special prices, was greatly appreciated and the supply of white heather was another of Bob's specialities. He was a forthright man with very positive ideas, and at meetings. these were expressed in such a manner that they often jolted the laggards into activity. He had a cheery disposition withal, and a fund of good stories in addition to a host of British and Brazilian friends in the business world in many parts of the country. His other interest, outside his work and his family was the British Chamber of Commerce, on whose Council he served.

Bob is survived by a widow and three daughters


Glasgow born, Glasgow bred, Glasgow educated and with a BSc and PhD from Scotland's second oldest University, Doctor Tom, our twenty-ninth President, joined ICI in 1933 and went to Chile as Works Manager for the British chemical giant's subsidiary in Santiago some six years later. He returned to the UK at the beginning of the war where he managed different supply factories run by ICI for the Government. Back again to South America in 1916, he worked in the Argentine in Rosario, prior to coming to São Paulo in 1952 as Technical Director for ICI Brazil, remaining in this post until his retiral and return to his beloved "Glesca" in 1963.

He joined our Committee in 1954, became Vice-President in 1958, President the year after and served on the Committee again, ex-oficio in 1960 and as an elected member in 1961.

Tom and his wife Alice brought some fresh ideas to the Society from their experience in kindred organisations elsewhere and were particularly keen on whipping up more enthusiasm for our dancing, with special regard to ensuring that the reels and the rest were performed properly. It is remembered how shocked they both were when they attended perhaps their first of our practise sessions for the Ladies Night, held these days in a little back downstairs room at SPAC, and saw that the eightsome reelers were completing a full circle at the beginning and end or the dance, rather than half way round and then back again in the approved style. Up till then we had just gone the whole way round because it was “easier", but the Hardy’s were perfectionists and the taking of pains was not something which frightened them off and very soon, and in fact ever since, the St Andrew Society of the State of São Paulo has danced the Eightsome properly! The word "Country" had not been introduced into our Scottish dancing in the 50’s and reels, the highland Schottisch and the occasional petronella were as much as was essayed, but the Hardys did get that most graceful of all Scottish dances going, the Foursome Reel, and, regrettably, it is never seen nowadays. They were always very interested in the essay competition and Alice was judge, at least, in 1960.

Tom is now a widower and lives alone in his Glasgow flat where there is always a warm welcome for visitors from these parts and a chance for a blether about the old days in Sao Paulo.


There are no better Scots born across the Border than those who hail from London and Arthur, our thirtieth President, whose father was of Scottish birth, was no exception. After school and studies at technical college, he spent seven years with the Vestey organisations London office before coming to Rio on his first contract for them in 1933. He had a spell in Santos after that and settled and got married in São Paulo around 1940. Another "Scottish Accountant”, Arthur was always helping to straighten out the books of one Colony society or another and, in fact, first joined the St Andrew Committee when co-opted to take the place of an ailing Treasurer in 1956. He acted as Honorary Auditor the following year and in the next was co-opted again, this time as Secretary, to fill a vacancy caused by an untimely death. Following this stint, he became Vice-President in 1959 and President in 1960 and was an ex-oficio member of the Committee in 1961.

Arthur generated great cordiality and this together with his capacity for getting things done and his constant good humour made him much sought after for committee work. He took a great interest in The Missions to Seamen during his stay in Santos and he was a founding member of the one flourishing São Paulo branch of Toc H. During the War he helped in the Press Office at the Consulate after his Anglo work was done, and at weekends. A keen sportsman, he played football at one time for the Anglo team and in later years was to be seen regularly swimming at SPAC and on the bowling green and tennis courts there. He collaborated actively in the preparation of the entertainment for our get-togethers, taking part himself in sketches and hunting out material for these. He was an accomplished after dinner speaker and was one of the outstanding figures on the stage in many of SPAC’s Christmas Pantos. Anyone who saw him in the part will always remember his plaintive rendering of "I think of you dear” when, as "Mr Ah Sing”, he wooed the formidable “Widow Twan-Key” in the first revival of Bill Tulk's "Aladdin". But he never did anything better than his double role of “Mister Plimsoll” the consul, and the Cannibal King, in "Robinson Crusoe" some years later.

Arthur left Brazil in 1966 with his wife and daughter to retire in the UK But, unhappily, he was not spared long to enjoy his well-earned rest and he died some eighteen months later.


Our thirty-first President was the youngest President ever to be elected to the office. Even at the time of writing, nearly twenty years later, he has only celebrated his birthday 13 times. All our readers astute enough to have deduced from this fact that Fred was a leap year baby are well qualified to join the Society's Quiz Team. Born in Edinburgh on 29th February 1908, he came to Brazil in 1951 and joined Sao Paulo Alpargatas the following year in which concern he held the post of Chief Engineer for twenty years. He still active, specialising in machinery development for the Company.

Vice-President in 1960, President the following year, and ex-oficio committee member the year after constitutes Fred's official service record for the Society but his regular support for all our functions could be relied on for many years and his term of office was a period during which a number of innovations were introduced.

Special Scottish dancing classes for beginners were started, the get-togethers were re-vitalised, the venue of the picnic was changed from SPAC Pirituba to St Paul's School playing fields. In an attempt to modify the form of the Ladies Night which had become somewhat stereotyped and commonplace, it was held on the premises of Linhas’ (now Coats Corrente) factory at Ipiranga (and a most unusual and successful evening it was) , the overlong toast list at the Annual Banquet was trimmed and, lastly, the Annual General Meeting was held at SPAC on Burn’s Night with the Lassies joining in afterwards for a High Tea and a dance. Quite a memorable year.

Since his wife's death, Fred has lived very quietly pursuing his main hobby of studies on the pioneers of engineering in Britain, reading history, and enjoying the company of his daughters and the out-door life at his weekend "sitio" just outside São Paulo.


In the year 1962 Robert McLean achieved two "firsts”. After having served as the Society's man in Santos in 1957, as Secretary in 1959 and 1960, and as Vice-President in 1961, he in that year not only was the first son of a past President to follow in his father's footsteps and succeed in reaching the top position in the Society's hierarchy but he was also the first native-born "paulistano" to assume the Society’s Presidency. He continued serving on the Committee in an ex-oficio capacity in 1963.

Born in São Paulo on 9th June 1916 he had his primary schooling at St Paul's School and later went to his father's hometown of Paisley, to complete his education at the local grammar school. On his return to Brazil, he worked with the Royal Bank of Canada in São Paulo, Rio, Santos and, lastly, in Recife until his untimely death in 1966.

During the second World War, Robert volunteered for service and was sent to Africa late in 1940 where, after a period of training, he joined the Pay Corps. Not surprisingly, like his famous father, he was a talented footballer and played for many years for Britannia which later became the football section of SPAC. In his later years he turned his hand to bowls and, once again emulating his father, played in inter-state matches on many occasions. Robert is survived by his widow Barbara (née Binns) who lives in Scotland, as do his son and daughter, both married.


Our thirty-third President in 1963, Tom hails from the Lanarkshire village of Lesmahagow where he received his early education, before moving on to Larkhall Academy. He served on the Committee of the Society from 1957 to 1961 before becoming Vice-President in 1962 and, finally, acting ex-oficio in 1964. Although a keen and proud Scot, Tom, who is Mill Manager of the Linhas (now Coats Corrente) plant at Ipiranga, also has a very wide circle of friends amongst all the foreign communities in Sao Paulo as well as in Brazilian circles. Indeed, perhaps It is Tom’s “grande circulo de amizade” that made him so dislike the "tone" of some of the Banquet speeches, that he once went so far as to suggest we hold a joint Banquet with St George's Society! Deus nos livre!

Tom is married to Margaret and has a son, Ian (who is a member of the Society) and a daughter, Corina. Although no longer active on the Society Committee, Tom continues to help the Society in many ways such as providing transport and storage space whenever required and has been very active in helping with the second part of this history.

Tom was a RAF pilot in Transport Command during the last war, serving in the Middle and Far East.

During his term of office as President of the Society, Tom arranged with Archdeacon Townsend, then pastor of St Paul‘s Church, for a commemorative St Andrew’s Day service to he held on the Sunday following the Banquet and it was continued until 1970 when regrettably, it apparently fell from our calendar of events. It was the custom for one of the lessons to be read by the Society's President at these services, the reading of the other lesson being carried out by a Consular representative when there was a Scot at HBM’s CG, and on one occasion, the Society's piper played in the churchyard both before and after this service.


John Stevens joined the Committee of the Society in 1962, became Vice-President the following year, our thirty-fourth President in 1964, completing his duties on the Committee in an ex-oficio capacity in 1965. By many standards, his period on the Committee could be considered short, but the dates do not tell the true story of John's service to the St Andrew Society and, indeed, many other entities in the community.

During the almost 30 years that he spent in Brazil, this Kilmarnock born Scot has, time and again, proved to be a most generous, talented and willing helper of the English-speaking community in general and the St Andrew Society in particular. It is doubtful that any request for help of any kind, whether for his professional expertise as a photographer, electronic engineer or musician, has ever been refused by this most gentle, talented, and friendly of Scots.

He is a highly skilled scientist, having headed up the Linhas (now Coats Corrente) dye works and wet processing plant one of the most important and complex In Brazil, until his retiral two years ago.

John is married to Nan, another constant supporter of Society functions and aims, has no children, but so many interests from ham radio to his racy Karmann-Ghia - and so many friends in both the Brazilian and British Communities that he is forever occupied.

Accorded Honorary Membership of the Society, a distinction no one merited more, John Stevens could only be described as a man with friends galore and no enemies.

John retired in 1976, since when he and Nan have popped back and forth from São Paulo to Largs and, still haven’t made up their mind which “hame's best”.


Our thirty-fifth President in 1965 was another of those members whose name appears on a host of Committees of the Society, serving in 1955. 1958, 1964, 1967 and as Secretary in 1966, During his term on the 1964 Committees, Jack took over the duties of Vice-President from A.M. Horner when, in mid-year, “Jock" transferred to Rio.

Paisley born; Jack worked at the Linhas mill in Vila Ema where he was manager of Twisting Department. He spent 18 years in Brazil and, while he supported all Society activities, his first love was Scottish dancing. In 1969 together with Elizabeth Sewell he took over the Society dancing classes and the following year, helped by Nan Stevens, he again undertook this arduous task.

A former soldier, he learned his dancing in his Scottish regiment. Just to watch Jack at practises transported one from the drab and rundown surroundings of SPAC's main hall at the time, with a borrowed gramophone scratching at a "Jimmy Shand” record to the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle on a Tattoo Night, with the kilts swinging as the Regiments' dancers weave their way through the Foursome to the sound of the pipes and drums. Jack’s keen interest in Scottish dancing inspired John Moore (President of the Society in 1967) to arrange an original dance “Manwell’s Farewell”, which he dedicated to Jack on his retiral to Scotland in 1968.

Jack's other main interests were singing, gardening and sport. In the case of the first, not only was he a regular in the church choir, but also had the distinction of being a founding member of the renowned “Haggis Alley Glee Club”. His wife, Jean, was a respected member of the Garden Club of São Paulo where at one time or another she carried off almost all the available prizes with floral presentations grown by Jack and herself. To this day some of the roses which they cultivated can be seen at various spots in São Paulo, such as the Linhas Factory at Vila Ema, and SPAC. In the sporting field, Jack was the proud winner of the Society Golf Quaich, but his most pleasurable achievement was to win the São Paulo Athletic Club singles bowls championship at the last end of an exciting match in the very year he left Brazil.

Jack, with his pawky sense of humour, was a good after-dinner speaker, which no doubt helped him during his year of office as President of the Society he so loved. He was also notorious for his “manwellisms” - his own Brazilian translation of Scottish Sayings. Amongst the best remembered are “nunca cabeça” (Never heed!), “dinheiro deles” (“Mony O’them” referring to “New Year wishes”!) and “Give it the Obras!”.

Like his immediate predecessor as our President Jack Manwell was accorded Honorary Membership of the Society in 1968, an honour richly deserved for his services to the Society and is aims and objectives.

Jack died in Hunters Quay, Argyll in 1969 at the early age of 61. He is survived by his widow, Jean, also an active supporter of Society affairs during her stay in Brazil, and a son Andrew.


A Dundonian, born in 1920, Bill was that “rara avis” only the second President of the Society to be a bachelor! He came to Brazil at the end of 1951 as factory engineer for Cia Bras de Juta and remained with them till the company closed in 1969. Sometime after this he went to work in Taubaté so little has been seen of him in the past few years which is a pity for Bill was one of the Society’s prize vocalists, through whose singing many Brazilian friends came to know and appreciate the beauty of some of our native ballads.

Bill was elected Vice-President in 1965, moved up to become our thirty-sixth President the following year and served as an ex-oficio Committee member in 1967. A keen Freemason, he is a Past Master of the Centenary Lodge.

No longer a gay Lothario, Bill joined the ranks of the Benedicts and, until just recently, he and his wife lived in São José dos Campos.


Another Dundonian, who spent several happy years in Brazil, John Moore was as keen a society member as could be found, serving on Committees in 1963, 1964 and 1970 as well as being Vice-President in 1966, President in 1967 and serving ex-oficio the following year.

No one took the objects of the Society more seriously than John, especially those referring to the promotion of interest in things Scottish, whether cultural, social or educational.

A fine Scottish country and Highland dancer, he not only taught these arts on a regular basis, but also was extremely active in organising teams of dancers to appear at various places throughout the State of São Paulo and, in this connection, his displays, solo and team, were outstandingly popular at Ladies Night over a number of years.

John's love of the Society and Scottish dancing led him to arrange two original dances for solo performance. The first "Lassies Delight” honoured the ladies attending our Ladies Night, while the other “Manwell’s FarewelI" was a tribute to past-president Jack Manwell on his departure from Brazil in 1968.

Amongst John's other interests in São Paulo were scouting (he was Scoutmaster of the St Paul’s School troop) and amateur athletics (He was the AAA representative in São Paulo and, consequently, host to several British runners competing in the São Silvestre race).

John Moore, an electrical engineer first came to Brazil with Juta before going to work for the Plessey Company. Always a popular figure amongst Scots and non-Scots in São Paulo, John who was a bachelor during his years in Brazil, was sadly missed by his many friends when he departed from Brazil in August 1970. Since then, he has married and when last heard of was living in the north of England.


Our 38th President was born in Glasgow, and after studying engineering at Paisley Technical College and the Royal Technical College in Glasgow, John Crawford joined the Coats organisation in 1949. A short time afterwards John went to Portugal as engineer of the Coats mill in Oporto, and in 1958 was transferred to Argentina where he lived until 1963. In that year John was moved to Santiago, to cover the mills in Chile, Uruguay and Peru, as well as Argentina. He arrived in Brazil in 1965. as Linhas (now Coats Corrente) Group Engineer.

Having previously been a member of the St Andrew Societies of River Plate and Santiago, John became a member of the São Paulo Society on his first day in Brazil. He was elected to the Committee in 1966, was Vice-President in 1967, and became President the following year, serving ex-oficio in 1969.

During his year as President, HM The Queen and Prince Philip visited São Paulo. John, on being introduced, provoked the Prince's memorable remark that we Scots, no doubt, all eagerly eat haggis at our functions in Sao Paulo, without ever having come across the beast before going overseas.

John, a keen musician, started to play the piano for the Banquet singsongs in 1965 and has been going strong at Banquets, ceilidhs, and Burns Nights ever since. He was also a founder member of the "Brás Baun” and assisted in the compilation of-the first Piratininga Sang Sheet. Indeed, few calls for John's musical expertise, be they from the St Andrew Society or from any other organisation in the Community, go unheeded. He remembers well the 1975 Ceilidh, because, to his consternation, one week before the event, he broke his wrist. Undeterred, he played the piano, probably the only broken-wristed piano player at a St Andrews event!

John remembers at one banquet going with his guest into a side room at SPAC for a singsong. His driver, unable to locate them, went home. So, John`s guest set off home alone, but, in the direction of the coast and once at the toll, he found he had no money. The story goes that he only arrived home at 6am and the question is – did his wife believe him? Well, the banquets have a store of stories, many unprintable.

As well as his service to the St Andrew Society, John served on the Board of St Paul `s School from 1971 to 1978, assisting with the planning for the construction of the auditorium, restaurant, and gymnasium.

His is married to an Argentine lass, Marta, who is an accomplished Scottish country dancer, as is their elder daughter Leslie, who was a member of the Scottish team which gave a display of Scottish Dancing at the International Folk-Dance Festival held in São Paulo a few years ago. Corina works for an advertising company in São Paulo and has attended some events recently.

An enthusiastic golfer and winner of the Quaich in 1975, John Is often to be found on the course at Clube do Campo, when he and Marta are not at their “chacara" at Mariporã.


Another Paisley "buddie", with the Coats organisation, Douglas Wilson came to Brazil in 1966, having previously worked with Linhas in the Far East and Portugal, he was co-opted on to the 1957 Committee and, one way and another, has served on each succeeding Committee until this day. This surely demonstrates the interest Douglas has for Society affairs. He was President in 1969 and Hon. Secretary in 1974/75, both of which offices he tackled with enthusiasm and dedication. Married to Renee (who is equally keenly interested in all Society activities and who now teaches Scottish country dancing to the Children at St Paul's School), Douglas's two children, Beth and Stuart are at school in Scotland.

Interested in all types of sports, Douglas played for the Society football team in 1974 and 1975, before taking to refereeing as a less strenuous, if no less dangerous, way of Involvement, An occasional golfer and bowler, Douglas has also performed in the "Haggis Alley Glee Club", both at several Annual Banquets of the Society and also in the 1974 ceilidh.

He is well-known as Master of Ceremonies at recent Annual Banquets. During his year of Presidential office, various innovations were decided upon and most of them are still in practice to this day. Amongst such items were the decision to invite widows of late members to the Ladies Night of the Society, to "streamline" the Banquet toast list and to serve whisky at the pre-Banquet socialising instead of the traditional, but to the unwary, lethal "whisky sours",

The adjectives used by an old acquaintance to describe Douglas's outstanding qualities as a Committeeman and a worker at whatever he takes up are "indefatigable" and "unflappable".


Our President in 1970, Hugh served on the Committee in 1968 and was made Vice-President the next year.

Glasgow born, Hugh McManus is surely the Society's best p.r.o. man frequently stating in public his faith in the organisation and administrative ability of successive Committees over the years.

The reasons behind this faith must almost certainly stem from the fact that, as President, his own year of office was one of the Society's more successful, socially, financially and in all other respects.

Always an exponent of active participation by members in Society functions, Hugh went to great lengths during his service on the Committee to highlight the, then, low proportion of Society members supporting our functions. Such was his persistence in this respect, that from 1970 onwards the proportion of Society members to non-members attending Society functions has improved most favourably. Hugh broke with tradition when in his Presidential year he changed the Ladies' Night venue from SPAC to more sophisticated surroundings, thus converting this event Into the elegant social affair which it has remained ever since and, as such, so closely in line with the intentions of the originators of this so much looked-forward-to social occasion.

A bachelor, Hugh is an expert raconteur and known to be fond of gracious living. He is an accountant by profession, having for several years been a partner in his firm.

His main interests apart from his profession, are travel and sport (he has played for the Society football team) while he has also demonstrated his academic qualities by representing the Society in the 1975 Brains of Sao Paulo competition sponsored by Round Table,

He served for a time on the Sub-Committee preparing a history of the Society, before transferring to Rio in 1976. He remains a member of the Society.


Our forty-first President, Bill went into the biscuit business as a trainee when he left Hutcheson's Grammar School in Glasgow, his native city. Bill first came to Brazil with his family in 1949 and worked with the Rio Flour Mill's subsidiary which manufactured "Aymore” biscuits at a time when both concerns were under British ownership and management. He stayed here for three years and identified himself closely with SPAC, where he became a keen bowler, and with the Society's activities, during which time his son and daughter attended St Paul's School. He left Brazil in 1952 to take up a post with a well-known manufacturer of biscuits in the Land o'Cakes and after a number of years and steady promotion, became associated with one of the leading British manufacturers of advanced and sophisticated equipment for the production of his speciality, and visited several countries for prolonged periods installing and attending to the proper functioning of plants produced by his principals.

In due course his work brought Bill back to São Paulo, accompanied by his sister Mrs Jessie Murray, and in 1970 he was elected to the Committee and became President the following year. A valued annual contribution from him were the bannocks which he baked specially for the Banquet. His vocal and musical talents were in great demand and he regularly did his best to help Scotland to victory on the bowling green.

The now traditional President's party at the end-of his term of office for his Committee and outstanding helpers and supporters was started by Bill and he collaborated and participated actively in the first organised ceilidh which followed the Banquet.

Bill left São Paulo in 1973 to do a job in Belo Horizonte which he was forced to give up temporarily on account of ill health. He returned to Scotland but after a short recuperation was with us again and able to take his place behind his Past President's pennant at the Jubilee Banquet. He is currently living in Scotland.


Our President in 1972, Eric Binnie was Treasurer the previous year and in 1973 served ex-oficio on the Committee.

A Dundonian, Eric was educated at the local council primary school and Dundee Harris Academy, He was studying for the Civil Service Examinations in 1939, when war broke out and the examinations were cancelled, After several months working as a copyreader with DC Thomas Ltd of “Sunday Post" and "Weekly News" fame, Eric signed articles with a local firm of chartered accountants from which he qualified in 1946 and was elected to the Institute that same year.

He came to Rio to work in the old Light and Power group in 1948, arriving, appropriately enough, on the good ship "Highland Chieftain". During his period in Rio, which lasted nearly 14 years, Eric worked with the Cia. Telefonica Brasileira (part of Light and Power), reaching the post of Assistant Controller. He was a member of the St Andrew Society in Rio and served on the Committee for several years. In 1961 our forty- second President arrived in São Paulo to take up an appointment as Controller for Atlantis, with which company he has been ever since. Married to Bodel, Eric has three sons (all members of the Society) and a daughter. He plays an occasional game of golf but otherwise derives his pleasures in the company of his family and his wide circle of friends. The year of Eric's Presidency was notable in that, at the ceilidh after the Annual Banquet, the resuscitated "Haggis Alley Glee Club" and the newly formed "Bras Baun" both made a very successful joint debut. It was also during his term as President that a memorable cocktail party with Scotland's World Champion Formula 1 racing driver, Jackie Stewart as guest of honour was organised for Society members and their ladies.


Born in Glasgow, Douglas Woods, who came to Sao Paulo in 1967, was at first a reluctant member of what could be an old-fashioned, unnecessary organisation. Consequently, he had to be pressured to agree to join the Committee of the Society as Treasurer in the year 1970, whereupon he became one of the most active and enthusiastic of Committee men, counting amongst the more successful and immediate changes sponsored by him, the alteration of the venue of the Society Ladles’ Night from the, then, traditional locale, São Paulo Athletic Club, to more convivial and sophisticated surroundings. Douglas Woods was Vice-President of the Society in 1971 and 1972 and became our forty-third President in 1973 during which year of office, not only did the Society consolidate its reputation for efficient organisation of enjoyable events, but also Douglas, himself, displayed his ability to keep a sense of proportion between innovations and tradition. An accountant by profession, Douglas is married to Mary and has three children, Colin, Ian and Siobhan, all of whom were born in Brazil. Interested In all types of sports, Douglas excelled at football, playing a large part in encouraging the formation of the Society team which started participating in friendly matches in 1974. In 1974 Douglas also represented the Society in the 1st Brain of Sao Paulo competition sponsored by the Round Table.

Promoted to partner of his firm and transferred to Rio de Janeiro, late in 1974, Douglas remains a member of the Society for which he has done a great deal. He was elected to the Committee of the St Andrew Society of Rio de Janeiro in 1975 and again this year.


Our Jubilee President was born in the world's golfing capital St Andrews and educated at Dollar Academy. Apprenticed to the Royal Insurance Company on leaving school, he went to Venezuela for his Company in 1967, came to Brazil, commencing with a short stay in Rio in 1969 during which he served on the Society's Committee and was transferred to Sao Paulo the following year. A Committee member in 1971, 1972 and again ex-oficio 1975, Alastair was elected to the Vice-Presidency In 1973 and became President the year after.

During Alastair's year of office, the President's badge of office was acquired and miniatures of this presented to all living Past Presidents. A special commemorative St Andrew's cross pennant was also given to all Past Presidents who attended the Jubilee Banquet.

Another item which has proved to have been the most popular and successful innovation of Alastair's Jubilee year Presidency, and perhaps of any other year, was the inauguration of our monthly lunches. which are held on the First Tuesday of each month.

Being the Jubilee anniversary of the Society, 1974 was one of the most active in its history. Apart from presiding over our traditional events, Alastair's year of office was marked by the Jubilee ceilidh, a World Cup Sweepstake in aid of charity and a very successful “SAVE THE SPOTLIGHT” evening, during which a Liza Minelli TV spectacular was shown on film to a large enthusiastic audience which later enjoyed a member of the Brazilian equivalent of "The Magic Circle" performing his act - which Incidentally, included "sawing In half" Alastair's spouse, Miffy. None the worse for this experience, Miffy has since-provided Alastair with three fine sons, and future members of the Society, Sandy, Angus and Murray.

If Archie McLean, our eighteenth President, was the colony's “Mister Soccer”, Alastair Macfarlane can surely lay claim to having been its “Mister Rugby” and whether playing for the new club he helped to found. “The Barbarians” or for Brazil in the South American 5 Nations Tournament decided in São Paulo in 1973, this brawny but skilful Scot was always well to the fore in a most competent, capable but sportsman like manner. To this day, Alastair's fame as a repository and performer of those deathless ditties which traditionally accompany the sampling of the product of the local brewery during after-match revelries and which are known as “rugger songs", is widely recognised from the River Plate to the Tiete.

As befits one hailing from his birthplace, Alastair plays golf, winning the Quaich cup in 1991, as also squash and occasionally he has even seen his way to turn out for the Society football (round ball variety) side.

Being the total enthusiast that he is in whatever he tackles, Alastair Macfarlane would have made a fine president of the Society on any occasion, but it made him the ideal President for our 50th anniversary year. In later years, he became renowned for `enthusiastically persuading` candidates to take up the position of President. `as part of your duty to the Society`!