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News > Annoucements > BOYCE, Ian Duncan

BOYCE, Ian Duncan

You are warmly invited to leave a message below, share your memories, and celebrate the life of Ian Boyce, who we sadly lost in 2023.
13 Dec 2023
Written by Tara Biddle

The following obituary was written by Peter Canney (JH 57- 62)

Ian arrived at Judde House a year after me so I didn't know him particularly well at that time. He had been brought up in Devon before moving to Sussex where he attended Rottingdean Preparatory School. Both his brothers also went to Rottingdean and came on to Tonbridge, their father (always referred to as Pater) having been in Park House in 1916-20. Ian was very proud of still owning and wearing socks with Judde House name tapes!

I recall Ian as being brilliant at neither work nor·sports but he was above average at both and was a very capable hockey and tennis player. He was also a fast runner. I had been Captain of Athletics as a sprint runner, and I recall a 100-yard race we had on a beach near Durban in 1969 when he beat me by a yard or so! He was very proud of that. We became close friends when we both started our Chartered Accountant articles with the same City firm in 1963. Ian had tried for a scholarship with Oriel College, Oxford, but elected for Chartered Accountancy. After qualification Ian came into the office one day and asked if I fancied going to work in South Africa. I nodded without really thinking and a few weeks later he announced that he had booked boat tickets. We hurriedly made arrangements and secured employment with Peat Marwick Mitchell. We each had two passages paid for (PMM and the SA Government) so we both took our new sports cars with us as our "significant others". We arrived on 5 November 1968 and were surprised to see plenty of fireworks displays 7000 miles from home. On our first night Ian saw a cat on our hotel doorstep but when he went to stroke it he found that it was an enormous rat. Both parties scarpered!

We spent two great years in Johannesburg, starting up a lovely house with large garden, tennis court and pool. We travelled extensively at weekends regularly visiting the game parks of Zululand and also Durban, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique (pre-Frelimo troubles) and elsewhere. Ian became a highly proficient tennis player. He proved to be not quite as proficient at riding when several of us hired horses for a morning in Lesotho. The horses were sluggish and when one drifted to the back of the cavalcade its boy owner, not wishing to be humiliated by his horse being at the back, whacked it on the rump with a length of sugar cane. The horse leapt forward and, in Ian's case, unshipped its rider.                             

In 1972 Ian returned to London and took up employment with SG Warburg & Co Ltd where he rose to be an Executive Director in the Corporate Finance Division in 1984.

He married Daphne Roddick in 1981 and they had two daughters Amy in 1982 and Georgina in 1985. The latter happily became engaged shortly after Ian's death to someone Ian thoroughly approved of. Ian was also a proud Grandfather of two grandsons.

In 1984 Ian was posted to Hong Kong to be Managing Director of East Asia Warburg Ltd. At that time meeting people and making contacts was very important and Ian excelled at that and he was greatly helped in this by his lifelong love of racing and his high level membership of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. He barely missed a bi-weekly meeting and he made many valuable contacts. He was also a member of various other influential clubs.

In 1990 Ian became Managing Director of Schroder Asia Ltd. rising to Vice Chairman in 1998. 

Ian moved to work for an influential local family with huge worldwide interests in 1999 and rose to become non-executive Chairman of Sir Ellie Kadoorie and Sons Ltd., and non-executive Deputy Chairman of Hong Kong .and Shanghai Hotels Ltd. With all the various high-rise hotels and buildings Ian had to visit he was plagued by suffering from vertigo and always sought out a lower floor room. He had responsibilities for other subsidiaries, and for the family businesses and investments. He was also very involved with the various charities and was particularly fond of the Kadoorie Farm which was considered to be a gem of Hong Kong and one of the world's leading botanical gardens.

In 2014 Ian retired and returned to London where he took on various non-executive directorships and where his great experience and skill was much in demand.

He was a great friend albeit I didn't see nearly enough of him in his latter years and he was always highly entertaining with a dry sense of humour. He was a staunch supporter of the Late Niters, a largely (at least initially) sporting club started by two of his Tonbridge contemporaries to play various sports together. Ian was not too involved in the sporting side although he played the odd game of cricket and was to the fore in the fixture "against" the Bookies at the race meetings attended. He was also an ever present at the Annual Dinners at one of which he won the star raffle prize of a new cricket bat. This was a pride and joy although no one could recall him ever scoring a run with it! There was a rumour that he once did sneak a four through the slips though this cannot be authenticated.

I spoke to Ian on the phone the morning he died. We were due to meet later in that week to have lunch with an old friend from South Africa. Sadly, it never came to be.

(JH 58-63) 


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