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George Farquhar (1931-2022)

Class of 1948

Born in Edinburgh on the 12th March 1931 George was a pupil at The High School of Dundee for 10 years, leaving shortly before his 16th birthday when his family moved to Edinburgh.

Like so many others his childhood was interrupted by WWII and consequently he needed to join the Cadet Force and undertake harvest camps to help local farmers. He loved the camps and they allowed him to save some money to buy a Hercules bicycle. Enabling independent travel, the bicycle was so cherished that seven decades later it still has pride of place in the family garage.

Upon finishing school he joined the Royal Bank of Scotland for 1 year before military service called. He promptly rose through the ranks gaining an officer’s commission. Even better, the army liked and utilised his rugby skills, enabling him to play matches throughout the UK. After 2 years service he returned to the Royal Bank of Scotland. The money he earned enabled him to augment his bicycle with a proper fully powered motorbike. This allowed him to undertake longer trips and adventures throughout the lowlands of Scotland.

Upon leaving the army he returned to the Royal Bank before taking a post with the National Bank of India in Mumbai and Columbo. The outbound journey was taken in a converted WWII bomber and weekends were spent playing rugby and exploring widely on his motorbike.

In 1958 George returned to Scotland and married his sweetheart Catriona, they had first meet at school in Dundee and were married for 59 years. The year also saw the beginning of a 35-year
career with Barclays and the start of a two-year posting to Lagos, Nigeria. His desire to explore continued, but this time with Catriona and in a tiny Fiat 500.

Returning to the UK in the swinging sixties they started a family and settled in London with Dougal and Anna born in ’64 and ’67. George loved dogs and over the decades Jock, Fred, Bill and Tom
helped complete the family.

A family man at heart George was an ever present at evening meals and was with his family every weekend. The dependable centre of the family he was the organiser of events and clubs, occasionally even a superhero, wading into a lake to rescue an errantly kicked ball so a birthday party game could continue.

Despite spending most of his adult years away from Scotland a part of his heart always remained. New Year’s parties were always an excuse to wear his kilt and frequent trips to Scotland to visit
grandparents were a staple of Dougal and Anna’s childhoods.

As his career developed he trained staff internationally with secondments to Yugoslavia, Nigeria and Malta. Lifelong friendships were formed with many a family holiday taken in Malta.

Retirement came in 1993 but he remained busy and much in demand with myriad clubs utilising his social and organisational skills. He leapt into his role as grandparent with the same love, care and attention he had as a father. Fully involved in the lives of his grandchildren he led garden explorations, shared old toys and was the provider of bottomless ice-creams and myriad photographs.

After caring for his beloved Catriona for a number of years she passed away in 2017. Diagnosed with dementia he choose to remain at home, help rallied round and so many were willing to assist. George ‘adopted’ numerous squirrels and birds and always offered a cheerful hello to everyone he came across.

George Farquhar lived life well. It was happy, full and shared with those that he loved and cared for. “We were very fortunate to have him as a husband, Dad and Granddad. He will be very much
missed.”

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