2016 onwards

        This page is the follow on from previous pages which are full

Nick Barham

Ken Baber

Pradyut Kumar Barua 
Oley  Bhuyan

Bryan David Byrne

Cathie Campbell
Roy Church

uj Dasgupta

Ranen Datta

Isobel & Cethin Davies

Mary Deighton

Kim Dodwell

Freda Dolph

Jean Gilchrist

John Gil

Joy Oliver

Gerry Halnan

Adam Hare

Digby Hembry
M S Huda

Bobby Jamwal

Alkoa Kar
Pat Kent

David Kilgour

David Kincaid

Barbara Lyness
Sanjeen Malthans
Alan Morris
Mary Norman
Peter Naug
David Ojha
Shena Pirie

Susan Pirie
John Parks
George Richmond

Yfke Simpson

Iqbal Singh

David T Somerville

Keith Taylor

Sudha Thukral 
John Twiss

Denys Wild

Q H Zaman


29th July 2019 

David Kincaid

I have had the privilege of knowing and being good friend’s with David for 60 plus years—since 1959/60.

We first met in Assam when David joined the Jorehaute Tea Company as office manager.  After a few months he became the head of administration reporting to Bill Gawthrop, who was the company boss in Assam.  Consistent with his training, David demanded that all written work be accurate, factual and readable.  Sadly there was evidence that one or two of the management were funneling company money to their own accounts.  David handled the fraud investigation with professionalism and the cheats were sacked.

The Jorhat Club was the main social center for the area with a large flat land to one side of the Club, which was used to play polo, and there was a small golf course.  A railway line ran on the eastern edge of the property, and the trains were important to transfer goods and passengers to the Jorhat town nearby.

Every year there was a week set aside at the Club as “Race Week”, and many large companies which supplied the tea industry attended.  They entertained tea industry employees generously with food and drink.  On one occasion David was responsible for seeing that people had rides home and left the Club in good order.  Two men were given instructions for leaving but turned up 30 minutes later saying, “How the h---do you get out of here?”  Turns out they had been driving around the racecourse was all that time.  They were given further instructions and left again, but failed to get over the railroad crossing which was uphill.  Their car stalled there and they went to sleep, only to awakened by the Indian driver of the train, who saw their headlights pointing into the air, and came to the car to ask them to move off the track.  They moved and drove home safely, somehow.

On another occasion when Trafalgar night was being celebrated and much drink was consumed by the men—the women had a separate party.  David and others stayed with the Fosters and at breakfast the next morning when all noises—even the crunching of corn flakes hurt—the Fosters young daughter bounced our onto the terrace to ask her father “What was that game you were playing on top of mommy last night?”  The entire group gasped, but Jimmy Foster didn’t hesitate and said “I was pinning my medals on your mommy’s nightgown.”

Such were the adventures of our time in India, and David and I have continued to be in contact  and remain friends to the present day.

My wife, Cynthia, remembers meeting David and Kim soon after the two of us met.  She remembers them as being very welcoming to her from the beginning and entertaining us at the Old Rectory, the Beeches, and in Pebworth.  We had a memorable trip together in May/June 2001 to see the “American West”.  The first problem was deciding on what part of the “American West” that would be, since it is a rather large territory.  We decided on the northwest and met in Seattle and traveled by car to San Francisco with stops at Mt. Rainier, the redwood tree park, and a trip to Yosemite park.  The we took a train trip  from San Francisco to Denver, Colorado across the Rocky Mountains.

Cynthia and I both always enjoyed David’s company and he will be missed.

Written by David and Cynthia Air.



August 20, 2018

Digby Hembry


Digby was brought up in South-East England and started his adult life in the early 1950s, as an articled pupil with John Laings, a major building company, with one day and two evening classes a week at the School of Building in Brixton. It was here that he met Iain Ross, and they had their lunches in a pub for two and sixpence, 12p in today’s money. Digby played rugger with Richmond RFC, and Iain was with the London Scottish, the two clubs sharing the same grounds and clubhouse. Twice a year the two played each other, holding a “Sausage and Mash” dinner dance in the evening, bringing girlfriends, who gamely had to put up with bruised and battered partners after friendly combat on the pitch.  

As well as rugger, Digby played tennis at a club in Twickenham, but his favourite sport was cricket, this passion continuing into his final days, losing himself for days during the Test matches, and spending hours at Fenner’s cricket ground in Cambridge. 

Digby may never have let on to his family of the time he hitchhiked with Iain around Devon and Cornwall, wearing kilts and staying in Youth Hostels. The YHA rules in those days meant sharing chores, peeling potatoes, washing up, etc. They spent most of one afternoon sleeping under a hedge after drinking two pints of scrumpy, the local ‘sweet and rough’ cider. 

Digby did his army service in 1953-4, opting for the Royal Engineers. At Mons Officer Cadet School, he, as others of this era may remember, would have been marched out of the barrack gates and round the block, by ”Voice of the British Army” RSM Brittain calling out the commands while still standing on the parade ground. Digby had the good fortune to do his military service in Singapore with an RE Railway Squadron. He also had the good fortune around this time to meet, woo and marry the lovely Kim, all in 7 days, a marriage which lasted 59 years, with 3 children, 14 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Would Kim have said “yes” if she had been proposed to following a “Sausage and Mash” do? Or after an afternoon in a ditch?

Five years as a Tea Planter followed, joining George Williamson Tea Agency on their Tea Gardens in Assam. One cold weather day in 1958, Thakurbari Club came to Bishnaught for a cricket match, and he found himself bowling to Iain. After having lost touch for 5 years, Iain had joined the same Agency House, and shortly after this were sharing the Panipoota bungalow on Phulbari Tea Estate under Fred Rogers. One day during Durga Puja, a drunken lorry driver crashed into Iain’s car; Digby, seeing it coming was trying to climb into the back seat, and suffered a cut on his bum, to Kim’s amusement.

He left Tea after 5 years, joining his father in Australia, travelling the East Coast, raising funds for the Catholic Church, before returning to England with Kim and the three boys with £7.6s in his pocket, promptly landing a job as personal assistant to General Sir Brian Horrocks, once a Divisional commander in the 8thArmy under Monty, now working for Bovis. Then, in the late 1960s, with no previous experience or expertise, Digby carved himself a small chunk of the action in the incipient North Sea oil and gas industry, winning a contract to build a 106 mile gas pipeline. This was followed up by selling pipelines throughout the Middle East. This involved a lot of travelling so, missing family life, at the age of 39, he settled down with Kim raising their family in their home in Suffolk and building a business. And not just their family, they provided a home to 8 dogs, 5 sheep, 3 ponies and a llama, as well as cultivating hundreds of plants in the garden. 

In 2015 he lost the love of his life when Kim died. But he kept up his links with friends from his India days through the annual Tea Reunion lunch, and occasionally, Children of the Raj. Both Digby and Kim will be missed.    

Iain Ross





July 11, 2018

G W W Gerald (Gerry) Halnan

1922 - 4thJuly 2018


Gerry is probably the last of the surviving cadre of WWII warriors recruited after the war to serve on tea estates of Assam and the Dooars.  He was a product of Epsom School, Surrey, and WWII Major with Royal Engineers, Andrew Yule & Co Ltd 1947 to 1964.  Further Managerial positions Sheffield England. 

I first met Gerry and Joan on a transfer 1955 from Karballa in Central Dooars to Khowang, Moran district.  I shall always remember their warm welcome which developed into an undying friendship. As a twenty year old young tea assistant Gerry mentored me like a father, in all the aspects of tea culture, in particular his skills in the factory engineering side of the business.  One year later (much to my regret) Andrew Yule saw fit to transfer me back as assistant to the Dooars, to Banarhat Estate.  But destiny intervened, six months later (1956) Gerry was posted from Khowang as manager to Banarhat.  Now it was my turn to mentor him on the idiosyncrasies of his new garden. Apart from short postings to New Dooars, I remained his assistant until 1959.  I could go on and wax lyrical about the man that Gerry was. Uniquely, however, he has left a legacy of some of his personal tea experiences on this koi-hai site.  Very well written, they speak loudly of his character.  I draw particular attention to the sad events concerning Mohan driver during the 1962 Chinese invasion.  His comments epitomise the care and thoughtful feelings he always carried for the welfare of all his staff and labour.   

To his daughter Jennie, husband John, son Clive and all the extended family, koi-hai thoughts are with you.  Jennie cared tirelessly for her father to the end of a long illness in the comfort off their home in Sheffield.  Bev and I were guests at their lovely home in 2016 where Gerry with tears in his eyes bequeathed to me his folding pruning knife as we bade our last farewell.

Derek Perry

Feb 15, 2018
Iqbal Singh
Rony Das has informed us of the sad demise of Iqbal Singh at St Stephen's Hospital in Delhi at 9am on the 4th December 2017.
Iqbal's many friends who were in the Dooars, Sonari, Darrang Districts and New Guinea will be sad to learn of this.
Iqbal was with Gillanders for his tea career in India and was the manager of Bhogotpore Tea Estate in the Nagrakata District when he decided that he would like to travel further afield and in the early 1970's he went to Papua New Guinea. He joined Mt Hagen Tea Grower's Warrawau Estate in the Western Highlands and may have been the first "Pugree Wallah" that the locals had ever seen!  He had a lovely personality and made friends easily and was an excellent golfer.
After a number of years he took a different path and looked after a number of large Coffee Plantations and at the same time he was engaged in carrying out work for the Government Electricity Grid.
Iqbal worked in PNG for over 20 years before returning to settle in Gurgaon. He will be sadly missed by his many friends.



Jan 3, 2018

Pradyut Kumar Barua (Ranju)

Pradyut Kumar Barua (Ranju), youngest of 11 children of Late Bhairab Chandra Barua and Late Swarnalata Barua of Laban, Shillong left us on Saturday, the 23rd of December 2017 in Calcutta.

After spending his growing years in Shillong and Changlang, he started his career as a Tea Planter with Gillanders Arbuthnot & Company initially and thereafter with Empire Plantations & Single Tea Company.
After 22 years of distinguished service in Tea, he relocated to Guwahati and ventured into Hospitality.
His far sighted vision and passion to give back to Assam saw Urvasi - the country's first privately owned classified Airport Hotel come into existence in 1985.
Predeceased by his loving wife Srabani, he leaves behind his two sons Joydeep (Neil) and Sandeep (Billy) and a multitude of grieving relatives, friends and well wishers.
His Shradh ceremony will take place in Calcutta on Thursday, the 4th of January 2018.

Dec 22, 2017

Kim Dodwell

Sally, Rick & Clare would like to thank everyone for their kind and generous tributes and are sad to confirm the passing away of their father Kim Dowell on the 2nd Oct 2017, at the age of 92, peacefully at Isle Court Nursing Home, Bicton near Shrewsbury. The funeral at Shrewsbury Crematorium on 24th Oct, was well attended - by a number of the younger generation from Assam, as well as many friends, former clients from his gardening business, and family.

After serving in the Parachute Regiment and Gurkhas during and after the War, Kim first started as a Tea Planter with Balmer Lawrie at Sephinjuri in Cachar, where he worked for Dick Vipan, and met his daughter Jean, whom he married in 1952. In Assam he was at tea gardens at Doolahat, Harmutty, Meleng and latterly as Superintendent of the Panitola Group, near Tinsukia. He retired from Tea in 1974 when he & Jean returned to UK and his family in Shropshire.

He is remembered for his great love and interest in wild life and people; as an avid collector of eclectic items ranging from stamps to tea spoons, and bricks to elephant figures, as well as researching Shropshire trees, brick ovens, staircases, old houses...the list goes on.

Despite failing health, he still had a sharp mind and twinkle in his eye to the end! 

Nov 3, 2017
Isobel & Cethin Davies
Sadly, we have been advised by Cethin Davies, husband of Isobel, his wife passed away on Monday, 23rd October following a stroke. The funeral service will be held at Exeter Crematorium, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 6EU on Wednesday, 8th November.
Family flowers only or donations to the Alzheimer's Society.
Cethin Davies sadly passed away 03/12/2018
October 23, 2017
Freda Dolph

We have been advised by the eldest son of the late Peter and Freda Dolph of Freda's passing at 92 years of age--We pass our sincere condolences to the family.

 I'd like to inform you and the website of the recent passing away of my mother Freda Mary Dolph on 24 August 2017. She was 92. She and her husband Peter Dolph (who passed away in 2005) were in Assam from 1947 to 1971 working for Williamson and Magor first at Behora TE, then Duflating TE, Dendai TE and finally Rajmai TE. 


Simon Dolph (eldest son)

July 12,2017

Bryan David Byrne

Ex tea planter Bryan David Byrne, late of the Singlo Tea Company and mostly living and working in the Tezpur, Assam, district - c1952 to c1957 - passed away while hospitalized near his home in Carson City, Nevada, Wednesday, April 12th, 2017. He was 84.

He is survived by his step-daughter, Jill Cooper, of Salt Lake City, Utah, his brother, Peter Byrne, of Pacific City, Oregon, his niece Rara Byrne, of Hood River, Oregon and his sister, Beryl Green, of Holyport, Berkshire, UK.

June 11, 2017

Mary Deighton

Edgar Deighton (Son) of Edgar and Mary Deighton tells us that sadly his mother Mary died on May 29th 2017 in Edinburgh

His father Edgar Deighton (3 Feb 1926 --29May 2017) served in East Pakistan, Assam, Calcutta and finally Bangladesh

Funeral Service will be held at Warriston Crematorium Cloister Chapel 36 Warriston Road Edinburgh EH7 4HW on 15th June 2017 at 1.30 pm

         Funeral Details are available at     https://www.funeralzone.co.uk/obituaries/31327

             Any one who knew her are welcome to attend

         The website personnel send their condolences  
           to the family

      After the funeral there will be a reception at The Victoria Park House Hotel  221 Ferry  Road EdinburghEH6 4NN to which all are welcome

June 7 2017

We are advised by Manzurul Haque the following sad news 

Q H Zaman

"We are grieved to inform that veteran Bangladeshi Tea Planter, Mr. Q. H. Zaman, Ex-Director, Duncan Brothers (Bangladesh) Ltd., has passed away on Monday, 5th June, 2017. He was 71 years old.

 Mr. Q. H. Zaman, joined with the Duncan Brothers in 1969 and retired on 2009.

 Mr. Zaman was a thorough gentleman and was a pleasant personality. He was a good Cricket and Tennis Player and was very keen in games and sports.

 He is survived by his wife, four sons, three daughter-in-law and host of relations and friends." 

The staff of the Koi Hai website join our Bangladesh friends in offering our condolences to the Zaman family

March 23, 2017
Thanks to Hardev Singh and Robin Humphries for telling us :
Sadly we have to report the passing of David Kilgour at  his home in Edinburgh.on February 22nd  2017
This is a copy of the note received from Hardev Singh from David's widow Josie
Dear Hardev,

I have sad news in that David passed away on 22nd February after having 
suffered an anuerism in his brain on Sunday 19th after working in the 
garden.  There was nothing they could do on getting him to hospital but 
keep him comfortable till the Wednesday when he passed away 
peacefully.   After a busy time over the past few weeks when I was well 
cared for by my two daughters, sister and sister-in-law it is now up to 
me to get on with things.   Could I just say that David appreciated your 
friendship and was busy writing a talk on his time in tea for The Probus 
Club of which he would have been President this coming year.   After a 
service we had a good reception at the golf club where so many people 
gathered.   Only Jimmy Ross, Robert Simpson and Mary Ward represented 
his friends made in Assam - don't know if you knew any of them.

Please pass the news to any who remember him.

Regards to you and yours,

Josie Kilgour

February 28, 2017
Yfke Simpson
It is with great sadness we are informing Koi Hai friends that our mother, Yfke Simpson, widow of the late Gordon Simpson (Mangaldai, Doom Dooma and Misa), died on Thursday 23 February 2017.    The funeral will be held at 1130 am on Tuesday 7 March at Aberdeen Crematorium (East Chapel).  For those who can make it we would love to see you.  The charity collection at the service is for Dr Graham’s Homes, Kalimpong.  
February 6 2017
Peter Rex

Sadly we have been informed by Ashish Paul a Director of Andrew Yule of Kolkata  that Peter Rex died on january 20th 2017 Ashis tels us:

Mr Peter Rex was with our Company as a Senior Planter and retired as a Superintendent of the Assam Tea Plantations in 1975. He was the last ex-pat Planter in our organization. We have just received information via an old Planter colleague that Mr Rex has passed away on 20th January, 2017.  We find his name in your list of members. We will be grateful if you could help us locate the family with addresses and pictures as we wish to publish a write up in our internal newsletter. We would also wish to convey our condolences to the family. Kindly contact me at : ashish.paul@andrewyule.com

January 31 2017
Barbara Lyness
Dear David,
A short email to ask you to add mum ( Barbara Lyness ) to the many obituary notices you already have. She died peacefully on the 29th. January (Sunday ) night at Holmsley Nursing Home here in Sidmouth  at about 8.20 pm.
Her funeral will be at Salcombe Regis Church on the 15th February at 11 am.  If there is anyone of her and Jimmy's time in tea that remember her, please get in touch. I can be reached either by email :- suemcked_lyness@hotmail.com
   or by phone on :- 01395 742112.
Dad died in 2004 so they are one again together.
My regards to all in tea that I may know and thank you David for keeping the web site up and running.
Sue McKenzie-Edwards ( daughter )=
January 13 2017
David Ojha
From Maureen Ojha Date: Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 7:27 AMHere are a few words about David:

Maureen, Anita and Kim sorrowfully inform friends of the passing away
of loving husband and father, David Ojha, aged 77 years, on January 8,
2017 in Bangalore. David courageously faced the ups and downs of
battling for 3 snd a half years with prostate cancer. However, it was
not the illness but a sudden heart attack that took him "Home".
David had loved his time in Assam and enjoyed recalling and recounting
to friends the many adventures encountered on the jungle road and
through the river when he was in Corramore.
As a keen cricketer {left arm bowler},he remembered all the Company
other matches and the teams, not forgetting the fun and sing-song
the evenings.

David joined Williamson Magor { then known as "the Rolls Royce of

tea"} in January 1963 and took an early retirement in 1984 to attend
to family property matters in his home town of Allahabad.
He then took up a carpet and handicraft export business while Maureen
became editor in a well known publishing house. Daughter Anita
qualified in Event Management in Delhi while son Kim graduated from St
Stephen's College, Delhi.
The family moved to Bangalore in 1994 when Maureen was appointed
Principal of Tunbridge High School. David led a retired life but
having been an excellent sportsman in school and university, was ever
ready to teach the school kids baton changing and running techniques.
The choir teachers often took his help in preparing the kids for
singing competitions.
He learnt the computer and became an expert in
converting his record
collection into digital format, and had put
together a tremendous
collection of music and old films.

David's last Christmas in December 2016 was a very happy one with lots
of get togethers with family and friends, and music. He still sang and
played the guitar. On the day he passed away, he was listening to
music and watching old Westerns, and getting the hang of using his new
touchscreen laptop. The thorough gentleman that he was, he had a
befitting farewell with the school captains, flags and a guard of
honour at his funeral. With Nirmal and Nirmala Shankhla's visit,
meeting after 35 years, and calls from Mandatta and Jyotsana, he was
looking forward to attending the Williamson Magor's get together in
Gurgaon in February. We thank all our friends from Assam for their
messages of condolence. He would have been very happy to have known
that so many were in touch with us.

The family is planning a memorial service about a month from now (date
will be informed).

Link to recent photos of David:

1) David
2) With his grandson Kaden
3) Maureen and David with Nirmal and Nirmala Shankhla on Dec 22 2016
at Bangalore.

Maureen & family
January  5  2017
Oley  Bhuyan
"Oley Bhuyan, a resident of Guwahati, Assam, India and wife of Bijoy 'John' Bhuyan passed away on December 29, 2016 due to old-age ailments. The youngest daughter-in-law of the great Assamese historian Suryya Kumar Bhuyan, she was loved and respected by all for her amiable disposition. She was vibrant, helpful and caring person with great sense of humor. Brilliant sportsperson, devoted mother, Oley will be missed by many. Oley married John in 1963 and they lived together in the tea gardens of Nonoi, Chabua, Achabam, Borhat and Nowera Nuddy until 1980 when John took a voluntary retirement. Earlier, John passed away in June 2011. She leaves behind two sons, Sudipta and Satyam."
January 3 2017
Cathie Campbell
Sadly Cathie has died peacefully in her home in Hawick Scotland. to her son Rory and family we offer our sincere condolences.
The Funeral service will be held at 11am on Tuesday10th January at
Robson Funerla Directors, Garfield Street, Hawick TD9 0HA Thereafter
at 11.45 at Well Gate Cemetery
December 15 2016 
Gill - John

, at the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital on 10th December 2016, surrounded by his beloved children, Benjamin, Harriet and Daniel. As well as three proud children, he leaves seven fine grandchildren to now occupy his wit, wisdom and kindness. Solem Aspiciens. Funeral at Huntshaw Church, near Torrington, Devon, on Friday 6th January 2017 at 12:00 noon, to which all friends are invited. Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu of flowers to the Kohima Educational Trust. Information about how to donate can be found on their website or made at the service: www.kohimaeducationaltrust.net.
 December 14  2016
Sent in by Adam's eldest son John whom we thank

ADAM HARE, OBE (1915-2016) 

Adam was born in Portobello, Edinburgh on 26 November 1915. He was the youngest of seven children born to Adam Hare and Barbara (nee Mackay). Adam was educated at Portobello High. He was a keen sportsman and excelled, amongst other sports, at rowing. On leaving school he completed his apprenticeship as a marine engineer.

 In 1937 his attention was drawn to an advertisement in the Glasgow Herald from James Finlay & Co (a merchant company with extensive interests in tea, coffee, etc) seeking engineers to manage their factories in what was then north eastern India.

 During the Second World War he saw service as Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Indian Naval Reserve. He met Barbara, who was with the Queen Alexandra Nursing Corps, at the Imperial British General Hospital, Karachi and they were married in Bombay on 18th July 1945 at the Scots Kirk. Barbara was demobbed in 1946 and, after leave in the UK, returned to India with their first child (John). Two other children were born to Adam and Barbara in what was then East Pakistan – Allan in 1948 and Barbara Anne in 1952.

From the end of the Second World War until 1970, Adam saw service with Consolidated Tea and Lands (a subsidiary of James Finlay & Co). He rose from factory manager to assistant manager of a number of tea estates in the Sylhet District of East Pakistan and then to a number of senior managerial positions. He finished his career with the company as Divisional Manager, Deanston Tea Estate, the company’s most senior tea estate management position. In addition to his managerial positions Adam took a great interest in the welfare of the mainly British expatriate community in the Sylhet district of what was then East Pakistan. He supervised the renovation of the church at Kalighat, in the Balisera Valley, Sylhet and carried out a major survey of the graveyard and had a record compiled of those interned. On retirement to the UK in 1970, Adam was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to the tea industry and to the British community in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Adam took up a position with the North of Scotland Electricity Board and, after his “second retirement”, he and Barbara moved to Bovey Tracey in 1986. While not from the community they soon became part of the community as members of the Parish Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas of Canterbury. Adam was a member of the church fabric committee and he also enjoyed many years as a member of the church choir.

     Adam was a true Christian gentleman. He had a strong ethical compass and was respected and admired by those who came into contact with him. To us he was “our old man” and we will love and remember him always.

December  19  2016
Rex Naug has sent us the Obituary for his brother Peter Naug 

Peter Naug 1934 – 2016 

It is my sad duty to notify the death of my brother Peter Naug on the 18th November 2016 at Werribee, Victoria, Australia. He died at home, of a heart attack.

Peter was born in the town of Khargpur, West Bengal, India and died in Werribee, Victoria, Australia.

Peter attended St. Michael’s School at Patna, India, from 1941 to 1950, and then read Economics at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, where he secured a Bachelor of Arts degree in addition to achieving stellar performance status in sports such as athletics, soccer and hockey.

Peter joined the James Warren Group of tea companies in 1955 and commenced his career in the Tea Industry at Limbuguri Tea Estate (Eastern Assam Tea Company) in July 1955. He then moved to Shakomato Tea Estate in 1956. While here he met Helen, daughter of Reginald Shaw, Deputy Commissioner at Tezpur. They married at Shillong in September 1958.

During his time in Assam Peter represented Assam in the All India Rugby competition, but he also participated enthusiastically in sports, like cricket, tennis, and golf. However, his dominant passion for sport lay in the fields of hunting, shooting and fishing. He gave free reign to his proclivities here.

In 1968 with the threat of wars with China and Pakistan, and internal insurgency posing an ever-present threat to security in Assam, Peter decided to seek a more particular security for his family in Australia. He left Assam and had to start a new life in Australia. Peter finally settled for a career in teaching in Melbourne. He had to go back to University to qualify as a teacher, and he took to his new profession as a duck takes to water.

By 1989, the stresses of teaching at a school populated by children of an underprivileged socio-economic demographic took it’s toll and Peter opted for retirement. Travelling, hunting, shooting, fishing, and spending time with family filled his time. In 2000, he and Helen decided to move to the warmer climes of Queensland.  Here Peter was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The treatment eventually stopped cancer but left Peter very debilitated.  In 2012 he decided to return to Victoria to be near his children.

Peter and Helen resettled in Werribee, close to two of their children, but poor health continued to dog Peter until he finally succumbed on the night of 18th November 2016.

Peter’s funeral service was conducted at Altona Memorial Park at 3.30 PM on 24th  November 2016. Peter’s Family, friends, former colleagues and former students attended in strength to pay their respects to the man they admired and respected. 

Helen, his wife of fifty-eight years, his son Jeff, and daughters Jennifer, Christobel and Patricia survive Peter.   

 December 10 2016
John Gill
Sadly we have to tell you of the passing of my old friend John Gill.--he had been having treatment for cancer but sadly lost the battle Saturday December 10 2016
We offer our sincere condolences to his family
I will miss him 
David Air  Editor
Babs Johnson tells us of the passing of
 Mary Norman
Doctor Tom Norman's wife who passed away in Cadnam Hants on Tuesday 22nd November with her family around her (dob 18.10.1918). She could have got to 100, but for an infection, I am sure. They were in Seleng and Tom doctored for Jhanzie and Amgoorie.
November 21, 2016
Adam Hare
Jimmie Bain tells us;
Just heard Adam Hare has passed away at the ripe old age of 101,
He was the superintendent on Deanstone Estate a Finlay  garden in Bangledesh, he joined James Finlay Pre War and was on the estate when it was still East  Pakistan, must have been the healthy climare the set him up for longevity !!
November 21, 2016

Nick Barham passed away a few months ago and to his family we extend our sincere condolences

Below is an appreciation of Nick by his old friend Martin Van Oppen

NICK BARHAM - A personal tribute to an old friend:

I shall miss my old friend, Nick. So will many others. There will be a 
few left who knew him in the army and some of us who knew him as a tea taster in those far off Assam days, and others who knew him as a keen yachtsman and yet others who enjoyed his company and enthusiasm whilst fishing.

There will of course be his close family: his brother, David, his two 
daughters - Alex and Jo' along with their husbands, James and Philip, 
and his grandchildren - Amelia, Henry and Alexander, all of whom he was so proud. And of course there is Astrid, his second wife who is very unwell. She, poor girl, will miss him dreadfully.

I telephoned Nick on Christmas morning 2015. Astrid answered the phoneand explained that Nick was still upstairs, was not feeling well, did not want the doctor and did not want to go out for 'drinks' - a family 
party at Alex and James' home just round the corner. The following day, Boxing Day, Astrid insisted on calling the doctor who called the 
ambulance. Nick died on the way downstairs before reaching the 
ambulance. A most dreadful shock to Astrid and his close family.

Now, think of the good times and a few anecdotes from another era, an era gone forever: reflect a little on the camaraderie of club and 
plantation life in Assam.  Turn the clock back fifty-nine years to 1957, 
the year that he and I arrived in India.  Let our minds wander back to 
those days when the biggest worry in our isolated young lives was the 
monthly club bill.

The first party I went to at Nick's bungalow at Panitola was a bit of a 
disaster. I drove up from Dikom on my motor-bike and, not wanting to 
arrive late, got there early so popped into the club for a quickie (as 
one does), and arrived late to the chorus of "drink it down, down, down 
...." as I was thrust a tumbler full of run and orange (just a splash of 
the latter). I saw no more of the party but awoke the next morning 
comfortably tucked up in bed - not at Nick's, it may have been Peter 
Bottomley's or John Vauqulin's, I don't remember.

Later, the laugh was on Nick when he decided to visit Dikom, arrogantly ignoring all advice not to travel as the locals were giving a spot of trouble, as they did now and again.  He arrived OK but on the way home, I recall that it was at Chubwa, he was unsuccessful in trying to make it through a barricade across the road and was duffed up by an angry mob before being rescued by the police.

Nick refused to make any attempt at learning the language too which 
wouldn't have helped. In any attempt to make himself understood, he 
simply shouted louder !

Later I was posted to Panitola as the Jokai's acting scientific officer 
whilst Nicky McNeil was on home leave. Nick's office was in the 
scientific department and his bungalow was close to my own. This, 
inevitably, led to mischief.  Molly McNeil's parrot had temporarily 
become my responsibility.  We thought he should learn a few new words. And being an intelligent bird, he did. I only hope he didn't continue to shriek 'f... off, Molly' on her return from Ireland.

There is no doubt that for all Nick's good points - and there were many 
- an underlying streak of arrogance sometimes emerged.  We both kept horses and they were stabled close to the clubhouse at Panitola. One sunny afternoon, at full tilt, he galloped right across the cricket 
ground and Nick Nicholson, a keen cricketer, went ballistic which was 
unusual for him. Barham's response did little to defuse the situation 
"can't think what all the bloody fuss is about .... bloody stupid game 
anyway", or words to that effect!

I recall occasionally paging through the odd glossy magazine with him, 
not that they often came one's way in Assam, and picking out which 
pretty girl we fancied most. And we often chose the same one. A few 
years later he agreed to be my Best Man at my wedding. Well, it gave me an opportunity to gloat. Later, in 1968, he became godfather to our 
first child. And my wife, Cilla, and I have kept in close touch with him 
over all these intervening years.

I shall miss him. And so will many others. He was a man with enormous energy, great determination, courage and strong opinions. A loyal friend now gone, as have so many other good men from those far off Assam days. 
May he rest in peace.


November 7, 2016
Vic Pearson tells us :
Alan Morris
Sorry to advise that Alan Morris passed away on Nov 5th. aged 88. His time in tea was with Williamson Magor. He is survived by his wife Julie and daughter.
We send our condolences to his widow Julie and his daughter
Dec 23, 2016
Below is a message received from Julie Morris:

Dear Friends,

My family and I thank you for your support and prayers and it seems a year has gone by since my dear husband passed away. He was my sole mate and a guru. I love him dearly and will always miss him.

Alan is missed by his son Robert, wife Evelyn and grandsons - Stefan, David and Liam. His daughter Carolyn, husband John and John's children - Lachlan & Mikayla. He shall always be remembered with Love and affection.

Alan has had a very interesting life as a young boy. First worked in a cycle shop while still at school. He then decided to join the Airforce in lndia - dropping air-supplies in troublesome times while in Delhi and Calcutta. When he left the Airforce, he did surveying in England for a short time but his desire was to return to lndia.

Alan and a couple of his mates joined the tea plantations in India where he overcame obstacles in-spite of not being able to communicate with the locals. He stayed on for many years, married and had two children. I also was made aware by the locals that he was a keen fishermar. Later on, Alan decided on going to Tea Plantations in New Guinea but when they got their independence, we had to move to Perth. Jobwise, it was difficult to find work, he worked at Solo Drinks and later joined the WA Uni as a Lab Assistant, which he enjoyed for many years.

On retirement, he turned his hand to woodwork, he surprised us with the lovely handiwork he produced....to perfection!

Unfortunately illness took over...

He loved his circle of family and friends, he was a kind, gentleman and will always be remembered as such.



 October 23, 2016

George Richmond

'George Richmond, ex Scottish Assam,Macneill & Barry and Macneil & Magor, passed away in Shillong after a brief illness at the age of 79. George came from a tea family, his father Late T.S.Richmond was also a planter with the Assam Company. George's spell in tea was rather brief as he had taken early retirement in 1982 after joining tea in 1964. His first estate was Heelika with late Oliver Carruthers and after a brief spell at Pahargoomiah in the Dooars, spent most of his time in Assam finally retiring from Dinjan in 1982.
After retirement George was active in public life and was involved in many activities of his home town Shillong. He was the President of the Assam Bhorelli Anglers Association for many years and also President of the past pupils association of his old school St. Edmund's,  where he did a fabulous job in uniting the different units. Always a forthright person who called a spade a spade, he was widely respected and very popular. George loved the outdoors and especially angling and probably spent more time in the outdoors than at home.
He leaves behind his wife Diana( who also had a tea background as her father was late E.P.Lumley Ellis of Assam Company.), his son Robert and daughters Heather and Hazel, all married and happily settled.'

Editor Koi Hai

September 13, 2016
Susan Pirie 

Jimmie Bain tells us that Susan Pirie has died

 Those of us who remember Susan Pirie will be sad to hear she passed away on the 8th of this month., she was 99 years old. she was the widow of Doug , a James Finlay planter who served on various Assam estates.

The funeral will be held in Cullen on the 15th of September.  We send our condolences to her family.

August 25, 2016

Roy Church
John Thyne tells us
Roy Church died on August 21 2016
There are probably many readers who do not know but would like to be informed, that, sadly,  Roy Church died on Saturday, 21st August 2016. He had been ill with Parkinson’s disease and in some discomfort for a few years.
Roy joined the Jokai (Assam) Tea Co. and landed at Lillabarrie Airport, North Lakhimpur, in February 1960 along with Mick Garnett. He did a year on Joyhing T.E. and then  moved to Jamirah T.E. right on the banks of the Bhramaputra below Dibrugarh. It was here that he developed his enthusiasm for fishing, boating and ‘shikar' on the rivers of Assam. Later he was on Hukanpukri T.E., Tinsukia, which allowed him to explore the rivers of that district too. He was not long in Assam but had become well known for his dogged fishing trips to famous rivers like the Manas and Subansiri and when he returned to England enjoyed taking others on trips to the rivers he had got to know so well. There are many who will remember him with nostalgia and we wish Eileen and his family our condolences.
July 30, 2016
David T Somerville

Friday 5th August at 2.40.p.m. at  Putney Vale Crematorium followed by refreshments at The Dukes Head, 8 Lower Richmond Road, Putney.

We will be advising Chelsea Funeral Directors on Monday of a charity for donations for anyone who prefers donations to flowers.
July 24, 2016
David Somerville
My name is Carolyn - my three sons and I are the adopted family for David.
It is with great and sad regret I am informing you that David passed away yesterday in the Chelsea and Westminster hospital, London after being in Intensive care with severe double pneumonia.  We are all greatly shocked at this sudden event as David has always been a very fit and active man.
I have obtained your email address from David's address book and thought you would like to know of this tragedy.
At this point it is early days for any funeral arrangements etc. to be planned. However if you would like to be notified of the funeral arrangements or any further information please feel free to contact me by e-mail.
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Thank you.
Carolyn Barton-Hines.
May 15 2016
Manzurul Haque tells us 
M S Huda

"We are grieved to inform that one of the senior most Bangladeshi Tea Planter, Mr. M. S. Huda, has died at 6 AM Bangladesh Time on this morning, 15th May, 2016.

Mr. M. S. Huda, joined with the Duncan Brothers in 1962. He was appointed from UK. Mr. Huda was retired from Tea in 1985 and thereafter was moved to the sister concern, United Insurance. He was 84 years old.

Mr. Huda, will be buried at his ancestors home at Shahajadpur, Pabna.

After emergence of Bangladesh, Mr. Huda was more like a Flag Carrier of Duncan Brothers Bangladesh. Mr. and Mrs. Huda had immense contribution in grooming-up new generation of Planters in post liberation Bangladesh.

He was a thorough gentleman and was a pleasant personality. He is survived by his wife, one son, one daughter, host of relations, Planters and friends.    

May 5 2016
Ramanuj  Dasgupta
Jasbir S. Randhawa tells us :

I am most sorry to inform you that Ramanuj Dasgupta passed away during his afternoon siesta at his tea estate bungalow in Assam, around 3.00 pm today (05.05.2016), after an apparent heart attack.

Ramanuj was a General Manager with McLeod Russell, based in Bordubi Tea Estate, Doom Dooma, Upper Assam.

Ramanuj Dasgupta was the son-in-law of late Badal Das Gupta (ex-Warrens, and several other tea companies).

The latest info that I have, is that the funeral will take place at Doom Dooma tomorrow afternoon (06.05.2016), once Ramanuj and Sarita's daughter and son-in-law land in Dibrugarh, Assam from Pune.
April 28 2016 

Shena Pirie 
Margaretha Simpson tells us of the passing of  Shena Pirie widow of Hamish Pirie who worked for Williamson & Magor in the 50's, 60's and 70's - Shena joining him in 1964.
Announcement from the Press & Journal, Aberdeen -
Peacefully in the loving care of her family and staff at Glen O'Dee Hospital on Sunday, April 24, 2016, Shena Pirie (nee Mackie), of Inchmarlo, Banchory, formerly of Beechhill Gardens, Airyhall. Very deeply loved and sorely missed. Service in Baldarroch Crematorium, Crathes, on Tuesday, May 3, at 11.30am, to which all friends are respectfully invited. Family flowers only please, but donations, if desired, at the crematorium to Friends of Glen O'Dee Hospital.
April 27 2016

 Sanjeev Malthans      

Over a wide gap of time by Deepak Rikhye

Sanjeev Malhans and her husband, Billy, were on the tea gardens of Assam, with the Williamson Magor Group of companies. They later shifted to Shimla which henceforth became home. Billy is an artist with remarkable flair. His sketches of Shimla’s heritage buildings are reminiscent  of  images from David Copperfield or Wuthering Heights. Each sketch is evocative of a past chapter in Shimla’s history. From their time in Assam’s tea gardens, including  one named, Rupajuli, Billy had also painted a vivid picture of a woman carrying a basket of green tea leaf. That is a sight which is the quintessence of a scene on a tea estate.

Sanjeev, Billy’s wife, of course supported Billy’s talent and with both of them sharing  their thoughts and observations of Shimla, the results on all Billy’s work has been superb. They live in an idyllic  century old house, Aira Holme, which is a wonderful amalgam of Shimla’s heritage. The approach is part of a forested area which Billy and Sanjeev maintain; the compound with its miniature forest and flowers, all imaginatively planted  by Sanjeev, is evocative of one more paradise hidden in Shimla. Sanjeev’s experience from her days at the  tea estates, enhanced the character of Aira Holme. Winter season flowers welcomed anyone visiting this lovely location. Guests visiting for a few days would often stay on, thus extending a visit.  

Aira Holme will greatly miss its omnipresent resident. Sanjeev Malhans passed away today, all of a sudden. She took ill at Aira Holme and was taken to Chandigarh. The specialized care and intensive treatment did not revive Sanjeev.  Billy and  two daughters, with Aira Holme, will find it difficult to grapple with Sanjeev’s absence.

She lived life with enthusiasm and never hesitated to advise or be of help to her friends. She was a pillar of strength to her family and inspired people with her liveliest sense of life. That was what made her so very likeable. That was why as a person Sanjeev was so rare. Shimla will miss her because over the decades her association with the hill station will be remembered by many residents.  Her love for this locale has been,  “ over a wide gap of time;”  words which only Shakespeare could have expressed, if one must  measure  a period of time.

April 22 2016
Pat Kent

Sadly we have to announce the passing of Pat Kent, widow of John Kent, and sister of David Kincaid at her home in Islay in Scotland this morning
April 11 2016

John Parks

John Parks, of the Jorehaut company, died on Tuesday (5th).  John left tea in about 62 or 63 and was Manager at Rungagora.  A family obituary will appear shortly.

A Graveside funeral will take place at  Fonab cemetery in Pitlochry on Thursday April 14th

March 6 2016

Aloka Kar (1935-2016)
This is to share that my mother Aloka Kar passed away on the 25th of February 2016.

Mama joined the tea community in June 1959 after she married Harry (Arindam ) Kar.

After Daddy's retirement in 1982 she lived in Kolkata but there was always a sparkle in her eyes when discussing 'Life in tea' which she truly cherished. 

Her most memorable times were in the North Bank at Joyhing. 

My wife Devika and me were fortunate enough to travel to Joyhing  (Koilamari) earlier this week and immerse her ashes in the Ranga Nadi that flows between Joyhing Tea Estate  and Dejoo Estate and do believe she will now be at eternal rest, being  among the familiar and much loved forests, rivers and Dafla hills that had won for themselves a special place in her heart as 'home' and now will stay with her  in the sands of time forever. 

I am extremely fortunate to have been able to make this final journey of hers a reality and it would have not been possible without the kind help and support extended by Uncle Raj Berry, now director, MK Tea and also Mr Digvijay Bhandari, General Manager, Koilamari TE and Mrs Nina Bhandari, who were most wonderful hosts when my wife Devika and I visited for this purpose.  Both of them made us so comfortable and at ease while facilitating our visit to the places we held so dear as a family growing up in Joyhing (Koilamari.) ..the river bed to immerse her ashes, the hanging bridge she loved to visit to stare out at the river, our old bungalows, meetings with old staff members who were extremely fond of my mother and the view of the Sleeping Dafla Hills from the Bungalow. Thank you.. true planters in spirit and deed.  

She is survived by Harry , Reema (daughter ) and Ratool (son).
Those who may want to get on touch can contact on :
-          avrajitkar@yahoo.co.uk
-          Mobile Phone : Harry  (Arindam) Kar (+919903307676)
-          Mobile Phone : Ratool (Avrajit ) (+919830041189)             

April 7 2016

John Twiss

Sadly the editor has just learned of the death of our old friend John Twiss in Nagaland to his family we extend our sincere comdolences