David Kincaid

David Kincaid 

Year of birth 1933

Living in Cranleigh, Surrey.

Joined the Jorehaut Tea Company in January, 1960 as Assistant Sudder Office Manager/Accountant under Bill Gawthrop, Superintendent.  On arrival Bill advised me that London Office had directed that my first task was to investigate losses on one particular garden and to submit a report as soon as possible.  Up to that time the only tea estates I had seen were in Malaya so I could hardly claim to be experienced in the industry.

Shortly after completion of investigative assignment, Peter Mertling, Sudder Office Manager, left and I took over his position.

Left the company towards the end of 1966 when India devalued the rupee by 36%.

Generally, it has been a pleasure to keep in touch with so many old friends long after they retired. 

Interesting incidents

  • Having completed 2.5 years in Singapore, I wrote to James Warren enquiring if they had any vacancies there or in Malaya.  I was invited for interview but not until I arrived was I told they did not have any vacancies but they had an appointment in India that would suit me.  Not a good start!  It was a Friday afternoon and after a brief outline by a James Warren staff member I was told I needed to be interviewed by the MD and we had to hurry because he leaves early on a Friday.  The MD looked me up and down and said ‘Tell me old boy, do you play polo?  It seemed this job depended upon it so I quickly stated I did not but was keen to learn.  The response was ‘Excellent, can you go next week?’  I never did play polo!  
  • On one of my overnight audit visits to Deepling (Marion and Norman Smith, who became close friends), the bearer took my shoes to clean and came to me much later to say he was unable to get any shine on them.  They were my only, very expensive, suede shoes!
  • Having gone to India with 1 daughter, 2 more were born at the Company Hospital at Cinnamara.  I was sitting in the club bar one evening with Arthur Chesshire discussing Kim’s slight delay in giving birth when Arthur said ‘Do you have any Scotch at home?’  When I replied in the affirmative he told me to go and get it ready and meanwhile he would do a caesarean and then we could both share a whisky.  I tried desperately to remember how many drinks we had consumed in the bar before the op but decided that dear old Arthur (and of course Daphne) would not let us down.  They were very dear friends right up to their passing.
  • One of the first couples we met were Christine and David Air and we are still in close contact with David who now lives in Florida.  Sadly, Christine died so young after a long illness.  Being so close we do have amusing/embarrassing incidents we could repeat but we will spare David any blushes at this stage.
  • Still fresh in my mind was meeting John Kent (one of the wild bachelors) and him meeting my sister who had decided to visit us for a few weeks.  After a very short interval they sat up one night, brought us our early morning tea and promptly announced they were getting engaged.  I was so taken aback I shot up in bed and tea was liberally spread throughout.  I could not have been more wrong with my opinion of John as he turned out to be the kindest and loving partner for my sister right to the end.