Douglas Tocher

Douglas Tocher (1931-2023)

Written by his daughter - Catherine Watson

Dad passed away on 18 February 2023 peacefully at home after a very quick decline in health.  In his final days he had a visit from Graham and Catherine & Keith were his constant daily visitors.

Douglas Tocher was born on 9 February 1931 at The Cottage, Pitfancy Farm, Forgue, Near Huntly, Aberdeenshire.  He was the seventh and youngest child of James & Elizabeth Tocher and grew up on the family farm with his siblings: Sandy, James, John, Betty, Jean and Mabel.  After leaving the Gordon Schools in Huntly, in November 1946 Douglas began a 5 year apprenticeship at William McKinnon & Co Ltd in Aberdeen to become a Mechanical Engineer.  Apprenticeship completed, he left for Assam, India in November 1951 to become a Tea Planter and worked for Octavius Steele.  This involved spells at Golaghat, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Digboi, Gauhati, Doom Dooma, Budlapar & Rajgarali.  In Assam, he enjoyed the life of a batchelor with the other Tea Planters, mostly coming from the North East of Scotland and forming an ex-pat community which to this day has an ageing membership in Aberdeen & Deeside.

Douglas’ batchelor life was to end in the summer of 1960 where back in the North East on leave, he met, fell in love, got engaged and married his beloved Pat.  It was a whirlwind romance which lasted more than 54 years until Pat’s passing in 2014.  While in Assam, in 1961 Catherine was born followed by Graham in 1964.  Family complete, they spent many happy years in India, Douglas finally leaving after 25 years to return to Aberdeen. 

He spent a short time selling life insurance, eventually buying the Queen’s Road Café (or the Quarry Shop) and the Vale Papershop, both businesses being run by Douglas & Pat, however, running at a loss, Douglas sold up and decided to relocate to Los Boliches in the Costa del Sol, Spain with Graham joining them.  There they ran the Brigg Bar for many years ultimately selling up to enjoy retirement.  And this they did with family visiting regularly for holidays in the sun.  After Pat’s passing, Douglas was forever being persuaded to come back home to the UK to be closer to family but he steadfastly insisted on remaining in Spain…until the world shut down due to the global pandemic. 

By November 2020 he was ready to come home and he settled in Cults, Aberdeen living close by to Catherine & Keith, who were his daily visitors with 3 grandchildren also able to pop in for visits regularly.  He lived happily in Cults for just over 2 years being visited by Graham, June, grandchildren and great granddaughters traveling from Warrington to see him.  He was truly happy living in Cults with ex-planter Jimmie Bain as his neighbour, Bob Wood across the road, Harry Jamieson & Denny Sharp living close by in Deeside, it felt like the old days in Assam!

Husband, dad, father-in-law, grandpa, great grandpa, brother, uncle & friend, Dad you will be hugely missed leaving a massive hole in our lives – the memories you leave will comfort us until we meet again, vive le bon age!