top of page

A Century of Tradition

Charles Robert Dow


Charlie is our second South American born President (Arthur Hunter born in London and Robert

Maclean in São Paulo), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 7 February 1928. He attended St

Andrews Scots School, which has a strong link to Leith Academy in Edinburgh. He studied at the

Facultad de Ciencias Economicos at the University of Buenos Aires, and after graduating, he

joined Deloitte, Plender, Griffiths & Co., training as an accountant. After this he worked for Otis

Elevator Co., in Argentina, Uruguay and Portugal, moving to the Sydney Ross Co., in South

America, then ITT in Latin America, Spain and in the then EEC countries. Finally, he worked with

Foseco in Brazil and Latin America and is now semi-retired, representing UK companies in Brazil.

On arriving in Brazil, Charlie remembers going with his three children, to a churrascaria, with a

buffet and a piano player. When the bill arrived, he was amazed at how low it was, only to

discover the charming tradition of children under twelve not being charged!

At the 49th Banquet at SPAC, Charlie presided. The speech “Our Native Land “was ably given by

Simpson Nisbet and The Rev. John McGuire officiated for the first time at a Banquet. The Ceilidh

in March was entitled “A Highland Voyage”, held at SPAC, and this was so popular that entrance

on the first night was restricted to “members of the Society and their ladies, plus lady Scots and

their men folk”, probably in that order!

In October the Ladies Night was held at the Mansão França, with Charlie making the speech to

the Lassies. 81 litres of Atholl brose was consumed, possibly a record? Rosemary, Charlie`s wife,

an excellent sword dancer, designed the programme cover showing a very delicate thistle, for

the 1978 Ladies Night. In 1976 the Clube Anglo Americano donated a photograph of HRH Edward

VIII when he was the Prince of Wales, dressed in full highland attire.

The theme of the St Paul’s School competition was “Famous Scots” and 61 entries were received

resulting in the usual dilemma for the judges. A special prize for initiative was awarded to Susan

Hiddleston, the only under 7-year-old who submitted an individual entry. In March, a trophy was

presented by Ian Ferguson, who was leaving Brazil. This annual trophy was for the best of three

soccer matches between the Scots and the Danes. The football team first drew with the Danes,

and again in August but the Danes took the podium winning on penalties. The “braun” element

did very well in the seven a side tournament in April, reaching the final, but was pipped at the

post by SPAC. Charlie notes in his annual report that a Lady Scots golf team did remarkably well

in the “Olimpiadas dos Imigrantes”, organized by the Municipality of São Paulo. A record crowd

turned out for the annual picnic - 700 adults and an estimated 1300 children - hard work, but to

see “so many wee ones have such a good day” was a grand sight. As for grey matter, the Society

came a proud fourth in the Brains of São Paulo run by the Round Table.

In Charlie’s year a new letter heading with the crossed Brazilian and Scottish flags was adopted,

and the annual St Andrew Day church service at St Paul’s Anglican Church was revived after a

lapse of several years. Charlie also succeeded in raising donations to charity by 51% - no mean

feat! Charlie and Rosemary, maiden name Craig, have two daughters, Nicole and Janine and 4

grandchildren who live in the UK, and a son Anthony in Madrid.

Notes from telephone conversation with Charlie Dow on 27.4.98

bottom of page