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A Century of Tradition

Graham Wallis


Graham Wallis was born in June 1943 in Edinburgh, and after Edinburgh Academy graduated BSc from Edinburgh University. He then joined Christian Salvesen and was posted to Peru, followed by Canada where he managed their Canadian eastern seaboard fisheries operation. After Canada he returned to Scotland, married Eileen and moved to Kent in 1973 after their first son, Ian, was born. Their second son, Alastair, like the whole family, was born in Edinburgh, just before they were posted to Brazil with McCorquodale’s to the Interprint operation in Sao Paulo. After three years, Graham decided to start up his own consultancy business, Datamark, in 1982. Eileen worked at Associação Alumini for several years, then trained professionals in giving presentations.

Graham became Chairman of St Paul’s PTA, was on the school board for several years, and President of the St Andrews Society from 1994 to 1996, the first post war President to take on the Society for three consecutive years.

One of his first acts was to improve communication with members by faxing and phoning and, somewhat controversially, to rename the Ladies’ Night the Caledonian Ball, with 270 guests taking part and Iain MacPhail’s Country Dance Band specially flown out from Scotland. That year both Rio and Montevideo were involved, Graham & Eileen went to 3 Caledonian Balls, 3 weekends running. This must be a record! The year was a resounding success with 200 guests at the St Andrews Day Celebration and 180 at the Burns Supper. The Order of The Night which helped keep Colin Pritchard, the MC, on track became a must.

Also, during his time as President, he permanently linked the Society to Scotland by contributing to Scotland’s newest museum. At the entrance to the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh there is engraved on the wall at the entrance “The St Andrew Society of the State of Sao Paulo”. At this time, he also organized a contribution to the Lord Lyon’s Chain and officially set up the Society’s armorial bearings - the Coat of Arms, which appears on all St Andrews documents - with the saying “Non Multa Sed Multum” – “not many but much”, a reference to the few remaining Scots in São Paulo, who achieve so much dispersing Scottish culture and raising funds for charity. Graham has won the Quaich 3 times in years ending with a three – 1993, 2003 and 2013, but doubts 2023 is likely!

In 2004 Graham contacted Lochcarron Mill, Galashiels to agree the design of a tartan for the Society’s exclusive use.  The first batch of tartan was used to produce ties and sashes and later the kilts for the SASPB.”

Graham has said he’ll never retire and is inventing new computer software international use on a constant basis. He has been on the board of Cultura Inglesa for several years and in 2019 Datamark celebrated 37 years.

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