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A Century of Tradition

Hugh Rough Houston 


Hugh Houston was our twenty third President in 1953, having previously served the Society as Honorary Auditor in 1938, 1941 and 1952, as Hon. Secretary in 1939, as Hon. Treasurer in 1949 and on the Committee in 1951. He was co-opted to the post of Vice-President in 1952 on the resignation of Jimmy Hogg and was elected president in the following year.

A Greenock man, Hugh was born in 1911 and educated at the local High School and Glasgow University, where he obtained a degree in accountancy - he was one of those breed of chartered accountants who took great pride in telling folk that he was a “Scottish C A”.

Hugh arrived in Brazil in 1937 to work for McAuliffe, Turquand, Young and Co. with whom he stayed until 1947, whereupon he became Vice-President and Financial Director of Johnson & Johnson which post he retained until his death in 1956.

He was a keen golfer and, as can be seen, was deeply involved in Society affairs. It was in the last days of Hugh’s Presidency that the Society eventually got around to having a Burn’s Night. It was held at SPAC with only 29 Scotsmen present (presumably so few because the 25th January is a public holiday). What the gathering lacked in numbers however, it made up for by the prodigious thirst the 29 brought to the board and they succeeded in reducing notably the large stock of whisky which had been left over from the Banquet. It is recalled that the toasts were noted chiefly for their inaudibility. Despite all this at the 1954 AGM it was strongly recommended that this be made an annual event, but no other was held until 1957.

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