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A Century of Tradition

Keith Maitland Rae


Keith Maitland Rae was born in Steyning, Sussex on 20 September 1925. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Loretto after which he joined the RAF where he served from 1944 to 1947. He then studied for a B Com at Edinburgh University.

After graduating, he joined J & P Coats, starting in sales in Scotland. In fact, he and Norman Munro, President in 1985, joined on the same day! Keith then worked in Brazil and Thailand. He joined the Hobart Manufacturing Company in 1959 as Sales Manager for Brazil, later becoming Vice President of the Brazilian subsidiary. In 1984 Hobart, Brazil was taken over by SEMCO, but he was retained as a Consultant up to his untimely death in 1986.

His greatest wish was fulfilled when he was invited to become President in 1986. He was so proud to have all his family present at the 1986 Burns Supper and later at the St Andrews Picnic.

Keith always saw the best side in people, making the most of their good qualities. He was a man of integrity, extremely fair and just and his counsel and judgement were highly respected. Not only was he a wonderful father to his boys but he considered himself their friend as well. When talking of friendship, Steven, his second son, always used the old saying, “a friend in need is a friend indeed” and when his father died, he commented, “I have lost my best friend”. Sadly, he died in July of 1986 and was unable to complete his full term of office.

Keith was a very keen fisherman and for years his family was reminded of his prowess as a boy of “tickling a trout”, finally catching it but later letting it go free after their long encounter. In 1968, while visiting Scotland, he returned to many of his childhood haunts with his wife and three sons. At the self-same pool he showed his mastery of “tickling a trout”, landing it and releasing it. The children always wondered if it could have been the same trout he had befriended as a boy!

In 1986 the World Cup was in Mexico with Alex Ferguson as coach. Denmark and Germany beat Scotland, but we drew with Uruguay.

Although Keith happened to be born in England, his father, a Scot, saw to it that he was brought up and educated in Scotland where he, in fact, spent the first 25 years of his life. He had a great love for Brazil, but Scotland was always his “first love”. He made a point of taking his family there regularly, thus instilling in them the deep roots he felt so strongly for his beloved homeland. It has undoubtedly had the desired effect on them all.

Keith was married to Jean Maud Anderson Rae (now Girardeau) and had 3 sons, Giles, born in Scotland, Steven, born in Thailand and John born in Brazil.

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