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A Century of Tradition

Richard Stevens OBE


Richard was born in 1942 in Edinburgh, schooled at The Edinburgh Academy and graduated in 1964 with a law degree from Edinburgh University, where he was commonly known as Ricki Stevens. In fact, his father, a Writer to Her Majesty`s Signet, and his father-in-law were graduates of Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art respectively, so links with the `fair` city are strong.

The `best years` were filled with Saturday mornings with St George`s girls at Cadbury`s Chocolate House on Princes Street, industrialised fishing on the Water of Leith using home-made bombs, navigating Ben Dorain, studying the beers of Rose and Jamaica Streets, climbing the seas of the Western Isles in Uncle Napier`s boat, Festival Fringeing, playing rugby, getting hoarse at Murrayfield, not to mention the delights of the Reel Club, EU Dramsoc Highland Tour and Charities Border Raids, and some studying.

Life risked becoming somewhat boring after that. However, having decided to take cotton and see the world, rather than stay in Edinburgh and take silk, life with Coats Patons (now Coats Viyella) amply compensated for this. Richard joined this Paisley originated textile group in 1964, and by way of Manchester, Glasgow, Darlington, London, Vienna, Brussels, Kinshasa, Belo Horizonte and the 25 de Março reached São Paulo in 1971 to meet Vicky whose surname, coincidentally, was also Stevens. Transferred to Britain in 1976, Richard and Vicky with their two sons, Mark, born in Edinburgh, and Jason, born in São Paulo, missed Brazil and returned in 1980, having left Coats. In São Paulo Richard was Managing Director of Delta Metal from 1980 to1984, then ran his consultancy - Markad Consultores. In 1983, daughter Nina joined the family.

Spectacular performances in Pantomime, directing and acting with the Green Room and American Strolling Players may have embellished São Paulo`s nightlife but sporting activities, other than an occasional game of bowls, golf or a plod through the `mato`, eluded Richard, probably due to his not small cigarette consumption.

Having re-joined the St Andrew Society, he served on the Committee and became Vice-President in 1985, taking over as President on Keith Rae’s untimely and sudden death. The Society, then, followed the traditional diet of events, but, now with lady members, change was strongly and, not before time, in the air.

During the `80s, having been President of the St. Andrew Society, as well as President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Brazil, Chairman of the BCCC and a Director of Cultura Inglesa, Queen Elizabeth in 1991 recognised his services to UK-Brazilian trade relations and to the community, by honouring him with an OBE.

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