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A Century of Tradition

Tom Hardy


Glasgow born, Glasgow bred, Glasgow educated and with a BSc and PhD from Scotland's second oldest University, Doctor Tom, our twenty-ninth President, joined ICI in 1933 and went to Chile as Works Manager for the British chemical giant's subsidiary in Santiago some six years later. He returned to the UK at the beginning of the war where he managed different supply factories run by ICI for the Government. Back again to South America in 1916, he worked in the Argentine in Rosario, prior to coming to São Paulo in 1952 as Technical Director for ICI Brazil, remaining in this post until his retiral and return to his beloved "Glesca" in 1963.

He joined our Committee in 1954, became Vice-President in 1958, President the year after and served on the Committee again, ex-oficio in 1960 and as an elected member in 1961.

Tom and his wife Alice brought some fresh ideas to the Society from their experience in kindred organisations elsewhere and were particularly keen on whipping up more enthusiasm for our dancing, with special regard to ensuring that the reels and the rest were performed properly. It is remembered how shocked they both were when they attended perhaps their first of our practise sessions for the Ladies Night, held these days in a little back downstairs room at SPAC, and saw that the eightsome reelers were completing a full circle at the beginning and end or the dance, rather than half way round and then back again in the approved style. Up till then we had just gone the whole way round because it was “easier", but the Hardy’s were perfectionists and the taking of pains was not something which frightened them off and very soon, and in fact ever since, the St Andrew Society of the State of São Paulo has danced the Eightsome properly! The word "Country" had not been introduced into our Scottish dancing in the 50’s and reels, the highland Schottisch and the occasional petronella were as much as was essayed, but the Hardys did get that most graceful of all Scottish dances going, the Foursome Reel, and, regrettably, it is never seen nowadays. They were always very interested in the essay competition and Alice was judge, at least, in 1960.

Tom is now a widower and lives alone in his Glasgow flat where there is always a warm welcome for visitors from these parts and a chance for a blether about the old days in Sao Paulo.

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