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A Century of Tradition

William Steel


Willy followed his brother Arthur into the Presidency, becoming the twenty-sixth in line and the twenty-second holder of the position. Yet another "buddie", he was educated at the Paisley Grammar School and worked in the Anchor Mills' dye-works in his hometown before coming to Brazil with the family in 1923. Willy was employed by several different firms in Sao Paulo until he settled in the Frigorífico Anglo, remaining from 1930 until his retiral in 1971 with his great concern which has always been so generous in attending to the Society’s requests for mutton and haggis.

During most of this time he was with the Blue Star shipping section and it was the contacts his job provided, together with his sporting interests and his Masonic work, which made him so knowledgeable about the members of the colony and, ipso facto, so very useful as a Committee member when arranging a seating plan for a Banquet or other such occasion.

His value in this connection and with the other unspectacular but essential jobs which Willy was always prepared to undertake, uncomplainingly and efficiently, such as collecting subscriptions, controlling the issue of the whisky at our parties, door control at our different functions and so on, is testified to by the fact that he was elected to office on no less than twenty occasions, sixteen of them consecutive. This is an enviable record and it 1974 Willy was made an Honorary member in recognition of all the work he did for the Society.

Willy makes his first appearance in the Society's records as being present at the AGM. on 19th February 1929. He joined the Committee in 1954 and at his first meeting suggested that a badge and chain of office be acquired for the Society's President. It took until the Jubilee year, twenty year later, for this proposal to be finally adopted and the insignia acquired! The following year Willy became Vice-President and then President in 1956, serving ex-oficio on the Committee in 1957.

Then, after a five-year interval, Willy came back on the Committee in 1962 and served as a committeeman until his death in May of 1979.

He was noted among his peers for his ability to put his many contacts to good use for the Society's benefit wren the time came to replace our liquid stocks, or when gifts of different products or articles were required for picnics, raffles and the rest.

A widower for some years, when not at one of his usual places in the SPAC pavilion or at the bowling green, he was sure to be found either enjoying his family's company at Campos do Jordão or in looking after his two little grand-daughters at the swimming pool or seeing them home from school.

It is said that no-one is indispensable, but no-one will be harder to replace as a Committee member or friend than WiIly Steel.

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