Obituary: Howard Paterson (Pat), 94

Howard Paterson promoted Scotland across the world. Picture: comp
Howard Paterson promoted Scotland across the world. Picture: comp
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Howard Paterson, one of the driving forces behind a range of tourism initiatives that benefited the Lothians and Scotland, has died in West Linton at the age of 94.

During his time with the Scottish Tourist Board (STB), Mr Paterson, known as Pat, introduced several successful new marketing projects.

Another of his achievements was organising Trekking Comes to Town in 1962. It was the first pony show to be held at Waverley Market. One of the highlights of the event was said to be the Duke of Atholl taking the salute on the steps of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Willy Macleod worked with Pat at the STB, and said: “Pat was a respected figure throughout STB and very knowledgeable about tourism and had the vision to create the international gathering of the clans. There was a reunion of former STB colleagues last month and Pat was in sparkling form – spot-on with his stories and his memory.”

Pat was born in Edinburgh and attended Daniel Stewart’s College before enrolling at Edinburgh College of Art.

He joined the Royal Artillery in the first year of the Second World War but after a motorbike accident was sent to recover at Harewood House, where he met his late wife Isabelle.

He remained in the army until 1949 and was a member of the TA until 1970.

His first job was personnel officer at Jute Industries in Dundee and then secretary (1951–66) to the Scottish Industries Development Trust.

In 1966 he was appointed a senior director of the STB where he was involved in broadening tourism in Scotland. He stayed with the organisation until 1981, visiting Canada and the United States, encouraging Scots abroad to visit their native land. He became chairman in 1984 of Taste Scotland. One of his lifelong passions was to make trekking and horse-riding available throughout the Scottish countryside.

With Paterson’s guidance The Trekking and Riding Society of Scotland grew considerably.

Susan Howard of the society says: “Pat gave 50 years of support and encouragement to equestrian tourism in Scotland and without him and his fellow pioneers in the early days of pony trekking, the industry would not have developed as well as it has.”

After serving as chairman, Paterson was appointed honorary president.

Pat is survived by his son Colin, grand-children and great-grand-children.

Colin said his father had “an abiding love of nature and Scotland,” and was a fine artist and illustrator, contributing drawings to The Scotsman and The Scots Magazine over the years.

Pat was active up until weeks before he died, driving around West Linton. He also had an electric scooter.