Obituary: Ted Mcguire, former HM Customs and Excise official, 80

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TRIBUTES have been paid to Ted Mcguire, a former HM Customs and Excise official, who has died, aged 80.

Mr Mcguire made a lasting impression on everyone he met. He was described by many as a true gentleman, courteous, charming, kind, highly respected, amusing and interested in others.

He was born in Linlithgow in 1931, an only child. A committed Roman Catholic, he served as an altar boy at St Michael’s RC Church in Linlithgow. He was also married there, and a requiem mass was held there to celebrate his life.

In 1949, he joined the civil service, initially in the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Then followed two years’ National Service in the RAF in wireless and signals.

He returned to the civil service to work in Customs and Excise, where he remained until 1991. In 1967, his father died aged 73 and he invited his mother to live with him due to her ill health, until she died, aged 80, in 1978.

His time in Customs and Excise was initially spent monitoring the distilleries throughout Scotland. When VAT was introduced he was transferred to Edinburgh. He was responsible for the implementation, inspection and enforcement of VAT across a wide area of businesses and supervision of customs staff.

An ex-colleague and friend from customs described Ted as “an excellent colleague”, adding: “He was a reliable and loyal friend with a quiet sense of humour. When difficulties arose he was helpfully constructive. His integrity was accepted without question by everyone, which bears testimony to the high esteem in which he was held and the kind of man he was.”

Another colleague described him as “one of life’s gentlemen, loved and respected by everyone who knew him”. Due to his immaculate dress, charm and courtesy he was described as “the Beau Brummel of the senior executive coffee room”.

He met his wife, Thelma, the love of his life, in the late 1970s while skiing with the Ski Club of Great Britain. They married in 1984, and while they had no children the couple shared their passion for skiing along with other interests in travel, theatre, playing golf together and bridge.

They were representatives of the Ski Club of Great Britain, taking groups skiing in their holidays, mainly to their favourite resort, Arosa in Switzerland.

A letter received this year from an old friend of Ted’s states: “Of all the people I have met during my many skiing excursions, I think Ted is the one who stands out most clearly in my memory. He was genuinely warm and friendly, just great fun to be with. I shall never forget him.”

He celebrated his 80th birthday last April at a lunch surrounded by close friends, ex-colleagues and relatives who had flown over from Australia.

Mr Mcguire died in September last year.