community of Luss will come together tomorrow (Friday) for
the funeral of Sir Ivar Colquhoun, who died last Thursday at
the age of 92. The following is an account of his remarkable
It is with
sadness that we note the death of Clan Chief Sir Ivar
Colquhoun of Luss on January 31. He died peacefully at home
at Camstraddan on his beloved Loch Lomondside just outside
the village of Luss.
Sir Ivar –
the 30th Chief of Luss and 32nd of Colquhoun — was the
longest serving Clan Chief of Colquhoun, having succeeded to
the title almost 60 years ago in November 1948. With his
death, the last of the great postwar generation of
landowning Scottish clan chiefs – familiar names such as
Cameron of Lochiel, Fraser of Lovat, the Dukes of Atholl and
Montrose – has come to an end.
Sir Ivar was
born on January 4 1916, the eldest of five children of Sir
Iain Colquhoun. He was educated at Eton, and served during
the war as an officer in the Kings Company, Grenadier
Guards, mainly in the North African desert. He married
Kathleen Duncan in 1943 and settled the family at
Camstradden, by Luss. His eldest son, Torquhil, was born in
1944, followed by Iona (subsequently the Duchess of Argyll)
in 1945 and Malcolm, who succeeds as Clan Chief, in 1947.
succeeding to the title, Sir Ivar Colquhoun took over the
hereditary duties associated with his position, becoming a
JP in 1951 and Deputy Lieutenant of the County of
Dunbartonshire in 1952. The legacy he had been left by his
father, which in those days extended to some 70,000 acres on
the west side of Loch Lomond, was not in good shape
(business matters had never been Sir Iain’s forte) and so he
devoted his energies to restoring the fortunes of the Luss
Estate, which he had initially been advised to sell.
He lived at
the family mansion of Rossdhu until 1972, when economic
reality meant that large houses such as this were no longer
viable, and moved back to Camstradden where he had embarked
on married life almost 30 years before.
eventually became the world famous Loch Lomond Golf Club;
however, it is still in the ownership of the Luss Estate,
and its future as a focal point for Clan Colquhoun members
Sir Ivar had
a great interest in – and considerable knowledge of – Clan
and genealogical matters, although in his old age he had
delegated many of his duties, including those as Chieftain
of Luss Games, to his son Malcolm (his elder son Torquhil
having tragically died in 1963).
He served for
many years between the 1950s and 1970s as chairman of the
British Sailors’ Society, a charity dear to his heart; he
was a keen sailor himself and knew and loved the inlets and
passages around the western isles as well as any man alive.
He was a countryman through and through, never happier than
when out with his gun, or in his garden, or inspecting one
of the forestry schemes that he assiduously cultivated on
the Luss Estate.
Colquhoun died in April 2007 on their 64th wedding
anniversary, and Sir Ivar lived out the rest of his days at
Camstradden, becoming ill last August with a recurrence of a
cancer problem from many years before. Although he kept
himself largely to himself, he was a familiar figure around
Helensburgh with his dogs and brightly coloured cars; he was
a generous host, a knowledgeable and witty companion to his
many friends, and deserves to be remembered for having
rescued and replenished his threadbare inheritance and, in
so doing, preserving the ancestral lands of Clan Colquhoun
for posterity – a considerable achievement, and one of which
he was enormously proud.
succeeded in the baronetcy by his surviving son Malcolm (60)
who is married to Katharine. They have three children,
Patrick (27), Fergus (16) and Georgina (15).