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Sir Ivar Iain Colquhoun of Luss, 8th Bt.

b. 4 January 1916. d. 31 January 2008

THE 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 life:

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.

After 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.

Rossdhu 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 is assured.

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.

Lady 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.

He is 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).

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