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Leading Port figure Ian Symington passes away

Published:  19 September, 2019

Ian Symington, a leading figure in the Port trade for nearly 50 years, has passed away.

Born in Porto, Portugal in 1929, Ian was educated at the Oporto British School before going to Downside School in England. He served in the Seaforth Highlanders in Scotland.

After military service he returned to Portugal in 1949 to join his father John and his uncles Maurice and Ron in the family Port company, where he worked for his entire career.

In the two decades immediately following the Second World War, when the Port trade and the Douro vineyard region was in a parlous state, Ian played an integral part in rebuilding the trade.

Respected for his meticulous preparation, determination and negotiating skills, while also renowned for his generous hospitality and charitable work, Ian was made president of the Wine & Spirit Benevolent Society in 1983.

At the end of his presidency, the chairman of the Society, said: “I was lucky to have had the right president, someone who is regarded with so much affection by the trade."

Ian married his wife Cynthia in 1954. They had two daughters, Susie and Nicky, and a son Johnny who joined the business in 1985. His granddaughter Vicky is one of six members of the 5th generation of Symingtons who now work in the family business.