Obituary: Ian Symington

It is with deep regret that the Symington family announces the death of Ian Symington, a leading figure in the Port trade for nearly 50 years.

Ian Symington was born in Porto in 1929 and was educated at the Oporto British School before going to Downside School in England. He then joined the army and 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 Ian, together with his cousin Michael, joined later by cousin James and brothers Peter and Amyas, worked hard to rebuild sales and develop new markets.

Together they built a thriving and successful port company and in 1983, Ian was made president of the Wine & Spirit Benevolent Society - a charity for those less fortunate in the wine trade.

At the end of Ian’s presidency, the chairman of the society wrote: “I was lucky to have had the right president, someone who is regarded with so much affection by the trade”. 

Ian married Cynthia in 1954. They had two daughters, Susie and Nicky, and a son Johnny who joined the business in 1985. Ian had eight grandchildren and one great-grandson. His granddaughter Vicky is one of six members of the fifth generation of Symingtons who now work in the family business.