Duncan Haws : BCal Sales Director and Deputy Chairman of Blue Sky
Duncan passed away peacefully on 2nd August 2021, aged 99. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues.

Duncan's career sat alongside his lifelong interest in shipping. He published over 50 specialist maritime books and he had an article published about his hobby in the BCal newspaper.

Service details

Duncan's service was a private one and was held on 2nd September 2021 near the family home in Hampshire.

Please, any donations in Duncan's memory to the RNLI (Lifeboats)

Photo: Duncan on the right, with Alastair Pugh & Adam Thomson

Duncan's funeral notice here 
Duncan Remembered

From Rohan Alce
I remember Duncan well. An interesting guy with an incredible knowledge of merchant ships and author of a number of books on the subject. RIP.

From Carolyn Turrell
Remember being his Secretary for few days when Norma away. He was very tolerant! Remember going to his house for social gathering, where his love of shipping was very evident. RIP

From Charles Powell
I knew Duncan well when he was Sales Director and travelled with him several times around the network.  He was always a delightful companion and always entertaining with his knowledge of ships. One morning we were flying into Lagos on northerly winds. On the last few miles of sea below us hundreds of ships were anchored. Duncan could scarcely be restrained by what he later said was his finest view of ships ever.

But Duncan will, of course, be remembered for all his work in leading the massive sales efforts as we battled to recover from the devastating effects of the simultaneous collapse of both transatlantic and package tour markets in 1974. As part of that he led the Houston triumphant start up team. Previously he had been MD of Blue Sky Holidays, very much a survivor of that same crisis. A great colleague who served the company very well.

From Liz Rogers : RIP Duncan

From Phil Bowell
I knew Duncan in a limited capacity in my early years of BCAL, when he was Sales Director. He used to bring senior members of the trade on visits to the Flight Kitchen before taking them to the board room for lunch. Later I came across him when he would attend union meetings with the board as an independent member and I must say I found him a warm and balanced individual. He would always focus on the importance of the whole team in BCAL and how important our product was to him in doing his job. He always focused on the importance of the front line staff to product delivery and the difference it made over other carriers.

From Tony Cocklin
Sad news. I certainly remember Duncan. He was a well known travel industry figure before coming into the BCAL group as MD of Blue Sky Holidays. Duncan was later brought into BCAL itself as Sales Director. Perhaps most notably, he was posted to Texas to head the team preparing the ground for the highly-successful  launch of Houston services. Apart from his professional expertise and experience, Duncan was always extremely good company and fun to be with. Sad though his passing is, I'm sure we'll all be grateful that he lived to a ripe old age.

From Trevor Warburton: Sad…a true professional and gentleman

From David Cooper
RIP Duncan. I remember Duncan as a happy, interested & enthusiastic Sales Director. I had various visits from him when I was on the ’front line’ in West Africa & Europe as a Country Manager. He was always very supportive & good with the staff. I remember that he also enjoyed talking about Naval & Commercial Ships about which he knew a lot!

From David Williams
I hadn’t been long at BCAL when I was promoted to commercial administration working for John Elston; my office in Terrapin One   was three doors up from Duncan and the other directors. I was in his office at least daily I admired this man dearly. He was "The Sales Director", one of the senior people in BCAL, but he always had time for you. He was very knowledgeable but always wanted to listen what you had to say. He was very supportive and kind to me; I will always be grateful and thankful for all he taught me. RIP Sir. My condolences to the family.

From Ma Dolors Vila Casellas: Very sorry to hear the sad news about Duncan. My condolences to his family. RIP Duncan

From Sally Ann Beischer
When I first joined the B.CAL Sales Department Duncan was the Sales Director and we worked in the Commercial Suite of Terrapin One at Gatwick. I used to work for him when Jean was away. In 1976 I went with him on a Sales Director’s Visit to Tripoli, a trip never to be forgotten! Duncan was, quite literally, a “Human Dynamo” and such fun. My thoughts are with Jean and the rest of the family - he was a lovely man. Duncan - RIP

From George Banks
So sad to hear of Duncan's passing. I remember him with BCAL and travelling back with him from Abidjan on a UTA flight via Niamey to Paris after the opening of the BCAL route. I didn’t know him well but he was interested and supportive in what BCAL catering was doing and how we were planning the catering on this important route to support the marketing initiative. RIP Duncan.

From Jacqueline Dillman
I remember Duncan very well, at the time he came to Tunisia as Sales Director. And 99 years that’s amazing. RIP

From Ron Lewis
When I met Trevor Boud, I showed him a picture of the BCal board taken in the late 70's. We noted that we were the only survivors, believing that Duncan must have passed. Now we know that we were mistaken at that time!  Perhaps it wasn't surprising as we now know that he lived to the great age of 99! having known Duncan from BCal board days, I also knew him from my time as a director of Blue Sky Holidays. As others have testified he was a kindly and friendly man. His knowledge of things nautical was indeed immense and gave him great pleasure. He wrote the history of many shipping lines.

My wife Ann reminded me that when she worked as a nurse in casualty at East Grinstead Hospital she had to do a daily dressing for Duncan. She commented that he was a very friendly person though he probably didn't find the encounters pleasurable! I have so many happy memories of working with Duncan.

From Derek Russell
During my time in sales in the late 70’s I worked for Duncan Haws as his assistant, when I would be called into his office to be shown - with great enthusiasm - his latest purchase of a maritime publication! As I remember his office was adorned, with pictures of shipping.

If you would like to leave a message in remembrance please drop me a line anytime at  BCalatribute@outlook.com

Condolences have also been extended by:

Dave Thaxter, Judi Beasley, Tina Harvey, Tricia Riley, Sally Simmonds, Maria Shaw, Linda Trettin, Lindsay Smith, Richard Heywood, Biddi Geoghegan, Alan Reeves, Sylvia Murphy, Pippa Barett, Nick Ridley, Liz Tiley, John R Potter, Jim Will, Marion Clamp, Malcolm McCluskey, Peter Durran, Neil Warringer, Dave Surry, Marie Hogbin, Graham Waters, Kerry Coles, Stephen Saar, Pat Cresswell, Helena Burgoyne, Janet Willis, Fee Flee, Adrian Evans, Dudley Rice, Sheila Williams Tyson, Liz Rogers, Jenny Thomas, Jennifer Grail, Steve Taylor, Christine Jegu, Riaz Butt, Kris Massie,

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British Caledonian - A Tribute