|Obituary: Amyas John Symington|
|Monday, 16 July 2012 10:11|
Amyas John Symington died on June 28 2012 in northern Portugal.
He had been in poor health for some time but in good spirits and had enjoyed the unstinting support of his wife Gillian and their four sons.
Amyas was born in Oporto on 28th February 1931, the third child and second son of John and Aileen Symington. His father, John, had an identical twin, Ronald, who were both well known figures in the British community in Oporto and particularly in the Port trade.
Amyas attended the Oporto British School before going to boarding school in England at Downside. In 1955 he joined the Port-shipping firm Robertson Bros. in Oporto, at that time owned by the sherry shippers Williams & Humbert, where he did his initial training. His career continued with Sandeman’s when that company took over Robertson Bros.
In 1970 the Symington family, which had long been associated with Dow’s and Warre’s, purchased Graham’s from the Graham family and this led to Amyas joining the family enterprise in 1973, working thereafter with his brothers Ian and Peter and his cousins Michael and James.
Always excellent company, Amyas was known for his sharp wit and his great love of cricket. He himself had been a useful bat in his younger days, hitting the ball in an aggressive and casual style, which wasentertaining to watch.
Like his father before him, he was a great lover of the Douro and would spend much time there with his wife, children and grandchildren.
In retirement, Amyas and Gillian built a delightful house high on a ridge above Moledo, with superb views over the sea and the Minho river, which forms the frontier between the north of Portugal and Spain.
Among the many people at his funeral in the Minho, there were no less than 50 Symingtons, 22 of whom were of his immediate family. His sons Patrick, Martin, Tim and Jamie, together with their wives and 13 children, all travelled from England for his funeral.