January 2018
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Glen Douglas William Swire
Glen Douglas William Swire
1942 – 2017


We regret to announce the death of Glen Swire, who served as a Director of John Swire & Sons Limited from 1978 to 1998.

 

Glen was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Oxford, where he read law and was a Boxing Blue. His early career began with BP; this was followed by stints in the airline business, as a key executive with package travel pioneer Court Line Aviation. And in shipping with OCL, and as a London director of the Spanish shipping agency business, Berge y Cia. In 1978, he joined John Swire & Sons – the firm founded in 1816 by his great-great-great-grandfather, John Swire of Liverpool.

Given his background in the oil industry with BP, Glen was a natural fit to become Chairman of the North Sea offshore oil support company, Swire EPD – acquired by the group in 1979 as EPD Containers & Supply and today known as Swire Oilfield Services. He was also involved with the Mauritius trading group, Ireland Blyth Limited, as a Director of its UK parent company, Blyth, Greene, Jourdain & Co., which became a wholly owned subsidiary of JS&S in the same year. From 1992, Glen’s portfolio expanded to include a seat on the board of James Finlay and he also became more closely involved with Swire's Australian businesses, as a Director of John Swire & Sons Pty; additionally, he had oversight of JS&S charitable interests and of the London office staff.

 

Outside business, Glen's particular passion was horse racing, a sport about which he was extremely knowledgeable and in which he was involved as an owner and latterly as a steward at Brighton and at Plumpton Racecourses. Urbane and genial, Glen was a man who never lost his enthusiasm or his sense of humour in the face of considerable adversity in terms of his ongoing health issues, which led to his early retirement in 1998.

Glen's death on 3rd September, aged 75 years, followed a courageous battle with the little understood condition, Relapsing Polychondritis, and he was a founding member and tireless fund-raiser for the charity RELACS, which aims to support patients and professionals in the treatment of conditions involving large airway collapse.

Glen is survived by his wife Caroline, daughters Joanna and Claire and five grandchildren, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.

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