COLQUHOUN OF LUSS, Captain Sir Ivar (Iain)                                                       /back

Sir Ivar Colquhoun Soldier, businessman and land developer;
Born January 4, 1916;
Died January 31, 2008.

photo from Ivar Colquhoun of Luss, who has died aged 92, was the clan chief and baronet whose efforts led the way to Loch Lomond becoming an international golfing mecca. The Colquhoun family formed a long line of land and property developers in Dunbartonshire. Helensburgh, a planned town, owes much to Colquhoun's predecessors, while he himself took careful stewardship of his own lands in and around his beloved Loch Lomond. His interest in the development of the shores of the largest stretch of inland water in the UK was driven by both profit and conservation. For years he held out against indiscriminate development on the lochside, and the fact that today much of the west side remains relatively untouched is testament to his foresight. Not all always went well in developments. Some three decades ago the showcase twin golf course of High Road and Low Road created by Tom Weiskopf and then-partner Jay Morrish were sited on property leased from Colquhoun, with his ancestral home of Rossdhu becoming one of the world's most imposing clubhouses. By the mid-1990s, the project was in difficulty, and Weiskopf persuaded the Arizona developer Lyle Anderson to come to the rescue. It was a package that meant the sale of the course to Anderson - though the result is a globally acclaimed golfing venue. Jack Nicklaus provided input on the Low Road, while on the High, Weiskopf almost lost his life on what is now the 14th hole in a peat bog during construction. The courses are entered through the columned original entrance to Rossdhu, the pedimented gateway beyond Arden that bears the family arms, the basis of the heraldry of Colquhoun's beloved Dunbartonshire. Rossdhu, completed in 1773, was constructed by Sir Ivar's ancestor, Sir James, 2nd baronet, replacing a fifteenth-century castle of Rossdhu, which was gutted by fire. Until the late seventies, Rossdhu was home to Sir Ivar and Lady Colquhoun, until they moved to nearby Camstradden. The couple allowed original furniture and paintings to remain at Rossdhu on loan to the golf course. Sir Ivar Iain Colquhoun, 8th baronet (created 1786, in the baronetcy of Great Britain) was 30th laird of Luss, and 32nd chief of Colquhoun. He succeeded his father, 7th baronet Sir Iain, in 1948. Educated at Eton, he was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards in the Second World War, seeing active service with the Coldstream Guards, and was demobbed as a captain. His service with the Coldstreams gave him a lifelong love of Border country, and he became one of a score of clan chiefs who in 2004 wrote to the Ministry of Defence protesting about cuts that ultimately led to the demise of the King's Own Scottish Borderers. His lineage stretched back to the thirteenth century and the lands of Luss came into the family in the fourteenth century when Sir Robert of Colquhoun married The Fair Maid of Luss, descendant of Maldwin, dean to the earldom of Lennox. Colquhoun's father, Sir Iain, was Grand Master Mason of Scotland and a Lord Rector of Glasgow University. In 1964, Colquhoun's daughter Iona married Ian, Marquis of Lorne, later 12th Duke of Argyll.

In his younger days Colquhoun sat as a justice of the peace in Dumbarton from 1951 and was made Deputy Lieutenant for Dunbartonshire in 1952. A long-term interest in yacht racing took him to chairmanship in Scotland of the Prince of Wales Sea Training School. His land developments sometimes led to controversy, as with a proposal eight years ago through his company Luss Estates to build a 20m supermarket on Helensburgh Pier. Another proposal to build a new house at Arden drew local-authority ire, but the scheme went through. However, he was fiercely protective of Luss itself, backdrop to the STV soap Take The High Road and long hailed as "the prettiest village in Scotland". In 1999, when his company published plans to build a retail and restaurant complex, planning permission was given after it was shown that the development would enhance the village and businesses. He helped many local causes, and six years ago he made available a site for Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team. He played his role as clan chief and took pride in the wider family of those of Colquhoun, and presided from 1949 until 1982 as chieftain of Luss Highland Games each July. For years, an annual gathering of clan Colquhoun took place as part of the games, but from 1983 Colquhoun's place was taken by his heir, Malcolm Colquhoun, Younger of Luss. Colquhoun Sr, meanwhile, maintained his hereditary office as Bearer of the Pastoral Staff of St Kessog, a local saint, and took pleasure in his entitlement to depict the staff as one of his heraldic badges. For many years he also held a seat on the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. In 1943 Colquhoun, married Kathleen Nimmo Duncan, who died last year. Sir Ivar died peacefully at home at Camstradden. Through his daughter, Iona, now Dowager Duchess of Argyll, he was maternal grandfather to Torquil Ian Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll.In 1963, his and Lady Colquhoun's elder son, Torquil, died aged 19. The baronetcy now falls on the second and surviving son, Malcolm Rory Colquhoun, Younger of Luss.