Obituary: Donald Howard (Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal) 1923-2018

Lord Strathcona

Lord Strathcona & Mount Royal (Centre) after being appointed UKPA President at the 1978 Conference accompanied by Chairman Mr. Macmillan & wife (Left) and Honorary Vice President Mr. Berry & wife.

Donald Howard, Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, Laird of Colonsay and a defence minister under Margaret Thatcher, served as President UKPA 1978 – 1990 died on June 16 th , 2018

Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, who died aged 94, owned a large estate in Scotland, including two islands, Oronsay and Colonsay. His title dated from 1900 through an ancestor who cofounded the Canadian-Pacific Railway and who was a large shareholder in the Hudson’s Bay Company.

In the early 1970s Lord Strathcona was much involved in the project to recover Brunel’s famous passenger ship SS Great Britain from the Falklands. The hulk was refloated and towed back to Bristol on a pontoon. The whole event was covered from a converted wooden Chinese junk by Strathcona for a national newspaper.

In 1979 the new Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher appointed Strathcona a defence minister with responsibility for military procurement, though she asked him to resign when he opposed her defence cuts in 1981.

Lord Strathcona 1

Lord Strathcona receiving a painting by R. Carmichael from UKPA Chairman Clive Wilkin at the 1987 Conference

Lord Strathcona was devoted to his estate in Scotland, especially its garden at Colonsay House. He had many other interests serving as chairman of the Bath Festival. He also spent much time repairing wooden boats and was president of the Steamboat Association and chairman of Coastal Forces Heritage.

John Pearn

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