John Duguid was well-known in hotel trade

FORMER Angus hotelier John Duguid has passed away at the age of 91.

Mr Duguid, former owner of the Royal Jubilee Arms Hotel at Dykehead, suffered a massive stroke on July 7 while at Lisden Nursing Home and passed away two days later.

Born in 1920, John was brought up by his grandparents on a farm in Turriff, Aberdeenshire.

His interest in the catering industry was initially sparked by frequent visits to his aunt’s pub in Portnockie, Banffshire.

At the age of 14 he left school and headed for Aberdeen, where he worked as a junior port at the Caledonian Hotel.

Two years later he returned to farm life, working on four different farms in nine years.

In 1944, Mr Duguid moved to Invercauld Hotel in Braemar, where he became porter, marrying Hazel, a hotel cook in Braemar, in 1950.

Over 11 years he learned the ropes of the hotel business by working in establishments in Ballater, the Trossachs and Aberdeen before taking the post of bar manager at the Union Hotel in Turriff.

John and Hazel moved to Dykehead, to take ownership of the Royal Jubilee Arms Hotel in the mid 1950s, and remained there until 1081.

It was at Dykhead that John made his name, pioneering a cabaret style of entertainment which had never been seen before in the Scottish hotel industry.

He enticed many of the big names to perform at the hotel over a 25-year period.

Mr Duguid sold the property in 1981 and bought the Seafield Arms in Cullen.

John and Hazel, who died in April 2009, retired in 1989, returning to Angus to live at Memus.

In 1997 the couple moved to Kirriemuir to continue their retirement and regularly holidayed throughout Europe, also making family visits to South Africa and America.

John’s funeral service was held at Kirriemuir Old Parish Church on Tuesday (yesterday).

He is survived by his brothers Bill, Jim, Jock and Harry and sisters Amy and Jean.