A fond farewell to Roddy Dewe, who passed away in March. There was a memorial service at St Bride’s Church on Fleet Street last week.
Now, that’s a hacks church, but we let flaks in occasionally, if we think they’ve earned it.
Dewe was one of the authors of the financial public relations industry in a career spanning 50 years.
He lived in many countries, a fact reflected in the service music including The Lord’s Prayer sung in Swahili. Dewe was fondly remembered; his best man and lifelong friend, Maurice Hynett, reported that the devoted staff in Dewe’s Sri Lankan beach house called in a Buddhist priest to conduct a service in his honour.
Dewe famously became the Thatcher government’s favourite financial PR man as state assets such as British (“Tell Sid”) Gas were sold off to the public.
Presciently named after a Scottish whisky, Dewe’s lifelong libation of choice, he was a formidable host.
The Revd George Pitcher, also recalled attracting a small investment in his former business from Dewe. Years later, returning a multiple of the original cheque to Dewe, he was taken aback to discover that Dewe had virtually ignored the handsome return.
He was more concerned about not being involved with the business anymore. “Why have I been dropped from the board” he demanded to know. Dewe wanted to be able to make a difference as much as make money.
He left a massive mark on the PR industry that he helped to shape. He leaves wife Anne and two children, Sarah and Jonathan.
**This piece is based on a service led by Rev George Pitcher, former financial journalist and businessman.