One of Aberdeen’s leading figures in business and construction has died after a brief illness.
Quantity surveyor Ian Thomson, 73, was known for a long and distinguished career with McLeod and Aitken, and latterly, his own project management consultancy.
An Aberdonian, who attended the former Aberdeen Academy, Mr Thomson graduated from what is now Robert Gordon University.
He joined McLeod and Aitken in 1971, eventually becoming joint senior partner with Mike Walton, steering the firm through their most formative years in the 1980s.
During his time at the firm, he was responsible for securing a major contract with Asda for all their stores across Scotland and the north of England.
A Dons fan, Mr Thomson was also involved in the construction of the Richard Donald Stand at Pittodrie and, most recently the planning, design, and delivery of Aberdeen Football Club’s state-of-the-art training facilities at Cormack Park.
A titan in the local construction industry, he oversaw several projects that shaped Aberdeen and the surrounding areas during the 1980s and 1990s from headquarters for major oil and gas firms to hotels, bars, restaurants, golf courses and conference venues.
Mr Thomson was instrumental in bringing together a group to invest in the purchase and subsequent renovation of the Tivoli Theatre.
He also played a key role in fundraising for and managing the delivery of the Maggie’s building at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
A keen golfer, Mr Thomson held memberships at Murcar and latterly at Ballater and Deeside Golf Clubs. In 1981 he won the coveted Trades Foursome.
He is credited with having the vision for the transformation of Deeside Golf Club which involved the relocation of the clubhouse and creation of a driving range.
Mr Thomson is survived by his wife Kate, son Ross and two grandchildren, Ellie, 3, and Leo, 1.
Ross described his father as a “legend”. “He was a very kind and caring husband, father and grandfather. Incredibly philanthropic, he financially supported and championed several charities for those less fortunate both locally and internationally.
“My parents travelled regularly to South Africa where he supported a project for under-privileged children. Indeed, he rarely said no to any worthy cause.
“He had a wry sense of humour, which he shared frequently as an after-dinner speaker, and a very strong work ethic which he instilled in me. It makes me so proud when I am told I am just like my dad.
“Since 2005, he probably ‘retired’ about four times. His experience and expertise were always sought after. This led to him continue to return to work time after time because he couldn’t resist working on special projects for friends, colleagues and former clients.”
Business associate and close friend of Mr Thomson’s, Stewart Milne, said: “Ian was a very clever, witty and kind man.
“His commitment to Aberdeen, generosity to worthy causes and skills as a raconteur in Aberdeen golfing circles and on the after-dinner circuit were well recognised and appreciated.
“He was a dear friend and valued business adviser to me and many others in the city and will be sorely missed.”
Ian Ord, chairman of Maggie’s Aberdeen, said: “Ian was on the original Aberdeen Maggie’s board during the capital campaign and he did an enormous amount to make the build happen.
“He was a real star, pouring time and energy into the project and he contributed to making every board meeting fun. Because his background was in building retail parks and offices, he started out thinking the centre’s complex, yet simple design, ‘was a right waste of money’, but he came to believe in the impact the building and the environment he helped create has on visitors and often remarked it was the project he was most proud of.
“Ian has left a lasting legacy for our community.”