Michael James Otway

Michael James Otway 1940-2005

Born: 10 Sep 1940 Oxford, England
Died: 25 Feb 2005, Frimley, England
Father:Terence Brandram Hastings Otway
Mother:Stella Whitehead
Spouse:Lorraine Suzanne Perkins
Married: 24 Jul 1981 Guildford
Children:Claire Michelle Otway, Mark Lawrence Otway
Education:Fernden Prep., Dover College, R.M.A. Sandhurst
Other Partners:Lukie Hewat
Updated: 18 Nov 2002


MICHAEL JAMES (27) b. 10.9.1940 - Michael Otway was born on 10th September 1940 in Oxford, where his father was stationed. During the Second World War , Michael spent part of his time at his Grand-father's house in Devon and part at a flat in London overlooking Regent's Park. In 1946, with his mother, he joined his father in Karachi, India, for one year prior to independence and partition.

One incident in India caused his father some concern. Michael was playing cricket at the local Officers' Club with a number of other children. It appears he did not agree with the decision of another boy and so decided the argument by hitting the other boy with his cricket bat, knocking him out. Unfortunately the other boy was the son of an Indian Brigadier.

In 1948, Michael went to boarding Preparatory school at Fernden, Haslemere. His natural sporting ability showed up as he played cricket, rugby and football for the School. He gained the second Scholarship to Dover College in Kent and joined that school in September 1953, following in his father's footsteps.

He had already decided on a career in the Army, although his father was keen for him to go to University. Michael enjoyed his time at Dover enormously once he had settled in. By the age of sixteen he was playing cricket for the College as an all-rounder, and hockey as a forward. He went on to Captain the cricket and hockey teams, as well as representing the College at rugby and athletics. He also played for Kent County at hockey as a junior.

He gained his exemption exams to The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in 1957, a year before he was old enough to go into the Army.

His interest in the Arts was fulfilled as Editor of the College magazine, "The Dovorian", forming a film society and, for 3 years as a member of the Dramatic Society, culminating in playing the leading role in Henry V.

His departure from the College had its amusing side. On the last night of term there were the usual high jinx. In his position as Head of School, he was supposed to help keep discipline. When his housemaster came to Michael's room at around 1 a.m. to summon assistance, the housemaster was somewhat surprised to find Michael's girlfriend in his room, strictly forbidden. For this escapade Michael was banned from the Old Boys Club for one year. The story preceded him to Sandhurst where he was greeted with some amusement and a stern warning.

He joined the R.M.A., Sandhurst in Sept. 1958 (Intake 25, Inkerman Co., Old College).The two years at Sandhurst were as enjoyable and successful. He captained the hockey team, became a Junior Under Officer and passed out 19th of 250 with a commission direct into the Parachute Regiment, joining the 3rd Battalion in Sept. 1960

Michael served with the Regiment for nearly 6 years, 2 with 3 Para, followed by two with the Para Junior Leaders, and then returning to 3 Para as Signals Officer as a temporary Captain. During the 6 years he served for 9 months in Bahrain at the time of the first Kuwait crisis and finished with 6 months in Guyana prior to its Independence. Interspersed were trips to Malaya, Kenya, and Aden, as well as trips and exercises in France, where he acted as an interpreter with the French Paras.

Sport was an important element of Army life, suiting Michael well. He ran the Battalion hockey and cricket, also playing both sports for Aldershot Services while in the UK.

In late 1963, Michael met Lukie Hewat. They married on 8th Aug. 1964 at Lindfield, Sussex.

Progress in the Army was largely determined by age and length of service which Michael found very frustrating. At one point he was coaching fellow officers for the Staff College exam, although unable to take it himself for a further 3 years. He resigned his commission in Sept. 1965, but was unable to leave until 1 April 1966 after the tour in Guyana.

As a civilian Michael had no real idea what he wanted to do. He was offered jobs as a computer programmer and as a personnel officer, but , unsure, went into selling life insurance as a temporary means of earning a living while looking for "a proper job". After 18 months working for Peter McRae & Co Ltd., he decided to set out on his own at the beginning of 1968, trading as The Family Insurance Advisory Service (FIAS). He developed a very good business advising newly commissioned officers from Sandhurst on their life assurance and savings needs.

Claire was born in May 1969 and Mark in June 1972.

Over the period Michael continued to play hockey, now for Guildford 1st XI. The team was one of the strongest in the country, reaching the finals of the UK Club knockout and winning the Surrey Club knockout on two occasions.

In 1977 Michael and Lukie divorced.

Michael joined Allied Dunbar (Hambro Life) as a direct salesman to generate an immediate income, whilst also working for a new small Financial Planning brokerage, then called Dunfaulk Ltd. After 18 months he had established the income sufficiently to leave Allied Dunbar and concentrate all his efforts on Dunfaulk Ltd. in which he had by then acquired a 35% stake.

In August 1978, through a dating agency in Guildford, Michael met Lorraine Cramer, nee Perkins. The romance flourished from the outset and they set up home to-gether in late 1979 at 37 Riverdale, Wrecclesham. In March 1981, Lorrie joined Michael in the business to assist his administration and act as a PA. They married on 24 July 1981. In Dec 1981 they moved to 10 Glynswood, Boundstone Road, Farnham.

By now Michael owned 76% of the company with Geoffrey Makin, a solicitor, owning the balance. Lorrie's arrival had a dramatic effect on the business, freeing Michael to write business with the result that turnover doubled year on year for the next 3 years. The company moved from their offices to St. James' House, East Street, Farnham in Sept. 1981 and then to 25 East Street in Sept. 1983, changing the name of the company to The Hastings Group and adopting the family crest as the logo. The turnover in 1977 had been 4,000. By 1986 this had grown to 185,000. The company employed 6 people and, of course, the dog - Rufus - who was an essential member. It was decided that if he did not like prospective clients, they would probably be difficult. He was invariably right!

It had always been the intention to develop into the broader area of investment and stockbroking, but this required the backing of a larger organisation. In late 1985 negotiations began with W.I.Carr to take a significant stake. They acquired 51% initially, later increasing this to 75.1%. The injection of capital and the backing of a Stockbroker had a further dramatic effect on growth, the turnover growing to 1.5m by 1990 with a staff of 30. W.I.Carr were by now part of the Banque Indosuez Group . In 1991, the Financial Services company and the parent private stockbroking company were merged into a single group. Michael and Lorrie sold part of the remainder of their shareholding, exchanging the balance for approximately a 1.9% stake in the enlarged group with a total turnover of 6m and staff of 100. Michael became a Director of the enlarged group, W.I.Carr Investments Ltd.

In May 1993, W.I.Carr acquired Sheppards and the company was renamed Carr Sheppards. As part of the deal all remaining shareholdings were purchased by Banque Indosuez, the ultimate parent company. Michael became a Director of the new enlarged company, now with a turnover of approx. 15m. and a staff of about 220.

1996 brought further developments when the French decided to sell their interest to a South African investment banking group called Investec. Part of the deal included monetary handcuffs for Directors and senior individuals to retain them for four years, virtually till Michael's normal retirement date. The additional financial security also meant that Lorrie could move to part-time, 3 days per week, from the start of 1997. At the end of 1998 Michael ceased full-time work, reducing to two days per week while Lorrie reduced to about 1.5 days per week.

Sport continued to feature strongly but by now the more relaxed style of golf. Michael took this up in the mid-eighties, joining Farnham Golf Club as a 5 day member, expecting to wait several years for full membership. Not long afterwards Lorrie also took up the game and applied for membership but was told she had to get a handicap of 30. But you can only get a handicap if you are a member of a Club so she was allowed to join the waiting list for the waiting list! In 1990 Mike and Lorrie decided to buy a Debenture in Wildwood Golf Club, a new club being built near Alfold as being the only way they would get to play golf at the weekends. As is wont to happen Mike almost immediately was given full membership at Farnham commencing in November 1991, enabling them to play and Lorrie to get her handicap which was rapidly followed by her membership. Regrettably Wildwood went bust in 1995 (as did many other new clubs).

Mike' progress was steady. His handicap in 1991 was 22, 21 in 1992, 19 in 1993, 16 in 1994, 14 in 1995 and 12 in 1996, 11 in 1997, 10 in 1998, 9 in 1999, 8 in 2000, 7 in 2001 and 6 in 2002. Lorrie's progress was more dramatic - 27 in 1993, 22 in 1995, 24 in 1996 and then tumbling in the first six months of 1997 to 15. On the way some trophies were acquired - Mike the Rabbits Cup in 1993, the Master's Medal in 1994, the Wrigley Cup in 1996 and the Verner Cup in 1999. The results in the Member's Trophy were quite extraordinary with Lorrie winning it in 1993, followed by Mike in 1994. Lorrie again won it in 1996 to be followed again by Mike winning it in 1997 and then again in 1998! The highlight of 1998 was playing some golf at Wentworth with Gary Player, one of the all-time greats of golf. 1999 started well with the win in the Verner Cup followed up by a hole-in-one at the sixth during the Pro-Am, Mike's second hole-in-one, the other also being at the sixth in 1995. July 2000 brought a dream day for Mike. Playing in a Pro-Am at Tandridge, Mike shot a gross level par round, 5 shots better than the pro with whom he was playing withot taking account of handicap! Allowing for his then handicap he was 10 under! The team scored 21 under and were winners by a mile! In July 2002 Mike won the Seniors Open at Blackmoor, despite his handicap being reduced to 6 following a 4th place at the Guildford Seniors Open just ten days earlier. The handicap rose again to 7 during August but Mike played very well for the front nine to win the final of the Seniors Knockout at the club, The Spooner Trophy. Later, In November, he also won the Stock Exchange Golf Society Singles Knockout, 2& 1 against Tony Hudson at Royal Mid Surrey.

With both developing this interest they were able to indulge their hobby on holiday as well as at home. They acquired some weeks of time-share in December and March at Sierra Park in Puerto Banus, Nr. Marbella, Spain because it included golf. This provided an ideal retreat at the end of English winters as a preparation for the English summer!

On retirement Mike was asked to become a Director of Farnham Golf Club which post he took up in 1998 with resposibility for Bar & Catering and Business Development. The latter was fine but Bar & Catering was a leap in the dark, particularly as this was a disaster area at the Club. He got rid of the franchise and employed a House Manager / Chef so as to control matters within the Club. The turnaraound was dramatic and within three months the atmosphere had begun to improve dramatically. Mike also developed the Club's own website, with a litlle help from Mark! At the beginning of 2002 Mike was asked if he would like to be Vice Captain which inevitably leads on to being Captain of the Club. Mike became Vice Captain on 26th Feb 2002 with a view to becoming Captain a year later.

ID: 1   Generated by GedTree on 28 Nov 2002

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