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Oh Alan Hamilton, I miss you

16 4 0

I didn’t ever think that I would be writing an obituary for Alan Hamilton, my friend for 30 years. He died at the age of 90 in Kent, England, in September, 2019; but I could get the news only on January 23, 2020, from his wife of 62 years Joanna Hamilton.

Ever since we met for the first time in 1990 in Karachi at the IAL/ Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide office, invariably every year he sent me a new year’s card; and when email came about, we communicated electronically, though infrequently. He was such a gem of a person, friendly, kind, and always lively and helpful to his younger colleagues. And I was perhaps his youngest colleague at age 25, when Alan was slightly over 60, and had come to Pakistan to launch Procter & Gamble (P&G), that had just entered the Pakistani market.

His life story was amazing, as he narrated to me off and on when he was in Pakistan, and later when I was in England. He was a teenager when the Second World War started. As the UK became one of the primary targets of the Nazi air strikes, he had to quit school and start working, as most teenagers of his time had to do. After the war, he could never get back to school and started working in an advertising agency as an office boy. But he was an avid reader; in fact, he was one of the most well-read persons I have ever met.

His curiosity to know and keen desire to learn new things led him into the field of advertising where his seniors encouraged him to do copywriting and media planning, which he did with aplomb for the next 40 years of his life from 1950 to 1990. He became one of the senior directors at Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, travelled to dozens of countries, launched hundreds of products, and raised four daughters and a son with his wife, in London. One of his daughters, Suzanna Hamilton, became an acclaimed actor, staring in films such as ‘Tess’ by Roman Polanski, ‘1984’ by Michael........

© The News International