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Name: RIDDOCH, John Louis CBE, MM

image of individual

Birth Date: 12.4.1897 Rothiemay, Banffshire

Death Date: 17.4.1979 Kisumu

First Date: 1919

Last Date: 1979

Profession: Businessman

Area: Kisumu

Married: 1922 Florence Mabel Kennedy b. 1894, d. 1960

Children: Elizabeth Agnes (27 Oct 1919-5 Jan 1993) (Leckie)

Book Reference: EAWL, Golf, Gethin, Who's Who, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, Curtis, EA & Rhodesia, Red 22, Barnes, Gazette

War Service: WW1 in France 1915-18

School: Aberdeen & Keith Grammar School

General Information:

Owner of Homa Lime Co. One of the "Roaring Forties" who were well known on Kisumu Golf Course in the early 30's for their highly coloured shirts and not their golf!
Source: Mrs C.M.G. Wilson
Gethin - 1919 - Kisumu at the offices of Fontaine and Battley. '..... a little man with a very dark complexion, who appeared to be most efficient for a Goan of that age. He appeared to be about 25 years old. On leaving his office I met Fontaine on the way out and during conversation I remarked on the very efficient Goan clerk they had. This, to my surprise, caused much amusement, Fontaine remarking, "His name is John Riddoch. He says he comes from Aberdeen but we don't believe he is a Scotsman. I am a Jew and I know a Jew when I see one. Riddoch is a Scotsman and a very shrewd one at that". He must now be one of the wealthiest men in Kenya and is a member of Legco.  
Who's Who - Chairman Gailey & Roberts Ltd., EA Tanning Extract Co. Ltd., and Riddoch Motors Ltd. and director various companies. Member Legco, Kenya as Nom. Govt. Member
Red 25 - Recruiting Agent
Hut - Kenya Prospecting Syndicate, 1931 Homa Lime Co Ltd., KCP, 1952 MLC Nominated Council of State, Chairman Gailey & Roberts, Plateau Wattle, EA Industries, Riddoch's Garage, Riddoch's Motors Tza., J.L. Riddoch Ltd.
Curtis - p. 140 - 'J.L. Riddoch' - 'During his 59 and a half years in Nyanza John Riddoch, after a precarious start, gradually established himself by his own hard work and integrity, and with his wife's consistent support, as the outstanding figure in the business and public life of Kisumu. He was born in Banffshire, Scotland, in 1897, into a family of 6 sons and 3 daughters. His early training was in a bank, and then he fought in WW1, earning the Military Medal.
After the Armistice he took a 9 months' planters' course at Aberdeen University and then applied to emigrate to EA under the Soldier Settlement Scheme. He arrived in 1919 and was first employed by the Dept. of Agriculture conducting seed trials. He soon decided to enter business, and bought his way into a small trading and labour supply company in Kisumu with his patrimony of £3000. When the company went bankrupt Riddoch was left with £1000 of his investment, but also with a firm determination to forge ahead on his own.
His activities in the early Twenties included labour recruitment and the sale of building materials, ostrich feathers and agricultural and industrial equipment. In 1921 he staked a claim for gold in the Gori Valley and joined a prospecting syndicate on the Migori River in S. Nyanza. John Riddoch's childhood sweetheart, Florence Kennedy, came out to join him in 1922 and they were married in Mombasa. She shared his struggles and eventual success until her death in 1960. With the discovery of gold at Kakamega in 1931 the business took a turn for the better and there was to be no looking back from then onwards. Riddoch was able to take advantage of the gold rush by taking up various sole agencies, and his firm became the largest supplier of mining equipment, steel drills and explosives to the mines and prospectors. A branch of the firm was opened at Kakamega and was successful from the outset. John L. Riddoch Ltd., Kisumu, became one of the best-known and most reputable business establishments in the whole of Kenya .....…..
Prior to the last war Riddoch had been appointed Sub-Agent for the Ford Motor Company in Nyanza Province. When he was offered the Ford Agency in Tanganyika during the war he accepted it and Riddoch Motors Ltd. was formed; subsequently it became a large and highly successful enterprise in its own right. Shortly before WW2 John L. Riddoch Ltd. was acquired by the United Africa Company, a subsidiary of Unilever Ltd., and Riddoch was appointed a Director of EA Industries which included the well known firm of Gailey and Roberts, of which he was Chairman from 1950 -1967. Riddoch's other business interests were many and various. He started and owned Homa Bay Cotton Ginnery. He started and owned the Homa Lime Company, which subsequently moved to Koru. He was Chairman and majority shareholder of Refractories Ltd., a company he started to produce high quality refractory bricks for use mainly in engine boilers. He also kept up extensive gold mining interests in such companies as Kenya Consolidated Goldfields. There was also a long record of public service.
Riddoch was for many years a Nominated Member of LegCo and of the Council of State. He was also for a long time a member of the Kisumu Municipal Board and served as its first Chairman. He died in 1978. {photographs from the collection of his daughter, Mrs Peter Leckie, of Karen}
EA & Rhodesia - 2/1/58 - CBE - After serving with the Gordon Highlanders in the 1914-18 war, he went to Kenya and started his business in Kisumu. A member of the Kisumu Municipal Board since its inception; member of the Kenya Board of Commerce and Industry, and other Government Committees. A nominated non-official member of Legco since 1952. Member of Forestry Advisory Committee since 1953, and of the Kenya Emergency Council.
Barnes - Kisumu Cemetery - in loving memory of John Louis Riddoch, CBE, MM born 12/4/1897 died 17/4/1979 resident of Kisumu 1920-1979
Hut - John L. Riddoch was employed as Agricultural advisor to BEADOC, but was not actually a War wounded himself.
Gazette 12/4/1922 - Brands Registered during quarter ending 31/3/1922 - John L. Riddoch, PO Box 40, Kisumu - L1R
Hut - 1920 Agricultural Dept, Kericho
Gazette 28 Sep 1979 probate

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