Born: September 18, 1941;

Died: October 17, 2022.

HENRY (Harry) Murray, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Tunisia, who has died at the age of 81, was one of the longest-serving honorary consuls in Scotland, having been in post since June 1, 1986.

He developed strong links with the country’s various government departments as a result of numerous visits over the years. He diligently supported Tunisian nationals in Scotland on a wide array of consular services, liaising closely with the ambassador and embassy in London.

It’s believed that his honorary consul appointment came about through the Consular Corps of Glasgow, which has since been joined with the Edinburgh branch to form the Consular Corps in Scotland.

Someone he knew, who was honorary consul for another country, suggested that Murray might be well suited to a position that had opened up as the Tunisian Honorary Consul, thanks to the experience he had acquired of the Middle East from his time travelling there during the 1970s.

His responsibilities as honorary consul ranged from fielding regular civic and commercial enquiries to dealing with compassionate situations – in one instance, assisting a family to repatriate the body of a loved one.

More recently, he supported the Tunisian delegation at the COP26 conference in Glasgow a year ago.

His appreciation of Arab culture, his self-deprecating charm and his trademark humour were assets he regularly deployed to great effect as honorary consul. He also never missed an opportunity to promote and further Scottish interests in Tunisia.

He enjoyed seeing how the country was trying to build new commercial markets for itself, such as the push it has made over the years to develop its tourism industry.

Born in Glasgow in 1941, Henry Murray was educated at St Bees School, Cumbria, and went on to become a structural engineer. He served his apprenticeship with Sir William Arrol & Co, during which time he played a small role in the construction of the Forth Road Bridge.

In the early 1970s, he took the helm of Brownlee and Murray, a multi-generational family engineering firm based in Glasgow. His work saw him develop the business internationally, particularly in the Middle East, where he travelled extensively to countries including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Sudan, where the firm completed many projects.

The outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980 made further work in the region increasingly difficult. The business evolved, winding down its manufacturing capabilities and switching its focus to the provision of professional draughtsmanship services.

At this point, Murray took up an invitation to join John R Adam & Sons, a business on his wife’s side of the family. He was a director at the recycling and metal exporting firm until he retired in 2006.

Away from work, he was heavily involved with the Trades House of Glasgow. He was a member of the Incorporation of Bonnetmakers & Dyers as well as the Incorporation of Hammermen, supporting their various initiatives around their individual crafts and their extensive charity work. He served as Deacon of the Bonnetmakers & Dyers (1989-90), following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

Murray was a talented sportsman. He played for West of Scotland Rugby Football Club across three decades – the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s – during its golden era. An abrasive and attacking full-back, he was a member of the 1st XV for many years, including the team that was joint champions of the Scottish Championship in 1965.

He also played for London Scottish and the Co-Optimist Rugby Club – an invitational select side – as well as representing Glasgow District. After one early appearance for Clydesdale Cricket Club, in which he hit a six out of the ground and smashed the window of a neighbouring flat, the local paper referred to him as the team’s new “hard-hitting wicket-keeper batsman”.

Murray was a lifelong golfer and a member of Western Gailes Golf Club, Elie Golf House Club, Royal St George’s Golf Club and the Senior Golfers’ Society. He served as captain of the Golf House Club from 1995 to 1997.

Married to Kay (nee Adam) in 1968, he enjoyed a long and happy partnership. He is survived by Kay, his children James, Edward and Sarah and his grandchildren Harry, Izzy, Charlotte and Freddie, and his sister, Fiona.