Norman Arnott

Post date: Nov 01, 2011 7:41:1 PM

The PONLHeritage group has received the sad news that Norman Arnott, formerly P&O Containers director with responsibility for continental Europe has passed away. The following obituary has been kindly provided by Chris Holt:

Norman passed away in Rotterdam on Friday October 28th 2011 after complications resulting from heart surgery.

He joined OCL from Ocean in Rotterdam in 1969 and retired as a Main Board Director in 1992. Born in North London, and after time at sea, he made Rotterdam his home.

Norman’s working life was devoted to shipping and in particular to British shipping. He will be remembered for having fought for, and successfully establishing, OCL as a force in Continental Europe at a time when the British shipping lines were more focussed on preserving their UK interests. His foresight saw the need to establish a competitive organisation in Continental Europe and his legacy was a strong foundation on which volume could be profitably built. His love was the Far East trade. His contribution was exceptional and single-minded.

Whilst many will remember him from business contacts as a forceful personality, those working with him were inspired by his motivational skills which frequently were laced with a sharp humour. It is a great shame his stories from his days plying the seas in West Africa with Blue Funnel through to his negotiating days with blue-chip customers were never written down for posterity. Perhaps the sharp humour might not have been appreciated by some people but there was always a story told which made most people laugh. Those who knew him well found the same story was seldom told twice.

Norman was very patriotic in a way that might today be seen as old fashioned. He found ways to help British interests whenever he could which was appreciated in a private way by many and reflected his private nature.

Norman’s contribution to OCL is recorded in more detail in "British Box Business, A History of OCL" in which he is described as being “head and shoulders above the opposition in a market that was as competitive as it was complex."

After retiring from OCL, Norman continued to work but at a slower pace and enjoyed more time with Letty, travelling and playing golf. His cremation will be taking place on the 3rd of November 2011 at 13.00 hours.

Hofwijk Crematory

Delftweg 230

3046 ND Rotterdam