Details have been announced for the funeral of Alan Edwards, the much-loved industry figure who passed away in Doha, Qatar, earlier this month (see our original story below, which allows readers to pay their tributes at the foot of the page).

The funeral is at 11.20 on Friday 28 September at Newcourt Wood Crematorium, Charing, near Ashford, Kent, TN27 0EB.

The funeral directors are Ellis Brothers, 3 Ferry Road, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7DJ.

Flowers should be sent to the funeral directors, and donations made to the British Heart Foundation, which can again be sent via the funeral directors.

Close friends are welcome. The Edwards family are overwhelmed and grateful at the support they have received. They are considering holding a memorial in the future to celebrate Alan’s life.


Alan Edwards: A loved man who will be sorely missed

Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

– Dylan Thomas, “˜And death shall have no dominion’

With terrible sadness, we report the sudden death of Alan Edwards, one of our industry’s most popular figures. Alan died at the weekend in Doha, Qatar, where he was working for ARI as a Senior Consultant to Qatar Duty Free.

The family’s address for all correspondence is:

Draffin Lane,
TN31 7RA,

In a statement, Aer Rianta International Middle East (ARIME) Chief Executive Philip Eckles said: “It is with great sadness that Aer Rianta International Middle East advises of the sudden and untimely death of their colleague John ‘Alan’ Edwards. Alan was engaged by ARIME as the Senior Retail Consultant at Qatar Airways Duty Free.

“Alan was a popular and respected colleague who was well known within the duty free industry and had worked with a number of organisations stretching back some 30 years, including Alpha, Scorpio, Virgin Atlantic and ARI. Those who knew Alan will remember him not only as a dedicated and consummate professional but also as one of the most convivial characters of our industry.

“Alan’s death has come as shock to everyone at ARI. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Lesley and their family at this sad time.”

His long-time friend Stuart McGuire, Managing Director of Scorpio, said: “I never met anyone more honest, more trustworthy… always glass half full and happy. A joy to be around always, a great father, a great worker, a wonderful colleague and an incredible friend. I will miss him terribly – we all will.”

Qatar Duty Free Senior Vice President Keith Hunter said: “Alan was a colleague, confidante, mentor, but most importantly my friend. Working with him so closely for the last year and a half has been the best working experience I have had in my career.”

For extended comment from Keith Hunter and others see the Disqus comments section at the foot of the story.

The Moodie Report joins with the industry in conveying our deepest sorrow and condolences to Lesley, Alan’s children Rebecca and Chris, his wider family, and colleagues.

Martin Moodie writes: I, like many people will be, am devastated by Alan’s passing. He was one of the loveliest individuals I have known, kind and caring, passionate, generous, funny, gentle, good.

He loved his wife, his children, his dogs, his running (he ran the London Marathon for charity this year), his pals, his work, his rugby and his homeland (his blood ran thick with the scarlet hues of Welsh rugby). He had a marvellous deadpan, self-deprecating humour, and a rare ability to take as well as he gave in the banter stakes. He was always there for others. When I fell ill he came and visited me in my weakest and darkness moments and brought strength and light.

Alan with Martin Moodie at Doha International Airport recently

In business, which hardly seems to matter now, he was ebullient, innovative, a human scattergun of ideas, some practical, some madcap. He embraced his various industry roles with an almost boyish enthusiasm. He was the perfect team man, born perhaps from his long-running rugby career.

I like so many others, was so very, very fond of Alan. How could you not be? He was one of those people who made you smile when you met him. He was a friend of mine. A friend of many.

He had what the Welsh call hywl – a term that has many interpretations but in Wales implies a complex, intangible passion, energy, joy and sense of belonging that sums up “˜Welshness’ in a word.

My god, then, how Alan had hywl. By itself, I understand, the word can also mean “goodbye” as a common short form of hwyl fawr, or “all the best”, a phrase he would often use.

We will mourn him and miss him. So hwyl fawr dear Alan, hwyl fawr.