James McNie

February 3  2011

This is a new page kindly provided by James McNie,  the son of Ian
(Anderson Brand) McNie who
went  out to the Deundi/Lalchand/ Mertinga
group of Warren's gardens in 1923, retiring in 1963 as their Superintendent. 


James  McNie writes:

Whether or not my name rings any bells with you would depend perhaps on your familiarity with Sylhet, in the early half of the last century, and James Warren's gardens there. My father Ian (Anderson Brand) McNie went out to the Deundi/Lalchand/ Mertinga group of Warren's gardens in 1923, retiring in 1963 as their Superintendent. He died in April 1964.

But what may be of more interest is a copy I have of "The Recollections of a Tea Planter" by W.M. Fraser, which was published in 1937 by the Tea and Rubber Mail. My father had added extensive notes and corrections to Fraser's text, as he knew many of the characters mentioned, and in particular respect to the Sylhet area, had more accurate detailed knowledge than Fraser's memory allowed.

In the late 1990s, when I was running a bank in the Middle East as their CEO, I was fortunate to have working for me a particularly competent secretary. In her spare time she arranged to scan the entire book for me, and after running it through Optical Recognition Software to convert it to editable text, I added my father's notes as footnotes, to the original text. The book was long out of print, and was virtually unobtainable. When I had my father's copy rebound at the London Library in St James's Square, they asked if I would donate it to them! However from time to time I did see requests for either a copy or information the questioner believes may be included in it.

Initially I had thought that it would be a hopelessly uncommercial venture to consider re-publishing it, however with the advent of printing to order, I have been able to have it republished with my father's notes and corrections, for the enjoyment of anyone with memories of the early days in North East India and Sylhet. (My father's editing mainly focussed on the Sylhet chapters, but the book covered the entire tea planting area of North East India.)

It is available at
http://www.amazon.com/ (not amazon.co.uk) for anyone interested in having their own updated copy.

Also available on the koi-hai site are the photographs from an album taken by my father of the Centenary party for Duncan Brothers held in the Doloi Club, with those present, named in the photographs.


 April 9 2008

Thanks to James McNie here is a record of the Centenary Celebrations of  Duncan Brothers 

The photographs were taken from an album presented to the Chairman of Duncan Bros on the occasion of their centenary celebrations at the Doloi Valley Club 21st February 1959 by Ian A.B.McNie Superintendent, 
The Deundi Tea Company

Click here to see pictures


Click on each picture to enlarge in - then click it again to return to the selections


Duncan Brothers Centenary 21st February 1959 at Doloi Valley Club

Duncan's Tea

From Thunderbox to Thunderjet

We will close by singing

Serious Interlude

Fibre's all right in jute

Fragrant Weeds

Old times sailing ships-and hand lamps

The Doloi of Doloi

Can't scare me

The Tale

Study in observation

Trade Winds

Puzzle that one out

The Listener

Profiles preferred

What goes

Smooth contemplation

Gathering of the Khans

New shoes


Pound Problems Limited


Eat heartily--you too could have a body like mine

Doloitful party

Don't see it

A tall story


Heard this one ?

Life is hard--aye aye terrible

A short break for food

Home Slim

All the photographs taken by McNie of Deundi