Deryck Spence

Deryck Spence is a 73-year-old South African businessman who joined Union Castle, after having completed his studies, principally because of his love for the sea.  

He became a purser on the Union-Castle Lines in the 60s. On returning to South Africa in 1964, he joined the Burmah-Castrol group of companies, as a sales representative and rose steadily through the ranks culminating in his appointment as Managing Director of the South African company in 1986. In 1992 he was promoted and transferred back to the United Kingdom, where he took up the position as European Director for a group company: Foseco Plc.

After four years in Europe he returned to South Africa and started a Management Consultancy business, affiliated to Cranfield Business School. In September 2000/2001 he acquired a share in a medium-sized Paint Company and in 2009 he became the Executive Director of the South African Paint Manufacturing Association, a position which he presently holds.

Deryck is married to Alison (married 1966) and has two daughters; Kathleen and Tracey and three grandchildren; Jennifer, Michael  and a new grandson Shane.

Deryck always wanted to write and was inspired by one of Nicholas Montserrat's novels The Nylon Pirates which motivated him to write the novel.

Having served as a purser with Union-Castle in the 1960s he wanted to write a similar novel, but from an officer's perspective. What followed was the novel Officers and Gentlemen? and this has subsequently led to the writing of a sequel The Equality of Suffering.

He has also completed a Children's book entitled The Magic Shepherd.

Deryck was a keen sportsman in his day and enjoys watching sport, having played both rugby and cricket, and still manages to break a hundred on the golf course. Travel, with the family (including cruises) is a particular pleasure and passion.

Service Record



Windsor Castle

Purser’s Clerk



Windsor Castle

Asst Purser



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