Basil Hone obituary

Other lives: Lawyer who emigrated to the US in 1973 and worked for Union Carbide

My father, Basil Hone, who has died aged 91, worked as a lawyer in his native Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) early in his career before settling permanently in the US in the 1970s; there he joined the chemicals company Union Carbide for a decade.

Basil was born in Salisbury (Harare), the youngest of the five children of Arthur Hone, the country’s chief magistrate, and Olive, daughter of Sir Thomas Scanlen, former prime minister of the Cape Colony in South Africa. Basil went to school at Bishops Diocesan college in Cape Town, and then to Wadham College, Oxford, where he studied law.

After serving as a pilot in the Royal Rhodesian Air Force at the conclusion of the second world war, he practised law for 12 years, including eight as a partner at Scanlen & Holderness in Salisbury.

In 1961 Basil joined Anglo American, which had its roots in gold, coal and copper mining in South Africa. In 1964, he was posted to the US on assignment to the minerals and chemical company Engelhard Industries, as manager of its mining and metals division; he subsequently served as the manager of Anglo North America in New York. After permanently emigrating to the US in 1973, Basil joined Union Carbide, where he worked in the exploration and metals divisions.

He retired in 1984, and devoted much of his energy to the cause of land preservation near his home in Tewksbury, New Jersey. In 1999 he founded Citizens to Save Tewksbury and he served for many years on the board of directors of the Raritan Headwaters Association, dedicated to protecting the watershed of the Raritan river.

Basil was a quietly devout Christian. Among his passions were flying and golf. After taking up skiing in his late 30s, he skied every winter or spring until his 86th birthday.

He is survived by his wife, Rilda (nee Glenton), whom he married in 1953; his daughter, Linda; his sons, Stephen, Graham and me; and eight grandchildren.

Keith Hone

The GuardianTramp

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