Alexander Murchie B.Sc (Mech. Eng)

Charted Engineer, Fellow of the institution of Mechanical Engineers.

After completing Service with the R.A.F. Alex returned to Edinburgh University in 1948, as a mature student He graduated in 1952. We then married, and my husband and I  left  immediately for the Caribbean. Alex was to take up a post in a relatively small refinery in Trinidad. In 1958 Texaco took over the Refinery and began a period of expansion which lasted till 1973. The last Unit to be completed was the Desulphurization Plant.

The expansion resulted in the Refinery becoming one of the ‘Top Ten’ worldwide.

Alex loved his work and was very dynamic. He could always be found, day or night, in the Refinery, checking, organizing, making sure that schedules were on time etc. He led a team of Engineers, who worked on the off-site facility needed for support, while the contractors (Bechtel) worked within the plant boundaries. This facilitated a smooth transition.

During those years Alex acquired a nickname – The Flying Scotsman’.

The following story is often recounted:

The Cooling Towers at Western Topping were due to be broken down for replacement.

“One Friday afternoon at a meeting in the General Manager’s office, the decision was taken to remove them and Willie Shaw mentioned it to Alex before going home. Since there was another job going on in the area, involving a lot of heavy equipment Alex utilized this over the weekend, during some of the slow periods, when they were not in use, and down went the Towers.

On Monday morning, the General Manager, at another meeting said, ‘I have been thinking it over. The Cooling Towers will have to stay for a while longer’. Willie Shaw got up and looking out the window (the view normally dominated by these extremely high Towers), he said ‘What Cooling Towers ?‘ The G.M. said, ‘You didn’t mention it to Alex Murchiie, did you ? “

This story is typical of Alex’s forward thinking and his energetic activity!!

Another example occurred when a tank was ‘floated’ to make way for the piperack from No. 8 CDU. The Chicago Bridge expert, who had done this before in the Middle East, was there at the time and gave Alex’s Team of Engineers, the benefit of his experience. That Sunday morning they filled the bunded area with water and waited for the tank to ‘pop’. It was then guided by the team to the designated location, in an area of the Island further South.

Everyone present found this to be a great occasion. Trinidadians had a truly diverse population due to many different races arriving historically. There were also mixtures of these due to intermarriage.

Many worked, in the Refinery, alongside Ex-pats. We had an efficient and happy workforce.

Later, in 1984, the political situation changed and the Refinery was nationalised. Expats were no longer deemed necessary – but – although we could have remained as citizens of the ‘Republic’. We, with some regret, made the decision to leave.

We were lucky to have spent so many happy years bringing up our children in the tropical islands of the Caribbean.

Coming from the restrictions of a war-scarred Europe (we still had rationing of food), it seemed like paradise.

Our children (Vanda, Kevin, Nigel and Stuart) golden and sun-tanned, enjoyed their outdoor life. The climate was balmy with a gentle sea breeze. We did have a wet season but it was never cold.

They loved the coral beaches and the turquoise sea, running  barefoot on the sand and learning to swim even before they could walk.

We now have idyllic memories of these wonderful years.

Having Tax coding problems on your pension

Some people are having tax problems after the handover to Barnett Waddingham. This is not BW’s fault but a problem of communication between HMRC offices. I’m afraid you need to negotiate your tax situation directly with the new HMRC office reference 120/XB84877 the previous office was 428/C107A. Please check your tax code. Some have had their tax doubled and others have lost overseas country double taxation allowances. The Tax office phone number is 03002003300. Barnett Waddingham have uploaded the final P60’s information sent out by AON in previous financial years, in the ‘your documents’ section.

Pension Administrator change over 1st October 2018

From the 1st October you should no longer contact AON re pension administration issues. Please contact Barnett Waddingham, by Phone : +443442643587 or by email :  or post : Chevron UK Pension Plan, Barnett Waddingham, St. James House, St James Square, CHELTENHAM, Gloucester, GL50 3PR. Please register with the new pension website., remove old versions of the website history from your browser. then reuse you should be sent to the new Barnett Waddingham site and sign in. You need your NHI number. N.B. to activate online communications you can trigger this from the BW website, if you go into the tab ‘view documents’ you will see at the top of the page the heading ‘your documents’ if you click the link below that is named ‘communication preferences’ you can select your choice within this area and it will be effective straight away.

Chevron Heritage Nominee – U.S. Withholding Tax – Form W-8BEN Expiry/Renewal

Chevron Heritage Nominee – U.S. Withholding Tax – Form W-8BEN Expiry/Renewal A recent audit has identified that some Chevron Heritage Nominee share plan participants US tax declaration Form W-8BEN (“Form”) expired on 31st December 2017 and as a result, Link Asset Services (“Link”) does not hold a valid Form for them. The Form is a U.S. legal tax declaration. This means incorrect U.S. Withholding Tax (“Tax”) deductions were applied to the two dividends that have been paid to Chevron Heritage Nominee Participants since 1st January 2018. The first dividend, at a rate determined by the expired Form, and the second, at the default tax rate of 30%, to ensure compliance with US Tax Regulations. The participants identified in the Chevron Heritage Nominee share plan  were sent an affidavit at the bottom of a new W-8BEN Form on 23rd July, which will enable Link to correct the Tax deductions retrospectively for the last two dividends. Please Note: ·         The Form received in the post now requires two signatures in the Certification section. ·         Link will not be able to recover the excess Tax deductions if either the Form or affidavit is returned without having been signed (where it states ‘Important’) by 28th September. If Link receives the incomplete Form, instead a further deduction will be made from the next dividend to recover the other 15% not taxed at the first dividend and Chevron Heritage Nominee share plan participants will remain on the higher 30% default tax rate. Further useful information: ·         The Form enables Link to reduce the default Tax rate of 30% paid on dividends where agreed by relevant ‘double taxation treaties’ between the U.S. and your country of tax residency. For example, a UK Tax resident will only pay 15% Tax, ·         Forms received after the above date will be applicable from the next relevant dividend, however Link will not be able to correct the 2018 tax deduction at 30%. ·         To benefit from the Tax rate adjustment in the upcoming dividend, Link requires receipt of the signed Form and affidavit before the next record date in August. If Link receives these documents after the record date and before the final deadline, the Tax rate will default to 30% for the next dividend. ·         Link will accept Forms sent via post and scanned in via email to the postal and email addresses detailed on the Form.   Please note that Link Asset Services is not authorised to provide taxation advice. Some further information can be obtained from this web site:   For U.S. Tax Residents only Any participants are, or have ever been, a Tax resident of the U.S. you should have a U.S. Social Security Number (“SSN”) or Individual Tax Identification Number (“ITIN”) – the format is usually “123-45-6789”. If you have received this letter it means that you have not currently provided us with a Form W-9 (“Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification”) and might need to. If so please refer to the Guidance Notes.   Finally, should you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact Link on: Tel: 0371 664 1835 Email: