“Much loved character” (Peter) Bruce Millard has died in his native Australia after an illness, aged 73.
The Brisbane-born Australia and Far East expert started out working with Jetset Tours in Melbourne before embarking on his new life in the UK in 1971.
Initially he worked at Granada Studios before becoming operations director of Jetset Tours in London, until 1983.
Bruce founded London-based tailor made specialists Asia Pacific Holidays in 1983, leading the way with bespoke round-the-world holidays, eventually merging with Keith Prowse Journeys.
Former colleague Gail Macfarlane said Millard’s Beaujolais Nouveau trade evenings were legendary and “he always joked bookings to Australia plummeted in the days that followed due to everyone in the trade having such bad hangovers”.
The founding team of Asia Pacific still gather annually, and Bruce would join when he was in the UK.
Bruce and his wife Penny moved to Mayfield, in Kent, where he started up Mayfield Gallery Tiles & Travel, but the call of his beloved Australia was too strong and the couple returned to Australia.
They founded Truly Australia in 2000 and Bruce retired a few years ago. Penny sadly passed away in 2008.
“Bruce had a love of the outdoors and enjoyed the beauty and natural attractions of his homeland,” Macfarlane added.
“It was to this he dedicated his career, and he loved bringing his unique brand of eclectic experiences to travellers.”
Bruce’s family will be honouring his life at his and Penny’s favourite spot in Victoria, Australia, on Sunday, February 10.
His UK friends are encouraged to raise a glass to him on that date “with very fond memories”.