‘Work hard and play hard’ – an autobiography

By Ian Harris

‘Work hard and Play Hard’ vividly describes the life and work of Ian Harris.

Born in Aylesford in Kent, he moved to East Africa in the late 1950s to become a general commodity broker. He was present during the upheavals that accompanied independence in Uganda and Kenya, and confronted these politically dangerous developments with aplomb.

He combined remarkable business acumen in a challenging environment with great concern and compassion for Africa and its people. During an extraordinary life, he has demonstrated many talents, from sportman, fireman, bridge-builder, strike-breaker, to friend and enabler of a president, and the saviour of a king.

Returning to the UK in 1989, he embarked on a variety of less demanding occupations, one of which was as a restaurant manager where he met his wife Lottie. Lottie has perhaps inspired his autobiographical talents with her own uplifting book, An Abandoned Mind.

On July 3, 83-year-old Sutton Veny author Ian Harris launched his autobiography, Work Hard and Play Hard, which he wrote with the assistance of autobiography specialist company LifeBook. The event, at the village hall, Sutton Veny, was hosted by the local WI group, who also provided refreshments.

Some of the 50-plus friends and acquaintances of Mr Harris who attended had come from London and Surrey and everyone was enthralled as he related tales of his life as a commodities broker, specialising in trading coffee and tea.

At the end of the evening, Mr Harris distributed signed copies of his book and one guest commented: “I could listen to his stories for hours.”

Mr Harris worked with LifeBook to produce his autobiography, using LifeBook’s tried-and-tested method of employing an interviewer to record his lifetime stories and a ghostwriter to create the text.

The company also professionally edited and typeset the resulting book and oversaw its printing. Mr Harris was closely involved throughout, making amendments, deletions and additions, and approving content.

Mr Harris said: “It was wonderful being able to look back on my life, recalling its interesting events, as well as all the happy times. LifeBook produced a superb book for me, complete with my treasured photos, and I hope everyone who has a copy enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.”


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