An engineer, Innes had a long career in the motor trade in Dundee, after serving as an officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. However, he was best known as member of several crafts and for his work cataloguing the long history of Dundee’s Nine Trades. From 1966, Innes was a member of the Hammerman, the Bonnetmakers, was an honorary member of the Weavers and, in 1999 was appointed The Trades Archivist. On May 14th 2019 a civic reception was held to mark the amazing contribution of Innes Duffus to The Nine Trades, The Three Trades and The Guildry. Innes was appointed Master of Commerce, Craft and Trade. The Innes Duffus Scholarship Fund and an Annual Lecture Programme, focussed on the history of Dundee was also established.
Craftsman Iain Flett, former Dundee city archivist paid tribute to Innes, saying that in retirement his interest in the history of Dundee, its trades and Guildry, became a consuming passion that infected all around him.
“For someone who started to study the art of reading ancient handwriting in his 70s, he became an expert at deciphering written 16th century Scots with such words as relict (widow) umquhile (deceased) and coinage such as merks (two thirds of a pound),” said Iain. “Combined with the fact that Innes was a forward thinker and not one to wallow in nostalgia, he brought a refreshing energy to the evaluation of the past to appreciate the present and future.”