As members of the Gaelic Society of Glasgow convened for their first meeting of the session last month, they greatly missed one of their popular members, Angus John Macdonald.
Angus John had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease a year ago but had managed to stay at home until August, when he had to go into hospital, and it was there that he passed away, aged 82.
Angus John Archy Macdonald was born in Knockline, Paible, North Uist, in 1933 and brought up there, but had the misfortune to lose his mother, and then his father, when he was still at an early age.
A promising pupil, he nevertheless left school shortly after that, and in due course the family of four sons and two daughters was broken up, and for a while some of them had no fixed home.
Later the young Angus John made his way south, spending some time in the Lothians but eventually settling in Glasgow, where he had an aunt. Among his jobs at this time was that of a railway porter in the Scotsoun area.
Angus John spent two years on National Service in the early 50s, and while it was no picnic, it may be that his ability to cope with both the physical and mental demands of the Army boosted his confidence.
He often spoke of these years, and of the relics of the Second World War that he saw in Libya – broken tanks and other kinds of detritus left over from the fighting in the desert. Among the other places to which he was posted were Malta and the south of England.
He went back to the railway after this, being based at Gilmour Street station in Paisley, and then working as a signalman for several years on the main line to Glasgow.
By then he had married Retta Potter of Port Glasgow, and while the marriage did not last, it yielded a son, Angus James, who was with him at the end, as was his daughter-in-law, Janet.
But by far the greater proportion of Angus John’s working life was given over to the Post Office (as it later became), first as a postman and later as a driver, making local deliveries to begin with and later doing a nightly run between Glasgow and Perth.