Angus MacDonald, Gentleman and Activist


From the September 2012 PNL #817

Very longtime SPC activist Angus MacDonald died on August 22. Over the past few years his hearing, eyesight and mobility had been in severe decline. Angus would have been 100 years old on September 18.

Angus was there in SPC’s earliest days—in the 1930s —helping to pull together the first Peace Newsletters. A World War II vet, Angus remained active with SPC into the 21st century. A staunch anti-militarist, anti-fascist, anti-capitalist, Angus worked with SPC’s anti-nuclear committee in the seventies and with the PNL editorial committee in the eighties. He “crossed the line” more than once at Fort Benning to protest the Pentagon’s School of the Americas. Angus was twice arrested at the Federal Building in downtown Syracuse protesting the Iraq War. For years Angus was a mainstay of SPC’s twice-weekly anti-war “outreaches,” taking delight in counting the number of “honks for peace” we garnered from passing traffic.

Vexed by climate change and by his country’s seemingly endless wars, long into his tenth decade Angus retained a keen interest in the fate of this planet and its creatures. Despite his mind’s pessimism, his heart remained open and large. He loved to sing and only days before he died he joined with friends in singing “Auld lang syne.” Ang’s steadfastness has long inspired friends fortunate enough to have known him. Those of us who would visit him in his room at Loretto’s Fahey Building were invariably heartened by his cheery outlook and warmth — despite the overwhelming physical limitations of his life.

Angus’ family will be holding a memorial service in the coming weeks. You may contact Ed or Ann for details (315) 478-4571.

-Ed Kinane