A Tribute to, Angus Blue MacDonald, Glace Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

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The late Angus “Blue” MacDonald, the legendary councilor from Donkin, who once opined, “Byes, she’s not gonna be like the year 19 ought 10 when the RCMP walked in on horseback and we sat down and stood for it.”

A no nonsense guy, who shot from the hip and the lip.

Angus once rose to his feet at a Maritime Amateur Hockey Association Annual Meeting, having listened to a 10 minute rant by a rival Sydney sportsman, the late  Fred Compton, and said, “Mr. Chairman, I rise on a ‘pint’ of order. ‘Yous’ is missing the ‘pint.’ the man’s nominating himself.”

Below Credit to Credit: Pat MacAdam

Angus “Blue” was a much-loved local politician in Glace Bay. He parlayed his job as a miner and his volunteer work with the Canadian Legion and Little League Baseball into a lifetime position on Town Council.

Like so many of his peers, Angus “Blue” left school at an early age to help support his family. His formal education probably ended with Grade Six. Angus “Blue” was known for his propensity to mangle the English language. He could, on occasion, make Mrs. Malaprop sound like an Oxford don.

Addressing voters, he referred to them as “my dear constitionaries”. If elected, he promised he would “do something about the ‘LIGHTNING’ system on South Street”.

During a Town Council meeting he advised those present he had difficulty pronouncing Clerk Enso Antonello’s name and thereafter would refer to him as “the Dago”. No offence was taken by Enso or by “Blue’s” fellow Councillors.

Angus “Blue” clashed once with Prime Minister Mike Pearson who was at a Legion Atlantic Command convention soft-selling his government’s approach to bilingualism and biculturalism.

“Listen, Bye”, he told the PM, “if English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for us guys down here.” Then, for good measure, he threw in a few profane broadsides.

Ever the diplomat, ever conciliatory, Mike Pearson replied: “We aren’t trying to legislate language for anyone. It doesn’t matter a whit what language Canadians speak – English, French or the language of the previous speaker.” Angus “Blue” was smart enough to quit when he was behind.

The morning paper the next day carried a photo of Angus “Blue” wearing his blue Blazer and beret, both carrying Legion crests – with his arm around Mike Pearson’s shoulder.

The Hot Stove League that gathered on fine evenings on Senator’s Corner in Glace Bay under the chairmanship of “Big Cy” MacDonald was always good for the latest Angus “Blue” miscue – like the night he went to Vince MacGillivray’s Funeral Parlour wearing his brand new “double-chested suit and Stilson hat” from Hughie MacIntyre’s haberdashery.

Angus “Blue” didn’t live to experience “NIAGARA”, the new wonder drug for erectile difficulty. Nor did he ever indulge himself in one of those new fangled JU-JITSU bathtubs with water jets.

“Big Cy” and Angus “Blue” were in common agreement on one thing.

“Everybody thinks we are backward down here in Cape Breton. Did you know that last year 10,000 Upper Canadian and American tourists drove down here to see the SEVEN MILE BRIDGE?”

The Seven Mile Bridge is about 75 feet across – including approaches – and spans a narrow stream at Howie Centre. It is seven miles from Sydney.

“Now, who’s backward?”

 

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