…my Most Unforgettable Character… Angus Macintyre, The Bard of Mull… #TBSU…

Angus

…exactly five decades ago, in 1964, I first stepped ashore on the Island of Mull in the Scottish Hebrides… as a raw lad of fifteen (and a half, Jimmy!… don’t forget the half!)… I was set to begin six unforgettable years working in the illustrious Clydesdale & North of Scotland Bank, Tobermory Branch

bank

…pitched out of the Govan Docklands in Glasgow to this totally foreign environment as a mid-teenager was a formidable undertaking… they even spoke a foreign language…Scots Gaelic… intense trepidation hardly covers how I felt… however, into my life appeared the man who will forever be my Most Unforgettable Character… Angus Macintyre, The Bard of Mull, Bank Manager, father of four sons who each excelled in their own chosen field… from the eldest down, Angus Jr, an extraordinarily gifted mathematics scholar, who used to teach his own professors at Stanford, to which he won a scholarship… Lorn, a noted poet… Kenny, a celebrated athlete, and later broadcaster… and Eric, a highly-talented junior golfer… Angus himself had even broader gifts… I’ve described him elsewhere as a cross between Einstein and Groucho Marx, with a sharp, droll wit, and an ear for doggerel poetry unmatched anywhere in Scotland (or elsewhere for that matter)… his greatest touch was his inbuilt humanity and humour… the talent to make others feel at ease and worthy I have never seen equalled… one of his many official and unofficial titles as the centre of the business of banking and survival on an island of 2,000 people was Chairman of something called the Mull and Iona Council of Social Services… this was basically a charitable organisation to help the needy from time to time… and we’re talking only a few pounds here and there occasionally… but back then, that was often sufficient to make the difference for the recipients… on one monumental occasion, the  organisation decided to run a ceilidh in the local village hall… a sort of musical, poetry, story-telling night for the community to which entrance money was a mere couple of (old money) shillings… people would come and play the fiddle, or bagpipes, or, like myself, sing a song or two… as a wee ‘thank you’ gesture to these performers, Angus often wrote out a cheque for, say, a pound or two (quickly exchanged at the local pub), which cheques were drawn against the Council’s bank account with the Clydesdale Bank… unfortunately, on this occasion, the amount that Angus wrote exceeded the revenue, and the account went overdrawn… a huge No-No in banking regulations… and into the Bank the very next day came the Bank’s surprise annual audit team… the Chief Auditor pounced on the offending overdraft and asked for an explanation… ‘Och, well, y’see, we held a wee ceilidh to try to raise funds,’ said Angus… ‘most irregular, Mister Macintrye, most irregular’ wheedled the Chief Weasel, ‘and what do you intend to do about it?’, to which my man responded, with a twinkle in his eye, ‘well we could always hold another ceilidh!’… suppressing laughter for the attendant staff was the most difficult thing we all had to achieve that year! … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

tobermory

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “…my Most Unforgettable Character… Angus Macintyre, The Bard of Mull… #TBSU…

  1. And there’s me thinking Tobomory was a Womble. Phnark.

    It’s amazing what a difference working for a good boss makes, not just to your work but to your life ever after. 😉 He sounds like a lovely chap.

    Cheers

    MTM

    Like

  2. A delightful story about a memorable man Seumas.

    Like

  3. What a wonderful mentor to have. Those kinds of bosses are truly a gift…

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  4. Quite a character there Seumas.

    Like

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