Tribute to former pipe major, Angus MacLennan

Oban Pipe Band's former Pipe Major Angus MacLennan

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The streets of Oban filled with people and the stirring sound of pipes on Monday as the town paid its respects to Angus MacLennan.

The former pipe major and stalwart of Oban Pipe Band died suddenly at his home in Glencruitten on May 2, after half-a-century’s service

Mr MacLennan was born at Kilmaha near Dalavich and raised in Barcaldine.

He was taught to play pipes by Donald MacLennan and later by Dochie Ferguson, joining Oban Pipe Band in 1969/70 where he remained an active piper and committee member until his unexpected death.

He became pipe major in 1973, when most of the members were youngsters, and led the band for two terms, alternating as pipe sergeant for the period up to 2009.

Among his major achievements were leading the band to the World and Cowal Championship titles in Novice Juvenile grade in 1974.

He was also a playing member of the band which won the World Championship in grade 3A in 2011.

Pipe Band president and friend Iain Hurst paid this tribute from the band: ‘Angus rarely missed an engagement, and was well known locally and all across the pipe band world as a friendly and helpful character. As a mechanic to trade, this included fixing many people’s cars in
time of need, for which no reward was ever contemplated.

‘In Oban Pipe Band over the years, he was the go-to guy whenever a piper needed help tying in a new bag, and his only weakness was probably finding it difficult to say no to anyone.

‘He spent Thursday evenings for many years teaching youngsters, and some not so young, and several of those have been among the many contributors with warm comments on the band’s Facebook page when his tragic death was announced.

‘More recently, the famed Oban Pipe Band soup lunches which have raised so many valuable funds for the band, were never complete without Angus washing dishes like a Trojan, not to mention his superb seafood chowder!

‘Among his other talents, Angus was also a bus driver, and was always a fixture at the wheel with Oban Pipe Band on their travels.

‘Blessed with the patience of a saint, he put up with some raucous journeys, usually on the homeward leg!, and handled the bus with great panache.

‘We have lost a great friend whose manner and commitment were an example to all, an ever-present and encouraging voice, with a dry and waspish sense of humour which was as sharp as a tack, and always the mischievous twinkle in his eye.

‘We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Margaret, daughter Kirsteen, son Ronnie and all the family. Angus was loved and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.’