MASTER Mariner Captain Angus John MacDonald, from Islandmagee, has died 28 days after his 100th birthday.
The beloved husband of the late Helen and much loved father of Helen, Rosemary, Carol, Angus and Gordon, passed away on Thursday, March 29. The funeral service took place on Tuesday in Whitehead Presbyterian Church and interment at Islandmagee New Cemetery.
Born on March 1, 1912, Capt MacDonald was aged 17 when he first set sail in 1929 from the busy Belfast docks on The Laird Londonderry to begin a 45-year career at sea.
Both Angus and his late brother William followed their father to sea, transporting linen to eastern Europe. The future Commodore of the Denholm Line was a baby in his mother’s arms as she watched Titanic sail for the first time.
In 1937, Angus was based in what was then the Caribbean colony of Aruba, transporting oil in tankers from Venezuela to Canada.
During the Second World War, he ran the gauntlet of U-Boats, endured the Suez Crisis in 1956-57 and the Indo-China wars in the Far East, where he sailed between Shanghai and Murmansk and gathered information for the British Secret Service.
Angus and Helen married in Islandmagee in 1945 and lived for 17 years at Aruba, where two of their daughters were born.
They returned to Islandmagee before captain MacDonald’s last voyage, on The Glenport, in 1974. Helen passed away in May, 1997.
In his retirement, he served as Commodore with the Co Antrim Yacht Club at Whitehead, and enjoyed sailing his own yacht, Fulmer, in the Western Isles of Scotland, once again following in a family tradition: his father had sailed with Sir Thomas Lipton aboard J-Class yachts in the Americas Cup.
Capt MacDonald, who was invited by the Titanic Foundation to celebrate his 100th birthday at the rejuvenated Titanic Quarter, said eating fish and drinking a regular pint of buttermilk contributed to his longevity.
Larne councillor John Mathews said of Capt MacDonald: “He was a much-loved member of the Whitehead and Islandmagee community and always had time for everybody.”