Angus was one of the best councillors ever to grace the chamber, although - as with many of his colleagues - we did not always see eye to eye.
Angus had huge experience, guile, ability, intelligence, drive, determination and foresight in his many roles inside the Council; and beyond in the many responsibilities he took on.
I could write a eulogy about his abilities but that would not be honest or fair; nor would Angus have wanted to be painted as a saint. He was never afraid to challenge or cross anyone, nor to use his abilities to achieve an end that he considered worthy.
Angus was a master at the black political arts which go on behind the scenes and which (when expertly worked) are never seen. He believed passionately in many causes - low pay, crofting, the Labour Party (but not New Labour) and his ward amongst others - and was never slow in coming forward to state his views.
I decided to stand for the Council in 1999 largely as a result of seeing his role as Vice-Convener and was immediately thrust into the role of king-maker by Angus who wanted the votes he believed I could deliver. It was a baptism of fire and a rapid, and unforgiving, learning curve as I saw him corner Councillors as he sought their votes. His relationship with Council employees was unique, and ranged completely across the spectrum.
Angus and I fell out over his role as Chair of Transportation, and I suffered the repeated lambasting that he felt was due to all upstarts who challenged his views, and the prolonged battle affected the new Council for some six months, before the matter was concluded. We didn't speak directly for many long months, publicly exchanging long and interminable correspondence on obtuse points of protocol before the Council settled down again.
He may have moved to the backbenches but his presence was always felt in the Council and noted by the journalists who he assiduously courted which resulted in his regular exclusive appearance in all the media, much to the despair of us less-quotable Councillors.
After the icy chill thawed, we spent many hours arguing respectfully about the finer points of whatever topic was up for debate, even though our views were not hugely different.
Amongst my recollections of Angus were his ability to come into the Chamber and to only then open the envelope with his papers with great show (and noise) and ask what item we were at. At which point he would then produce an excellent, on the hoof argument for or against the point, lambasting the previous speakers, grabbing the headlines without any effort, and trying to place the Chair in an invidious position. You lost concentration at your peril; or 'mis-spoke' at the risk of a serious verbal humiliation.
Above all, he made immense contributions to debates, frequently using his rhetoric and well-judged motions to guide the Comhairle to vastly improved decisions.
He was the master of the Standing Order, pulling sub-clauses from the depths of his experience at a moment's notice and bending the Chamber to his will. That he sometimes used his wiles to manipulate the rules was in hindsight wonderful to see, and an enormous education to us all.
Angus and I were never reconciled beyond a nodding acquaintance, but we respected each others' views, whilst trying to knock lumps out of each other. However, I never stopped having an utter admiration for his uncompromising abilities and political abilities.
He is a huge loss to the causes he espoused, the community that he served, and to the family that he so obviously loved and protected.