Retired Aberdeen minister, former science teacher and parapsychology expert, Rev Angus Haddow, has died aged 90.
The Boys’ Brigade captain, author, and stone circles enthusiast, served as clerk of Aberdeen Presbytery for a decade.
Born on November 27 1932 in Craigneuk, Wishaw, Angus Halley Haddow grew up in the shadow of Lanarkshire’s “steelopolis”.
Son of steelworker David and grocery shop assistant Marion Haddow, he and his two siblings were raised on the town’s Charles Street and Overjohnstone Drive.
Angus attended primary in Craigneuk before moving on to secondary school, where he received the dux award. After leaving Wishaw High School, bolstered by the encouragement of his teachers, he enrolled at Glasgow University.
A man of the Kirk
After graduating with a BSc in pure science, he joined the staff of Greenfield Secondary School in nearby Hamilton where he taught science.
Throughout his life church and faith were important to Angus. While his friends and colleagues considered him “thirled to the Kirk”, he relished his time as a Boys’ Brigade captain, being part of Craigneuk Parish Church youth fellowship and helping teach Sunday School classes.
In June 1962, having been introduced through friends of her parents Angus married Marjory Walsh at her church, Auchingramont, in Hamilton. The newlyweds left the church to a guard of honour provided by Marjory’s Brownie and Ranger Guide units.
The pair moved into a flat in Wishaw and would later go on to have three children, Peter, Alison and Jill.
Angus continued teaching but always had a visceral sense that he would one day become a minister. After returning to Trinity College, and following a practical placement in Newarthill, he was inducted, in 1963, to his first charge: St David’s Church in Lower Largo, Fife.
After eight years, Aberdeen was the next port of call, when Angus became minister at Trinity Church on Crown Street. The Granite City and the Shire would be his ministry home until he retired in 1999.
During his tenure his congregation also met in St Mark’s, Garthdee, when a fire meant they had to leave Crown Street, before Angus moved on to Garthdee Church. He then took up his final role as minister at Methlick. Angus also served as clerk of Aberdeen Presbytery.
Music was an integral part of Angus’ life. From childhood – aided by the strong arms of his mother who carried his instrument – he played accordion, becoming a sought after performer in Wishaw. Later, he and two minister friends formed a trio in Aberdeen playing at care homes across the city.
He sang in choirs and enjoyed playing piano. In later years it was a source of great pleasure to play old and familiar tunes on the keyboard.
Alongside his devotion to the church, Angus was deeply interested in two more unusual subjects: prehistoric stone circles and parapsychology.
Aberdeenshire provided a “happy hunting ground” for stone circles. Angus painstakingly mapped out stones and stone circles throughout Aberdeenshire. He could often be found out dowsing for long-disappeared stones with his hazel dowsing stick.
Many of the stone circle diagrams he created during his research were published in his book, Dowsing for Patterns of the Past: The Stone Circles of Aberdeenshire.
Angus was recognised within the field of parapsychology, receiving several awards for papers he penned. Much of his work examined the connections between church and religious belief to the paranormal.
His book, Paranormal Perspectives, compiled short papers on the subject and he also co-authored The Paranormal in Holy Scripture. Many of his articles were published in journals such as The Christian Parapsychologist.
Passionate about these subjects, Angus gave lectures to church groups across the UK and to the Scottish Society of Psychical Research of which he was an active member. He was also chairman and president of the Churches’ Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies (Scotland).
His keen interest in history inspired his book, The History of Methlick Parish Church. He also had articles published on subjects as diverse as the Knights Templar, civil war in the north-east of Scotland, and the Bass of Inverurie.
Grandpa to seven grandchildren, three in Aberdeen and four in Perth, Western Australia, Marjory and Angus looked forward to their trips to see family as often as possible.
Angus passed away peacefully at home on August 30. A celebration of his life took place at Trinity Church, Westhill.