The loss of Ewen Bain to all Scotland cannot be
measured, except that all of us have lost a main source of laughter
based on a humour without any malice. Ewen was a modern commentator but
in his cartoon’s famous character Angus Og he also observed the
essential qualities of the Scots’ failings and virtues. There was of
course a Highland bias — Ewen
after all was a Gaelic-speaking Glaswegian hailing from Skye. Quite a
lot of fun was poked but more against authority than against the
individual, No offence was given or taken. His following was enormous
and Angus was a household figure in all Scotland from Shetland to
In 19501 was the best maid at the wedding of Ewen to
my life-long friend of school days Sheila Hunter, a fellow-artist whom
Ewen met at the Glasgow School of Art. Even then the humour was
renowned, He and a fellow-student used to give illustrated slide-show
lectures. One I recall was entitled "The Impact of the Internal
Combustion Engine on Stained Glass Windows." By coincidence Ewen
was in the same class at Woodside School as my husband Stewart and so
there was a double friendship.
There was of course a stress in meeting the ceaseless
cartoon deadlines but he always found his material by looking around him
at events of the day.
Ewen was very supportive of the ‘Scots Independent’
and helped many SNP candidates in their election material. I remember
one for me two chaps looking at opinion polls about Bannockburn and
saying "Ah wish Ah hadny come - this
latest poll says we’re goin’ tae lose."
When I spoke with my friend Sheila after his
unexpected death with flu she said "Well, I had him for forty
years." This was a truly happy marriage which radiated happiness to
all the Bain’s circle of friends. For Sheila and his daughter Rhona
and for all us life will never be the same again.
From the SI of February 1990