Michael Logue was the reason I went to Glasgow for a week in July. He was a good husband, a good father, a good grandfather. All in all, a good man. He fell in love with my cousin Patsy 40 years ago, when he was 17 and she was 15. Their love and friendship endured through the years. They raised two sons and a daughter who, in their turn, brought three girls and a boy into the family.
Michael worked on ships assigned to various off-shore projects. As he explained it to me once, it had to do with global positioning systems. The textbook scientific explanation was there are always ships on the surface laying pipes, cables and whatnot on the ocean floor. His job was positioning the things to fit together and point towards where they were supposed to go.
When he wasn’t working, Michael loved to travel with Patsy and their children. His job took him to a lot of places like the North Sea, and the coastal waters off Africa or South America. He also had a thirst to get on dry land and see the cities and countries of our world. There are some they didn’t get to, but not many. Lynne and I had the opportunity to share some travel moments with him and Patsy and the kids.
We have photographs from an early trip to Niagara Falls. Their oldest son, Josh, was just a couple of years old and their second, Liam, was in a baby stroller. Their daughter Eilish was still a twinkle in their eyes. Lynne stayed with Liam while the rest of us went on the Maid of the Mist and walked behind the Falls.
Another time Michael showed up for a surprise visit on his way home from an assignment off the coast of Louisiana. My oldest son, Dylan, had bought three tickets for the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels tour concert in Exhibition Stadium. It was the Sunday of the 1989 Labour Day weekend and the tickets were a birthday gift. Mine would be four days later, Lynne’s had been seven days earlier. She selflessly and generously gave her ticket to Michael, and away the three of us went.
A couple of times when we went to Glasgow, Michael and Patsy took us up to the West Highlands. All my trips to that beautiful corner of Scotland focus on the village of Morar just south of Mallaig, where the ferry crosses over to Skye. On one trip we went to the north end of Skye and across the bridge to the Kyle of Lochalsh. Then we drove down through Dalchreichart, Drumnadrochit, Inverness and onwards to Dalwhinnie, Killiecrankie and back to Glasgow. The amazing thing was that Michael could pronounce the names of all the towns and villages as we passed through.
On another trip, we drove to Morar then down through other towns with magical Gaelic names to Kilchoan, where we took the ferry to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. From there, we went to Fionphort. Lynne and I took a boat to Staffa, a small unpopulated island about seven and a half miles out. After that, the four of us went over to Iona. Fingal’s Cave on Staffa and the Abbey on Iona have absolutely marvellous acoustics. Fingal’s Cave inspired Felix Mendelssohn to compose a concert overture, The Hebrides. These two islands should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Michael and Patsy came to Canada to attend three of my children’s weddings, one in British Columbia and two in Guelph. Michael wore his formal Scottish kilt to all three weddings. Josh and Liam wore theirs to the first two. They would have come over for the fourth in British Columbia on June 2, but life got in the way.
Like his father before him, and his sons after, Michael was a life-long supporter of the Glasgow Celtic Football Club. A few years ago he made the pilgrimage to Lisbon, Portugal, to stand on the National Stadium pitch where Celtic won the European Cup in 1967.
Michael took an early retirement from the off-shore rigs in 2016 and became increasingly active with the Celtic Foundation, a charity associated with the football club. He also joined the club’s fitness program. This revealed a side of him I had not known. He began speaking at public functions, lobbying politicians and generally raising awareness and support for the Foundation’s partner charity, Mary’s Meals. It brings hot meals to children in impoverished communities around the world, and is very active in Malawi, Africa.
Last year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 European Cup win, the Celtic Foundation adopted a plan to build 67 Mary’s Meals Kitchens to be attached to schools in Third World countries. Michael was on the list of volunteers who would have gone this summer to build one of these kitchens in Malawi. He didn’t get there.
In May he began feeling poorly and Patsy took him to the doctor on June 1. He was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and died on July 7. He took some moments during the month to plot out his funeral service and select the music to be played. His choices brought both tears and smiles to his family and friends.
One of the highlights of his life was filmed and included in the memory loop played during the reception after his funeral on Friday the 13th. After his retirement, Michael enrolled in an Active Fans fitness program at Celtic Park. On October 21 2017, Celtic played Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League semi-final at Hampden Park in Glasgow. During half-time, fitness program members were invited to test their skills by taking the ball at centre field and attempting to score. He was one of the few to beat the goalie and put the ball into the net.
After everything else he accomplished in his life, perhaps scoring a goal in a Celtic uniform in Hampden Park made it complete. When one of the Mary’s Kitchens is finished in Malawi later this year or next it will be named the Michael Logue Kitchen and a memorial plaque will be fixed to a wall.
Farewell, Michael. Although you left us too soon, you did what you did with a style that was all your own.