Monday, 19 October 2015

Amyan Macfadyen

I am very sorry to have to announce that one of our members, Amyan Macfadyen, died on October 3rd, aged 94.

Amyan was a very active member of Sheffield Friends of the Earth until about four or five years ago, having joined the group in his mid-eighties when he moved to Sheffield from Coleraine in Northern Ireland, where he was also an active member of Friends of the Earth and was named individual campaigner of the year shortly before he left.

During his working life he had an extremely distinguished career at the University of Ulster, where he was Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences, having co-founded this department - the first of its kind in the UK - back in the 1960s. He was a leading expert in this field.

We were very honoured to have him as a member. He gave an enormous amount of time to the green causes that he supported in Sheffield. He was always ready to help man stalls, and joined litter picks with enthusiasm, working with the energy and application of someone half his age. I shall always remember him at one of the Green Fairs at St. Mary’s church, when, having spent the morning helping Friends of the Earth and the afternoon helping the Green Party, he then set about sweeping the site, with an enormous broom, when everyone else was going home. This was when he was about ninety.

Apart from being an extremely distinguished man in his field, he was also extremely kind, generous and interested in a vast range of subjects, including cooking, and he made all his own bread and biscuits (and very good they were too) till very near the end. However, his special passion was gardening and he was always keen to share his expertise and produce with others.

His wife Ursula died some time ago and he leaves four children and seven grandchildren. Amyan was buried at the South Yorkshire Woodland Burial ground near Ulley on Saturday October 17th. An oak tree will be planted on his grave.

Amyan stipulated that no flowers should be sent but invited anyone who cared to, to make a donation to one of his preferred charities:
Sheffield Friends of the Earth has made a donation to Garden Organic.

Amyan Macfadyen second from the right helping with a Sheffield Friends of the Earth litter pick