James Campbell and Angus MacDonald
In 1990 Angus was assigned to the Community Relations Bureau of the Lowell Police Department, by then Chief Jack Sheehan. The new assignment had him overseeing the License Issuing Section of the department with Jim Campbell the Officer in Charge. This was the beginning of a new saga of the Campbell’s and the Mac Donald’s. ( Massacre of Glencoe.) Jim and Angus soon became close friends. They began discussing the membership of Division 19 of the AOH, as Jim was already deeply involved. It was in the 1980’s that Jim along with other members, John Tighe, Jack Conlon and others worked towards the re-establishment of Lowell Division 19.
Mixing police work with AOH business Jim and Angus started thinking of ways to bring Irish Heritage back to Lowell. Jim had a great idea and floated the idea with Angus and several other police officers, that idea was for the Lowell Police Department to march in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, Ireland. Jim researched the idea and found that in order to march you would have to invited by the parade organizers. Jim composed a letter to the parade organizers seeking an invitation to march. About a month later Jim received a very important letter from the parade organizers with an invitation to march in the Dublin Saint Patrick’s day, 1991. Of course we accepted. Twenty-two police officers and wives went to Dublin for the parade.
A while after returning from Ireland, police work and AOH business began again. Jim and Angus started to talk about bringing Phil Coulter to Lowell. They had no idea how to become show producers, but they would have to learn fast. Angus made contact with Coulter’s U.S. agent to see what had to be done and the cost (we were new at this) to have Coulter come to Lowell. Angus and Jim were floored when told what the cost would be. Things we never thought of made us wonder if we could get this done. This was going to be a big boost for Irish Heritage and Culture to have Ireland’s Music Ambassador playing in Lowell.
It was during the time we were bringing Phil Coulter to Lowell, we approached WLLH 1400AM radio station to purchase time to advertise the first Coulter show. Jim and Angus spoke with the station manager Perry Kapoloff and in addition to getting a real good deal Kapoloff asked if we would be interested in doing a weekly Irish show. The “Sounds of Ireland” hit the airwaves on February 2, 1995. We were able to produce our own program format which we thought was very important to get the best Irish music out to the listeners. We agreed to continue the show as long as possible, but in 1998 the station was sold.We finally signed a deal with WCAP 980AM to pick up the show. The “Sounds of Ireland” remained on the air until 2002 when financial problems caused the demise of the radio show. Jim and Angus missed doing the radio show and wished someone would come forward to pick up the “Sounds of Ireland” we would sure help. The “Sounds of Ireland” radio show was honored in 1996 by the Massachusetts Broadcasters Star Award committee for the best musical programing 1995/1996. The “Sounds of Ireland” radio show was honored by AOH Division 8, Lawrence, MA. With the “Distinguished Service Award” for serving the Irish/American Community with Irish programing.