Angus's CBC Paddling Career:
Angus was a prominent paddler, superb war-canoe cox and great motivating coach during the dominant years of the Cartierville Boating Club.
Evening training sessions at the Club would start with a basketball pick-up game where Angus can be remembered tunneling his way under taller players
on his way to the basket for the score. He then lead the on-court warm-up run and calisthenics culminating with his signature exercise called 'six-inches'.
No one could out-last Angus holding his legs/feet six inches above ground, it required a grueling effort for all of us not to quit.
Next "on to the war canoes" and launching them on the water where Angus would steer one of the crews up the river past Paton's, Cats, the Big Rock and on to the Narrows.
At regattas, he inspired many crews with regular victories at local, provincial and national regattas.
Angus captained Cartierville Junior warcanoe crews to victory at the Canadian Championships (CCA) in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1967.
He also captained Senior warcanoe crews to CCA championship victories in 1962 and 1968 at 1000 meters; and, the Mile (1500 meters) in 1962.
Many personal feelings of respect and admiration for Angus have been related by many over the years, recently well-expressed by Gerry Hill:
Angus Birse was one of the most respected, most successful, and most popular canoe-racing coaches in Canada during the 1960's. The Cartierville Boating Cub crews he led were a dominant force in the sport nationally, winning numerous local, regional and Canadian Championships over several years. I was fortunate to be one member, among scores of other Montreal paddlers, on those winning teams. Angus was also an accomplished downhill skier and spent many winter weekends during that era, as I did, in and around St. Sauveur des Monts in the Laurentians north of Montreal. Here in New Brunswick 15 years later, Angus and I met again by chance. Although based in different parts of the Province, we stayed in touch from then on, for more than four decades. Angus had a sparkling sense of humour and made it so easy to enjoy his company, on the phone or in person. He was always a strong advocate for maintaining physical fitness as well and remained committed to that goal on a personal level, every single day. I feel very lucky to have known and spent time with Angus for more than sixty years. He will remain one of the most memorable people I've ever known, and I extend my most sincere condolences to Eugenie and family, on behalf of myself and our family here in Fredericton. Gerry Hill
Photo: Angus Birse receiving the Mile War Canoe trophy from Bill Colligan at the National Championships at Mooney's Bay in Ottawa in 1962.
Howard Radford and Ken Lane can be seen behind.