Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Celebrating the Life of Sir Sandy Macara

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Celebrating the Life of Sir Sandy Macara

Article excerpt

Professor Sir Alexander Wiseman Macara, Sandy to his many friends, sadly passed away on 21st June after a long struggle against bowel cancer. He died peacefully at home with his family. On behalf of the Council, and RSPH members and staff, we extend our deepest sympathies to Sandy's wife, Lady Sylvia, and to their two children, Alexandra and James.

Sandy Macara completed his medical training at Glasgow University, followed by postgraduate public health studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In due course he and his family moved to Bristol, where he became Consultant Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Epidemiology at the University.

The son and grandson of Church of Scotland Ministers, Sandy had a clear view of what was right and just. This, together with the poverty so evident during his childhood, led to his unwavering commitment to public health, social justice, and a reduction in health inequalities. He was quite prepared to take on the 'monstrous and cynical' tobacco industry, doing more than his fair share to secure the legislation that led to smoke-free public places. Research just released shows that 37% of ex-smokers say that the ban introduced on 1st July 2007 helped them to quit. What a legacy! Sandy Macara was also an unswerving champion for the NHS, criticising the introduction of the internal market in the mid 1990s as an 'infernal bazaar'.

His public pronouncements and rhetorical style led to his appointment as Chair of the British Medical Association (BMA). Widely regarded as one of the most successful BMA Chairs in recent times the immediate past Chair, Hamish Meldrum, commented: "It is terribly sad to hear about Sandy's death. …

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