Archie Downie OBE, tireless campaigner, dies aged 85

remembrance candlesoriginally published by: Manchester News
28th April 2010

A race equality campaigner who was instrumental in dealing with the aftermath of the Moss Side riots has died aged 85. Archie Downie OBE co-founded the Manchester Council for Community Relations MCCR in 1966 to fight for immigrants’ rights.

In 1981, following the riots in Moss Side, he played a crucial role in getting disaffected young black men to engage with the authorities – leading a delegation to meet then-Home Secretary William Whitelaw.

Mr Downie, who lived in Heywood Road, Prestwich, and was a magistrate in Manchester, fell ill and died at North Manchester General Hospital last week.

Friend and colleague Khan Moghal, who is chief executive of MCCR, said: “He was a character with a great sense of ­humour.“He was once voted the best-dressed man in Manchester.

“He could form a rapport with anyone. He was focused and passionate about the work of MCCR. He was a nice and genuine man, everything he said came from the heart.

“He will be greatly missed but there is a lot to celebrate because Archie touched countless people and his work helped improve many people’s quality of life.”

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