originally 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.”