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Politicians and community leaders unite in mourning at death of Highland councillor Alasdair Rhind as more tributes paid

By Alasdair Fraser

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Cllr Alasdair Rhind.
Cllr Alasdair Rhind.

Saddened community figures have called councillor Alasdair Rhind a “font of knowledge, gentleman and friend” who gave a “lifetime of service” to the community he loved.

They were among a host of people paying tribute to the Tain and Easter Ross member after his sudden death on Thursday.

Cllr Rhind, who also owned a funeral directors in Tain, took ill on Wednesday and is understood to have later passed away at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

RELATED: Shock death of Highland councillor Alasdair Rhind a ‘huge loss to us all’, says Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP Jamie Stone

RELATED: ‘Heartbreaking’: Tributes flood in following sudden death of popular Highland councillor Alasdair Rhind

Tributes were swift to flood in after the news broke on Thursday morning, with the likes of local MP and Tain resident Jamie Stone, as well as other community members among those to praise his tireless public service.

Further tributes have come in during the day, with Caithness, Sutherland & Ross MSP Maree Todd among them. She said: "I am deeply saddened by the news of Cllr Alasdair Rhind’s passing.

“He will be fondly remembered as a dedicated local councillor who cared passionately about his community. I know his loss will be deeply felt by his constituents in Tain & Easter Ross.

“My thoughts and condolences are with his loved ones and colleagues at this difficult time.”

Highland Council convenor Bill Lobban added his voice, describing his former colleague as a committed, experienced servant of his community.

Cllr Lobban said: “Not only will we miss his extensive experience and countenance at council meetings, as a figurehead in his local community his passing will be a deep loss to many.

“Alasdair was committed to serving his community not just as a councillor but in many other ways.

“I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

One of Cllr Rhind’s fellow ward councillors, Maureen Ross, meanwhile said his death had left her shocked, and she was full of praise for a “friend and gentleman”.

She added: “The shock and sadness is palpable- he was a font of knowledge when it came to Tain and Easter Ross ward. He was a gentleman and it's hard to put into a few words what his lifetime of service to the community was. Thoughts and prayers go out to Mandy and the family at this time. I was proud to call him a friend and fellow councillor."

Tain and District Development Trust also moved to pay tribute to Cllr Rhind’s memory. Its chairman Dave McDougall, said: "This is a great shock to the community. Alasdair was involved in most aspects of life within Tain and always made a big contribution to activities. He was often controversial, but he always had the good of the people of Tain at heart and worked very hard on our behalf. He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts go out to all his relatives and friends."

Mr Rhind was first elected to serve on The Highland Council in 1999 for Ward 19 – Tain West and was re-elected to Ward 19 in 2003.

He was elected to Ward 8 – Tain and Easter Ross in the 2007 and 2012 elections and was currently serving a fifth term as an independent councillor having been elected in 2022 to Ward 7 – Tain and Easter Ross.

Throughout his service, he was a member of many council committees and boards and was formerly the chairman of the licensing board; vice-chairman of the resources committee; vice-chairman of roads and transport; chairman of Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross committee; and vice-chairman of Ross and Cromarty area committee.

During his current term of service, he was a member of the corporate resources committee, Black Isle and Easter Ross area committee, economy and infrastructure committee, housing and property committee and the north planning applications committee.

In addition to serving his local community as a Highland councillor, he was also a member of the Tain Gala Association, Tain Initiative Group and Tain Task Force.

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