Tributes after former policeman Ron dies, aged 79

Ron Hughes

Tributes have been paid to a police officer and community stalwart who died just before Christmas.

Ron Hughes passed away at his home in Aberdeen on December 23, only days after being diagnosed with an untreatable cancer.

The 79-year-old grew up in Inverness, attending both Merkinch Primary School and Inverness Royal Academy.

He later joined Grampian Police working his way up the ranks to become an inspector. After leaving the force, he served as secretary and treasurer of the north-east branch of the Retired Police Officers’ Association.

Through his role he organised well-attended lunches in Aberdeen every month meeting up with fellow retired officers, with whom he remained in touch, at the Brentwood Hotel.

Mr Hughes was also known to many people outside the force, having previously worked in the role of chairman of Braeside and Mannofield Community Council.

He led a campaign to the then Scottish Executive in 2001, calling for a fairer system for calculating residents’ water and sewage bills to be implemented.

The campaign culminated in Mr Hughes, along with delegates from other community councils, presenting evidence to ministers at the Scottish Parliament.

Last week Mr Hughes wrote online that he had been admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with a chest problem on December 11, which turned out to be lung cancer.He added that no further treatment for it would be available.

In the Facebook post to friends and colleagues, he wrote: “From childhood I have had a wonderful happy life and, during my police career in particular, your friendships have so enriched my later life.”

Following his death, tributes have been paid, including from former police officer Brian Smith, now an Elgin-based photographer, who described him as “such a gentleman”.

North-east branch secretary of the Retired Police Officers’ Association Scotland Ron Findlay said he was saddened by the news of Mr Hughes’s death.

He said: “Ron had recently been in hospital and had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

“Ron served as secretary and treasurer of the north-east branch for many years and was very well known for his work in visiting the sick and elderly.

“He also organised the monthly retired officers’ lunches at the Brentwood Hotel.”

Naomi Mandel, chairwoman of Braeside and Mannofield Community Council, said: “Ron served as a member and chairman of the community council from 2000 to 2005.

“Ron was a strong and tenacious chairman and very active in community council issues.  He represented the whole community in planning, licensing and other local issues. Our thoughts are with his wife and his family at this very sad time.”