Friends, family, colleagues and politicians of all parties gathered to pay tribute at the funeral of an Aberdeen councillor yesterday.
The service for Bridge of Don member Sandy Stuart took place at the suburb’s St Columba’s Church and was packed with mourners.
A busload of councillors arrived clad in civic red robes as a tribute to Mr Stuart’s seven years of serving constituents in the ward.
Led by the Reverend Steven Taylor, a recording of Caledonian Cathedral was played as mourners gathered – with many in tartan ties, kilts and Scotland football shirts in memory of the committed SNP member.
A reading of the sermon on the mount from the Gospel of Matthew was heard – with “blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” a particularly appropriate passage.
SNP group leader, Stephen Flynn, then read a poignant poem in tribute to Mr Stuart and The Lord’s My Shepherd and The Old Rugged Cross were sung by the congregation.
Following the service, a collection was taken for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s ward 206 and 207 and a wake held at the nearby Royal British Legion.
Mr Stuart died in hospital last Wednesday after a short illness, aged 68.
Educated at Hilton Junior School, Hilton Secondary and then Aberdeen College, Mr Stuart loved the Granite City and was married to former councillor Wendy Stuart.
After leaving school, he worked in his parents’ Donview Bar in the Bridge of Don, then became a plumber, a sales representative, and was also a taxi driver.
However a love of politics took hold later in his life and he was elected as a councillor in 2012.
Mr Stuart was a huge football fan, known as a proud member of the Tartan Army, and that passion was the catalyst for his work in the community helping youngsters’ teams at the grassroots level.
Mr Stuart was well-liked and respected by councillors across the political divide and following his death First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to the “stalwart”.
She wrote online: “My thoughts are with Sandy’s family, friends and colleagues. He was a great stalwart indeed, for the SNP and the independence cause.”
Following Mr Stuart’s death, and the sudden resignation of fellow ward councillor Brett Hunt, there will be by-elections in Bridge of Don.