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‘Inverness has lost a fine man’: Tributes paid to former Highland councillor

The late Major Hamish Sutherland.
The late Major Hamish Sutherland.

Inverness has lost a “fine man” with the death of a former councillor, hotelier and army officer.

Major Hamish Sutherland died peacefully aged 87 with his family at his side on October 28.

A man who served his community, Major Sutherland loved his city and lived most of his life in Cuchullin Lodge on Culduthel Road, which he ran as a hotel for 40 years alongside wife Annette.

Major Sutherland was a member of Inverness Town Council, Inverness District Council and Highland Regional Council, serving in the Crown and Raigmore areas from 1972 to 1986.

In that time, he served in a number of senior capacities, including as chairman of housing for five years and vice-chairman of roads and Transport for four years.

As well as running the busy hotel, he was also chairman of the Cameron Highlanders Branch of the Queen’s Own Highlanders Association. He was heavily involved in the organisation of 70th anniversary commemorations of the Camerons’ historic involvement battle of Kohima, which marked the beginning of the liberation of Burma.

His son James said: “He was special to us all. He really loved his grandchildren. Christmas time was special when the American side of the family would come over and get together with the Scottish side. He always was the big Santa Claus that would hold the thing together.

“He loved good food because he ran the hotel for 40 years with my mum. He loved it and when he retired he took up the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders with my mum and that became his love. They would organise special dinners and he loved doing it for ‘his boys’ as he called them.

“He was a special person. He never wanted to leave Inverness. He lived  in Cuchullin Lodge for 72 years after moving there when he was 16 when his mum and dad bought the hotel. When he left the army he took it over.

“When he was on the housing committee we used to get calls from people looking for homes. He was always more than willing to help them out. In those days you weren’t paid for being on the committee, he did it for the love of the town.

“It is going to be a sore loss. He left a good legacy and is going to be missed.”

He leaves wife Annette, children Claire and James, grandchildren James, Anna, David and Cameron and great-granddaughter Cassie.

Former Inverness Provost Councillor Alex Graham, who represents the Inverness West ward, said: “I met Hamish through local government, although we never served on the same council together.

“As chairman of the housing committee in the 1970s he played a major role in extending and improving local housing, being greatly involved at the time Inverness was growing rapidly in neighbourhoods such as Hilton, Kinmylies, Smithton and Culloden.

“He was always active and enthusiastic, putting a great deal of energy and effort into everything in which he was involved.

“Inverness has lost a fine man who served his community and the town of Inverness at a time of great change.”

Current Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael said: “Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends at this sad time.”

Due to government restrictions, a private family service will take place on Thursday.

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