Elgin residents gathered united in their grief to mourn the tragic death of ‘murdered’ Elgin bus driver Keith Rollinson with a candlelight vigil.
The 58-year-old died at Dr Gray’s Hospital last week following an incident at Elgin’s Bus Station on February 2.
His death sent shockwaves through the community and shattered the hearts of his adoring family who have described him as a “loving husband and father.”
Keith’s Stagecoach colleagues have launched a fundraiser, which has so far garnered more than £33,000 in donations.
A 15-year-old boy has since appeared in court charged with murder. He denies the charge.
Candlelight vigil for Keith Rollinson prompts outpouring of support in Elgin
On Saturday night, crowds gathered in solidarity outside St Giles Church for a candlelight vigil to grieve and mourn his death.
Candlelight lit up the church steps as people of all ages stepped forward to pay their respects, with the sound of soft piano music forming the backdrop to the sombre occasion.
Organiser Craig Mackay was asked to organise the event to “call the community together.”
Speaking to The P&J, he said he was “blown away” by the scale of the turnout.
“It was very last minute,” he said.
“We just thought we would get a few friends quite frankly. I didn’t think the community would respond in the way they have, so I’m completely blown away and overwhelmed by the way the community came out tonight.
“It was a wonderful peaceful, demonstration of our love for Keith’s family.
“I’m so thankful that people did record the fact this is not normal for Elgin and this doesn’t happen every day and they came out and responded in a beautiful way for Keith’s family.”
‘No one should go to work and not come home’
Moray representatives, including MP Douglas Ross and local MSP Richard Lochhead were among the crowds, stepping forward to light a candle.
Mr Ross said he hopes the outpouring of love shown by the Moray community will be felt by Mr Rollinson’s family.
He said: “It’s an incredible turnout. It shows the shock that there has been across Moray and the love and sympathies for the whole Rollinson family.
“Keith served his country and died while serving his community and no one should go to work and not come home.
“There is a palpable sense of shock and solidarity here after the tragic events and I hope this, is in some way, is comforting to the family to see so many coming out here to pay tribute.”
Mr Lochhead added: “Its a big turnout from the local community to express their condolences to the family and show the community is shocked.
“It was very poignant driving by Elgin bus station as drivers were going to work tonight and taking passengers to their destinations as we attended a vigil in relation to the loss of one of their valued work colleagues.”
‘He was a lovely guy who will be missed’
Leaflets were handed out to each attendee bearing Keith’s picture alongside the following words: “We gather as a community to recognise a life given to serving his country and community, to think of Keith’s family and to demonstrate – as a city united – our care, concern and love in the midst of this tragedy.”
Among the attendees were Laura OSullivan, 45, and Jayne MacDonald, 52, who got to know Keith while working in Ashers Bakery in St Giles Shopping Centre.
Speaking at the vigil, Laura said: “Everyone wants to unite together in unity.
“We work in the St Giles Centre so I knew him. He used to come in and out and when I was having a cigarette break, he would be out having one too. I had a bit of chat and banter with him. He was a lovely guy who will be missed.”
Veterans also turned out to pay their respects to honour their fellow serviceman.
An RAF veteran, who did not wish to be named, served with Keith for more than three years.
He said: “I knew Keith 20 years ago in the RAF. He was a lovely, lovely man.”
Fellow veteran Sean Evans, 43, also turned out with his wife Isla, 40, to pay their respects.
Sean said: “Keith was ex-military and I’m ex-military and what happened was shocking.”
His wife Isla added: “It’s very emotional; I think it’s lovely the community has come together. Keith was always friendly to the kids.”
The event drew to a close as piper Jack Phillipson stepped forward to perform a Piper’s Lament.