Tributes were being paid last night to veteran Moray councillor for Buckie, Joe Mackay, who died on Monday at the age of 86.
A councillor for just over ten years, Councillor Mackay was admitted to hospital at the weekend after falling off his mobility scooter.
It was the death of former councillor Bill Jappy in 20014 that brought former fishing skipper Joe Mackay to the Moray Council, winning a by-election in 2004 – he was subsequently re-elected as an independent councillor in 2007 and 2012.
Council convener Allan Wright said: “At 86, Joe was the Father of the council and much loved by members and officers alike. He had great wisdom and experience born of a long life at sea and living in a close-knit community.
“He had a chair in my office which he used daily and usually to lecture me on the parlous state of the world economy.
“He will be greatly missed by all those touched by his kindness, friendship and generosity.”
Labour group leader John Divers said: “Joe was a friend from the time he joined the council and there was hardly a day went by when he did not phone me about something or other.
“He was a very kind, generous and genuine man who was popular not only with his colleagues in the council chamber but also with council staff.”
The leader of the SNP, Pearl Paul, added: “I was extremely fond of Joe. He was a character and he will be sadly missed. He always had time to stop for a chat and pass the time of day with you,” while Conservative group leader Douglas Ross said: “When I joined the council, Joe was a constant support to me and his small chats were legendary in the council HQ.
“Joe always had time to let you know his thoughts and to listen to your views. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
Tributes were also paid by Moray’s representatives at the Scottish and UK Parliament’s, with Angus Robertson MP commenting: “Joe has been involved in local politics for many years and I’ve always respected his commitment to his community. I have no doubt that Joe, who was a well known and much loved figure in Buckie, will be sorely missed in the Council and by the people in his ward.”
His Holyrood colleague Richard Lochhead MSP added: “Whenever I bumped into Joe, we would both enjoy chatting about the latest fishing news, and he often shared stories with me from his own time at sea.
“Joe was a tremendously loyal servant to Buckie, and my thoughts are very much with his family at this sad time.”