Highland Regional Councillor Sandy Lindsay died peacefully at his home
in Kingussie on 29th August in his eighty-first year. His cherry manner
laced with a shrewd good sense prompt a multitude of anecdotes. Born in
Lanarkshire he became a Hurricane pilot in Burma in WW2, and later
founded the cairngorm Gliding Club.
He joined the post war Labour Party and a move to set
up shop in the Glenmore Forest Park, lured him into local politics.
Sandy won friends and deflated opponents without rancour. He was blessed
with a disarming good nature and wicked sense of humour which he honed
as councillor for Aviemore district from 1963 in Inverness-shire County
Council and subsequently in Highland Regional Council from 1975 to 1989
where he held Chair of the Manpower Services.
He had taken part in debates in Labour Party Scottish
Conference debates demanding radical land reform and banning the bomb.
As a stalwart of the British Legion's Aviemore Branch, he promoted the
CND ex-service group and advocated a Yes vote in the 1975 European
referendum. But Sandy was scunnered by the Labour Scottish Office
Ministers who refused to stop schools, closed due to depopulation,
returning to the lairds through their right of feudal pre-emption. So he
joined the SNP and was re-elected as an SNP councillor till he retired.
He had been an early advocate of banning the bely and the wide-spread
return of teaching of Gaelic.
He co-founded the Dalnavert land co-operative in
1981, lived there by the Spey till he retired to Kingussie because adult
diabetes slowly robbed him of his sight. Latterly his wife Morag
had to read him the news and write his pithy letters-to-the-editor.
He supported the Assynt Crofters in 1992 and erecting
the land raid cairn in Knoydart. With Peter Findlay his planning
application to demolish the huge statue of the Duke of Sutherland on Ben
Bhraggie was inevitably refused but it sparked a debate on several
continents. Sandy was delighted that feudal abolition and the
Cairngorm National Park were early acts of the Scottish Parliament.
He was agitating last summer for a community buy-out
of nearby Kinrara.
We remember Sandy Lindsay's speeches in the council
and the humanism of a truly radical Scot. His close family was
enriched by a cheerful, kindly husband and father. He is survived
by his wife Morag and children Sandy and Isobel
(First printed in the December 2004 issue of The Scots Independent)