Tributes paid to Edinburgh councillor Tom Buchanan

Tom Buchanan's funeral at Rosewell Parish Church in Midlothian.    Picture: Ian Rutherford
Tom Buchanan's funeral at Rosewell Parish Church in Midlothian. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A “WORKAHOLIC” councillor who inspired a scholarship in his honour has been laid to rest, with a cortege of senior SNP politicians among the mourners at his funeral.

The life of the city’s former economic chief, who died last Wednesday from a brain tumour, was celebrated by colleagues from across the political spectrum, with former Lord Provost George Grubb also paying his respects.

Picture: Ian Rutherford

Picture: Ian Rutherford

The hymns sung at the service were those played at Councillor Buchanan’s wedding to wife Evelyn at Polwarth Parish Church in 1984.

Cllr Steve Cardownie, a friend and the SNP leader at the City Chambers, led a eulogy praising Mr Buchanan’s work ethic, patriotism and sense of humour.

A letter of condolence from First Minister Alex Salmond to Mrs Buchanan was read aloud, saying: “It was with great sadness that I learned of Tom’s passing and I wanted to let you know that my thoughts, and the thoughts of a great many in the party, are with you at this time.

“I think Tom’s determination to run again for election last year and remain in the economic development post when he already knew the condition of his health and the fight to come was a perfect reflection of his character and dedication. He will be sorely missed.”

Picture: Ian Rutherford

Picture: Ian Rutherford

Cllr Cardownie said Cllr Buchanan was so dedicated to his work that on Christmas Day he contacted an aide while on a foreign holiday asking her to clear his inbox because it was full.

He affectionately poked fun at Cllr Buchanan’s physical attributes.

“Tom was built like a jockey but aerodynamically challenged and was the first to admit his ears quite literally held him back,” said Cllr Cardownie.

“If it wasn’t for that he could give Frankie Dettori a run for his money.”

Reverend Matthew Ross said Cllr Buchanan was a “patriot”, a “public servant” and “a loving son and husband”.

He said: “Probably the most famous quote of the writer Alasdair Gray is: ‘work as if you live in the early days of a better nation’. Tom Buchanan lived up to such a maxim.

“His attention to public service will long be remembered.”

“The loss of such a dedicated man and a loving husband a the age of 55 is a tragedy, but we can be grateful for all that he achieved in life and that he is now spared from illness.”

Cllr Buchanan was elected to the city council in 2007 and was quickly established as one of the leading figures in the coalition formed between the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.

In March 2011, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery.

He stood for re-election two months later and was returned comfortably.