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‘Alasdair was a champion of the community’ — Tain Gala’s tribute to ‘esteemed’ chairperson

By Niall Harkiss

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Tain Gala Association volunteers heralded Alasdair Rhind, who died last Thursday, as a community 'champion' for Tain. Picture: Tain Gala Association
Tain Gala Association volunteers heralded Alasdair Rhind, who died last Thursday, as a community 'champion' for Tain. Picture: Tain Gala Association

Alasdair Rhind will be remembered as a “champion of the community”, committee members and volunteers of Tain Gala Association have said.

The Tain community festival group paid tribute to its long-serving and “esteemed” chairperson after his sudden death last Thursday, at the age of 65.

Highland councillor and funeral director Alasdair Rhind had been a key figure within Tain Gala Association (TGA) for over 35 years, becoming chairperson in 1988.


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In that time, he had become synonymous with the association’s signature events, such as its summertime Tain Gala week, bonfire night, and annual Hogmanay celebrations.

As chairperson, he became a regular fixture and a familiar voice as master of ceremonies for Gala Saturday and Tain’s annual fireworks display, and would passionately lead the signing of carols after the switching on of the Christmas lights.

Association members said that Mr Rhind “put 100 per cent into anything he did” and that they were all “better people for knowing him”.

A spokesperson for Tain Gala Association said: “The committee and volunteers of Tain Gala Association are devastated with the sudden passing of our esteemed chairperson.

“Alasdair was not just our chairperson, he was a man who put 100 per cent into anything he did – as a family man and friend, businessman or champion of the community of Tain and the surrounding area.

“He never stopped working to achieve the things he believed in and thank goodness he was thick skinned as his endeavours were not always appreciated.

“As committee members, past and present, reflect on the huge honour it has been to know and work alongside Alasdair, who only had the best interests of the community at heart, we will keep the knowledge in our hearts that we are all better people for knowing him.

“Our love and sincere condolences go out to his family and friends in the difficult times ahead, he will be sorely missed by them and all those whose lives he touched.”

TGA committee member Alasdair Mackintosh commended Mr Rhind’s “tireless dedication” to Tain Gala events in a further tribute.

He said: “Alasdair embodied the essence of community like no other. Whether he was braving snow up to his ankles to direct traffic or distributing sandbags during town floods, his commitment to helping others knew no bounds. Always dressed in his trademark shirt and tie, he was always there to help.

“He was a part of Tain Gala for as long as I can remember and I've had the privilege of working alongside him on the committee for the last few years, witnessing first hand the tireless dedication he poured into every event.

“I send all my thoughts to his wife Mandy and all of the family. He will be missed very much.”

The funeral service for Cllr Rhind will take place in Tain Parish Church on Friday, April 12 at 12.30pm, before moving on to Kilmuir Easter Cemetery.

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