As many friends and colleagues throughout the Council will be aware, the weekend brought the terribly sad news of the death of Alan Gray.
Many tributes to Alan and memories of his service to the city and the Council have been shared in recent days and his loss has been deeply felt by those who have worked closely with him and in all corners of the organisation.
On behalf of the council I send condolences to Alan’s family, friends and workmates at such a difficult time.
Alan, who had just started his 40th year of work, was a passionate member of our environmental team and having started his career as an apprentice gardener had built an incredible amount of knowledge and skill which he took into his role as Assistant Operations Manager and as a mentor to our young staff.
Based at Duthie Park, Alan was a leading light in Aberdeen’s success in Britain in Bloom, Keep Scotland Beautiful and many other national awards. Such was Alan’s reputation, he had risen to become a Britain in Bloom judge – testament to his expertise and dedication. I know there have been dozens of messages from Britain in Bloom officials from throughout the country expressing their condolences.
Those who had the pleasure of working alongside Alan speak fondly of a colleague who was valued in different ways and who took enormous pride in the wonderful parks and gardens he helped to shape and care for. That was certainly my experience of him too.
His brilliant sense of humour, heart of gold and supportive nature have also shone through when remembering Alan.
I was touched by the tribute prepared by colleagues, with the blessing of Alan’s family, and will leave the last word to those who knew Alan best: He was a gentle giant of a man and a giant among his colleagues who are very shocked and saddened by his passing. He will be sorely missed.