Two days ago, in the early hours of Thursday morning, Sandy Bruce-Lockhart finally lost his fight against cancer. As the tributes pour in, many will praise him as Leader of KCC, Knight of the Realm, Chairman of the Local Government Association and of English Heritage, and Peer.
But as a newly-elected County Councillor back in 2001, the Sandy I remember spent time to encourage, to mentor, to advise and finally to bring me into his Cabinet after the equally sad demise of Tom Veitch in his late fifties.
He was a friend who would always be there when I needed advice or consolation; he expected the highest levels of passion, dedication, and political maturity from those around him, because that’s what he expected from himself.
His overwhelming sense of duty was his most important attribute. It was typical that just weeks before he died Sandy was still giving interviews and photo calls – still unstintingly singing the praises of the County he so loved.
I could go on for pages about one of the few people I have ever met for whom I would have done anything, simply because not once did I ever have cause to question his judgement.
But in the end, for the man who took on Governments and won, his illness was a battle that not even Sandy could win.