A year ago today….

A year ago today, we woke up to the awful news that Charles Kennedy had died suddenly at the age of just 55.

That sense of shock and loss still feels very real.

Last night at his parish church in Caol, where his funeral was held, a stained glass window was unveiled in his memory. The artist who designed it, Pinkie Maclure, shared pictures of it on her Twitter account.

She told the Scotsman more about the design:

I thought it was a lovely idea and it was a great honour to be asked to make it.

“I was told to include the eagle and Ben Nevis, but they left the rest up to me.

I asked a bit more about his family and discovered his father used to play the fiddle in the church so I decided it would be nice to include some music as well as a fiddle.”

The window was made from handblown glass which was made to order in Germany.

It also includes Mr Kennedy’s name, the dates of his birth and death, his initials and bulrushes and violets which are symbols of humility.

It was devastating to lose someone who had been part of our lives for decades.

He had been such an inspiration to me, growing up in the next seat when he was elected.

I remember the first time I met him, during the 84 election campaign when he came to Wick in support of Russell. He made a cracker of a speech but what was really funny was when he shocked this very naive teenager by swearing when he dropped his money while making a phone call.

He was a brilliant man who made the right calls on so many issues of the day but was always so respectful of others His voice is so missing from this referendum debate. In these last 3 weeks we should think about what he would be saying and how he would be saying it. He would engage people with warmth and humour. There has been precious little of either in this campaign.

I really miss him.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Well said, Caron. Very much missed and we are the poorer without him.

  • Richard Underhill 2nd Jun '16 - 10:39am

    Beautiful. Thanks very much for sharing that.
    “His voice is so missing from this referendum debate.”
    I remember him at an LI in Budapest, queueing to sign in at Eastleigh, ignoring the red light at conference when speaking about Europe and the EU. The chair then said that no-one else would be allowed to do that.

  • He would be just what we need in the Remain campaign now.

  • Tim Hill 2nd Jun ’16 – 1:50pm……….He would be just what we need in the Remain campaign now………….


    To misquote Wellington, “Kennedy would be worth 40,000 votes”…Napoleon, of whom it was said, was just one man who could not be everywhere at once; however, in today’s electronic age, Kennedy’s wit and wisdom would resonate everywhere….

  • I think this is marvellous. Stained glass windows in churches usually are memorials to people, though one is required to read the small print to appreciate that point. They tend to be Victorian, and usually depict the nativity, crucifixion or resurrection, with a very Nordic looking Jesus. They seldom say that much about the deceased. The artform almost died in the 20th century, but it has made a bit of a comeback in recent years with a focus on nature and landscapes, and things relevant to the lives of the persons or events being commemorated. One of the earliest of these, dating from the 1920s, is the memorial window to Sir Eyre Coote at Damerham (Hampshire), where we have ten nature scenes bursting forth from a mythical plant, and sundry scattered birds and small mammals. With few people being buried these days, windows are perhaps the best visual way to memorialise people. There is so much more that one can say on a window than on a tombstone.

    Charles Kennedy will be remembered for far longer than the guy who replaced him (whose name I have already forgotten). And yes, his contribution to the current dire EU debate would be most welcome.

  • Peter Chegwyn 3rd Jun '16 - 10:52am

    I agree with all that’s been said above. I was at Wednesday’s service at Caol where the new window in memory of Charles Kennedy and his parents was unveiled by his brother Ian. It was a lovely service and the stained glass window is superb, a fitting and lasting memorial to a fine man who is so sadly missed by us all.


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