Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, led the tributes to Bo’ness SNP Councillor, John Constable, who passed away early on Saturday morning at the home of long time friends Robert and Beth Eaglesham.
Councillor Constable would have been 40 years a Councillor on May 5th and was a mainstay of the SNP Group within Falkirk Council where he held the positions of Depute SNP Group Leader from 1996 to 2007 and Convenor of Planning from 2001 and 2007.
Before that Councillor Constable was Falkirk District Council’s last ever Provost (1992-96) having previously chairing the council’s Personnel Committee from 19977 until 1980.
That was a long way from John’s first electoral success as a 24 year old when he was elected to Bo’ness Town Council in 1971.
Commenting on Cllr Constable’s passing SNP leader Alex Salmond said,
“John together with his late brother Harry was a legend in Bo’ness politics.
“Hugely respected across the community John has represented Bo’ness faithfully since the 1970’s.
“He achieved high office as Provost of Falkirk but always put the needs of his own community first. He’ll be greatly missed across the country and by all those who value dedicated committed councillors who worked to make life better for communities”
One of John’s closest colleagues, the SNP’s Scottish Parliamentary candidate for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald said,
“The sad passing of my friend, colleague and mentor John Constable brings to an end an era in Bo’ness politics. Between them John and his brother Harry, who passed away in 2009, served for 83 years as Councillors..
“I had the honour of serving on Falkirk District Council while John was Provost, from 1992 to 1996, and was impressed by the fair manner in which he conducted proceedings, which were a welcome change in Falkirk at the time. I valued his experience, extensive knowledge and wisdom, and when seeking advice I never went away empty handed.
“His greatest attribute though was the passion he had for his home town and woe betide anyone who attempted to do down Bo’ness or Blackness.
“The people of Bo’ness and Blackness were fortunate to have such a devoted champion of their town who set standards for the rest of us to follow, and he will be sorely missed by us all.”
Current SNP Group Leader, David Alexander, who was at John’s bedside during the final few hours of his life also paid tribute to the man who he described as “the boss”
Cllr Alexander said,
“It is hard to imagine Falkirk Council without a Councillor Constable.
John and Harry Constable were inseparable in life and it brings comfort to us to believe they are both together again.
For the SNP and the community of Bo’ness we feel only a strong sense of loss at the passing of an era.
However, John’s place in the history of both his beloved Bo’ness and the Nationalist movement he committed his life to is secure and form major chapters in both stories.
There will never be another John Constable but we must always strive to live up to the standards he set for us in commitment, integrity and humility, that is the challenge John has set us and one I a determined we will live up to.”