Tributes pour in for Hawick’s ‘First Lady’

Cll. Zandra Elliot outside the former St Margaret's and Wilton South Church in Commercial Road, Hawick.
Cll. Zandra Elliot outside the former St Margaret's and Wilton South Church in Commercial Road, Hawick.

Borderers are this week paying tribute to former Hawick Provost, Councillor Zandra Elliot, following her death on Saturday afternoon.

Flags have flown at half-mast at council headquarters in Newtown St Boswells and Hawick Town Hall since Monday as a mark of respect to the town’s ‘First Lady’.

Council convener Graham Garvie said: “Zandra’s sudden death is a great blow to many who had the privilege of knowing her. She was a kindly lady, much respected and liked by all, both in Hawick and on the council.

“She was a passionate promotor of her town and she was one of that rare breed of politician, in that she only spoke when she had something useful to say. She was elegant and stylish and she will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with her family at this very sad time.”

Mrs Elliot, 73, served three terms as Hawick Provost and was a Conservative councillor for the Hawick and Denholm ward for the last seven years.

She collapsed over a week ago whilst chairing a meeting of Hawick Common Good Fund. She was taken to Borders General Hospital and then to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where she underwent major heart surgery to repair a leaking aorta.

She was in the hospital’s High Dependency Unit, but following a relapse she died on Saturday afternoon.

Independent councillor and current Provost Stuart Marshall said: “Zandra was an outstanding ambassador in her role as Honorary Provost. She was also a great servant to Hawick Common Riding Committee and thoroughly enjoyed her role. Her opinion was always valued.”

Friend and fellow Tory councillor George Turnbull said: “I knew Zandra for more than 50 years.

“She was as sharp as a tack, witty, compassionate, trustworthy and committed to what she believed in. She did her best for her constituents and she was an excellent ambassador for Hawick.”

Mrs Elliot, a former model and worker for Pringle, had also been a director for Hawick building firm J&R Elliot and had served on several council committees.

A funeral service takes place at Teviot Parish Church tomorrow (Friday) morning.