Remembering Roberta – and Steve

Two indefatigable campaigners for Scotland’s rightful place in Europe and EMiS supporters/members – Roberta Buchan and Steve Chinn – have sadly died in recent weeks. Here friends and colleagues pay tribute to their work.

Roberta Buchan

Roberta with Sally

She was a lovely, thoughtful and interesting person as well as a stalwart supporter of Edinburgh for Europe.

We are so very shocked and sad to hear this news.  Roberta was indeed a lovely, kind, fun and very inspiring woman with whom we enjoyed many an hour on our vigils.  May she rest in peace.

Roberta always greeted you with a cheery smile.  She will be sadly missed.

We will all hugely miss her.

It was wonderful that she was campaigning to the end.  We will all miss her comforting presence.

What can I say to add to your lovely tributes to Roberta? She was everything you have said and I am shocked and saddened by the news.

She had a gentle but determined way of engaging people in conversation and was a real stalwart of the campaign.

Roberta was inspirational.

I have just now tears in my eyes, I cannot help them.

These are some of the tributes to Roberta that flooded in to our (Edinburgh4Europe) WhatsApp group as soon as we learned of her passing, writes Sally Macpherson.  She joined the Edinburgh for Europe campaign for a People’s Vote and was a regular member of our groups on Princes Street, at the Mound and Register House, for as long as the campaign lasted. She brought her thoughtful principles and deep integrity to each gathering, and never missed an opportunity respectfully to engage in discussion with people who held opposing views, something that many of us find difficult.

Even before lockdown she was pacing herself carefully to ensure she had the time and energy to devote to family, friends, campaigns and art.  

I doubt she ever realised what a profound effect for good she had on those of us who were lucky enough to know her. 

Patricia Baillie Strong adds:

with David Gracie

Roberta was an indefatigable campaigner for Edinburgh4EU and the European Movement in Scotland.

She was out in all weathers, during the day and in the evening. She was one of our most regular and dependable members.

She was always positive and cheerful. To know her was to feel comforted.

Roberta was very knowledgeable and had a steady conviction of what was right and wrong.

She was also an extremely good letter writer to the media and her letters were often published. She was highly active too on Twitter and Facebook with scores of followers.

The amount of affectionate messages received after her death are a tribute and sign of how much she meant to all who knew her.

Although latterly she had a few mobility problems, she was always ready for action and went wherever she felt she was needed.

She was even out campaigning with her friends and colleagues on the day of her death.

I felt she was a personal friend as I am sure many others did as well.

We will all miss her.

Mark Lazarowicz, EMiS chair, his fellow executive council members and all EMiS supporters send heartfelt condolences to Roberta’s family.

Richard Kilborn, an activist with Stirling4Europe, wrote this obituary for his fellow campaigner Steve Chinn, a former advertising executive turned consultant, academic and researcher, in The Guardian.