THE colleagues of a well-liked hotel porter who worked at the Caledonian Hilton for more than four decades have paid tribute to his life and years of service.
Ian Kruger collapsed at the Princes Street hotel and, despite the efforts of his colleagues, died shortly after at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
The 63-year-old, a former soldier with the Territorial Army in Penicuik, had worked at the Hilton since 1968 and was described as “punctual and loyal”.
So far, police have not managed to trace any relatives of Mr Kruger, who was single and had no children, and are asking anyone who can help to get in touch.
Mr Kruger, who lived in Burdiehouse, was born in Edinburgh in 1948 to Robina and Edward Kruger. However, it is not known whether he had any siblings.
He began at the hotel as a ‘plate man’, before becoming a wine waiter and later a barman, and then joining the concierge team, where he worked until he passed away on August 14.
Staff at the hotel have paid tribute to his dedication and hard work.
Danny Fair, a hotel doorman and friend of Mr Kruger, said: “He enjoyed his time in the TA. His first annual camp was in the Isle of Man. Ian always said, with a big grin on his face, that he was proud to have served ‘overseas’ with the TA.
“He enjoyed the TA and was a very keen part-time soldier. Unfortunately, because of his working pattern of shifts, he had to reluctantly give up the TA.
“Probably because of his TA service, his hobby became going for long walks, up into his beloved Pentland Hills, very often alone, occasionally with his friend Trevor Gillan, whom he met and became close friends with when Trevor worked at the hotel.”
Mr Fair described his friend as a hard worker who could always be relied on to help his colleagues out when they were short of staff.
He said: “Ian was always a very conscientious worker who seldom missed a day’s work.
“If there was perhaps a sudden shortage of staff in his department, his head of department, Karl Wendland, only had to phone Ian, to ask if he could come in and fill the slot, and Ian would drop everything at once and come to the rescue.
“In the last few years, Ian would often receive the phone call when he was somewhere in the Pentlands. No matter, he would still make sure he got to his place of work when he was needed.”
Mr Fair added that Mr Kruger was a man of few words, but had a dry sense of humour.
He said: “One of his constant sayings was, ‘Is that right?’, which is very often copied by his friends in the concierge team in an attempted derisory manner.
“He was often told by a frustrated colleague, ‘will you stop saying, is that right? It’s getting on people’s nerves’.
His answer, with a wry grin on his face, was always ‘is that right?’.
“He was very well liked and respected by his colleagues in all departments. That’s because of the type of person Ian Kruger was.”
There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Kruger’s death. However, police are keen to inform any relatives of his passing and can be contacted on 0131 311-3131.