WORKERS placed a pair of brightly coloured odd socks on a city statue – in a touching tribute to a colleague who died in a swimming tragedy.
Motorists and passers-by had been stumped by the sight of the woolly garments on the feet of the Robert Burns statue on Bernard Street.
However the mystery has now been revealed to be a birthday tribute by workmates to Jonathan Joyce, 41, co-founder and technical director of Leith-based digital agency Storm ID.
He died after getting into trouble while swimming off the Devon coast on June 15. Much-loved worker JJ, as he was known, had a passion for colourful odd socks.
A tweet from the company account yesterday made reference to the poignant nod. It stated: “On his birthday a fitting tribute to JJ’s passion for odd socks!! ”
Bernard Street newsagent Robert Bishop had also noticed Burns’ snazzy new footwear. He said: “A customer pointed them out to me, I think they’re a nice tribute to the guy.
“The helped brighten up the statue and the area a bit too.”
His fellow directors – Simon Wall, Paul McGinness and Craig Turpie – paid tribute to him on the company website.
They said: “His passing has come as a huge shock to all of us at Storm ID and he will be sorely missed. We have lost not only a wonderful and passionate colleague but a dear friend.
“The only comfort we can take is that our lives have been greatly enriched by the privilege of knowing him and for having done some incredible work with an extremely gifted and remarkable individual.”
Following his death his parents, Pete, 66, and Denise, 65, paid tribute to their son, saying he had “many reasons to be proud”.
They recalled his pleasure at having helped establish a successful company.
In a statement they said: “Storm ID had been established for a few years and they hosted a party on the beach. Jonathan had looked out and seen about 100 people – mothers, fathers, children, young people and their partners – all having fun together in the knowledge that they had a secure future. He was proud he had been able to help create that.
“Jonathan lived for 41 years and died knowing that he was loved and admired for every single moment by his parents.”
The dad-of-two was fit and a keen swimmer. He was spotted unconscious in the water by a canoeist who took him ashore at Beesands beach, near Salcombe. He was treated by paramedics before being airlifted to hospital, but died shortly after.
JJ was one of the company’s four co-founders. Their clients include the Military Tattoo and the National Trust for Scotland.