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Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Your tributes for Donald Dewar

Scotland's First Minister, Donald Dewar, has died from a brain haemorrhage.

Mr Dewar was 63 and had undergone major heart surgery in May.

When Labour came to power in 1997 he became Scottish Secretary and from there oversaw the implementation of his political dream, devolution for Scotland.

Last year he became the leader of the nation's first devolved government.

Here are your tributes to Donald Dewar.


He made the world aware that Scotland had gone into a new era

Marc Huiberts, The Netherlands
The death of Donald Dewar is a huge blow in the face of Scotland. He made the world aware that Scotland had gone into a new era. He was the father of the Scots and he will be sadly missed and he'll be always admired for all his work he did for our beloved Scotland. I wish I'd been able to be in Scotland today to pay my last respects to a man that gave all Scots all over the world hope...
Marc Huiberts, The Netherlands

You were a great leader and we will miss you very much
Karl Robertson, Scotland

I believe my country has lost a fine man and a great leader. My deepest sympathies go out to his family.
Elizabeth MacDonald, Scot, resident in Italy

There are so few public people - politicians in particular - who have a genuine integrity and passion. I think his intellect, wit and honour, not to mention his love for Scotland, are certainly rare enough out there - in a world where everyone is trying to grab what they want from everyone else. My friend sent me an e-mail to say he'd died and I just sat at my desk and cried. It made me even more aware of how much I really, really want to be back in Scotland. He will be missed greatly and admired always for his work.
Christy Morgan, Australia


I did not personally know him but found his intellect, wit, drive and enthusiasm for that in which he believed to be always welcome and yes, inspiring to witness

Juan Stocker, Austria
I simply wanted to express my condolences to Donald Dewar's loved ones and to acknowledge my respect for him. I did not personally know him but found his intellect, wit, drive and enthusiasm for that in which he believed to be always welcome and yes, inspiring to witness. I was deeply saddened to learn of his death and feel the world is a better place because of him.
Juan Stocker, Austria

My only knowledge of this charming man is that which I saw on TV. I am happy to say that the honesty and straight-forwardness of this true gentleman came across quite vividly. I can well understand the tributes that I have heard, and I am pleased to hear that they confirm my impressions. What more can I say? Losing him at the mere age of 62. Life can be damned unfair at times.
Philip S Hall, UK

Donald Dewar will be ranked as one of Labour's finest politicians of the 1997 Government like Nye Bevin of the 1945 reformist Government. Donald helped Scotland take a tremendous step forward for the better and it is now the job of those left to take up the reigns and carry on the First Minister's work to make Scotland a better place for all.
Mark Shorten, England

Scotland can't afford to lose a leader of big Donald's calibre. No country could.
Pamela Armstrong, UK

I was lucky enough to meet Mr Dewar when he was Secreatary of State. I spoke to him about a very obscure issue and yet I was amazed at how well informed he was about it. The last time I saw him was when I shook hands with him on 12th May last year after the Parliament's very first meeting. It was such a thrilling experience to actually see the Parliament for the first time after so many years of waiting. I took the opportunity to congratulate him. After he did so much for Scotland, it is hard to think what it will be like without him. He was a wonderful man.
Stuart Kelly, Scotland


It would perhaps be a fitting tribute for the new parliament building to bear his name

Nick Atkinson, Scotland

Mr Dewar's death is a tragic loss to Scotland. His achievements on behalf of the Scottish people have been extraordinary, and we must ensure that his legacy is one of continuance, not only of his aims but also of the manner in which he conducted his politics. It would perhaps be a fitting tribute for the new parliament building to bear his name.
Nick Atkinson, Scotland

I'm not Scottish - but Welsh. How I wish my "government" could have such a brilliant leader. You were such an insiration to us all. God Bless your family.
Karen M, UK

I hope no English money is being wasted on his funeral. Scotland can pay for it themselves.
Neil, England


Donald Dewar is a modern patriot

Michael, London, UK

I think that Donald Dewar is a modern patriot. His death should be the spark which ignites the Scottish people to re-unite and claim their sovereign independence from the rest of the UK. His death is a timely reminder that Scotland still has a long way to go in her fight and that time waits for no man. I am proud of his achievements as I am sure his friends , colleges and family are.
Michael, London, UK

I didn't actually know a great deal about Donald Dewar and was, therefore, taken by surprise at the impact that this sad news had on me. In retrospect, I realise that, over time, his total authenticity, both as a man and as a politician, had made a big impression on me without my necessarily being consciously aware of it. How terrible this loss must be for those who knew him well. His political achievements, especially with regard to achieving devolution for Scotland, are immense. Only a person who has lived a truly authentic life could have achieved so much.
Neville Harris, Jersey C.I.

It was an honour to have known him. All of us in Britain have much to thank him for. For Scotland his death is a particular loss, but the loss of a man who spent his lifetime working to civilise and humanise our society will be felt by all of us.
Adrian McMenamin, UK


What he achieved is a worthy legacy for a great man

Carol Gibson, UK
My sister was formerly David Whitton's secretary. She met Donald Dewar several times and her abiding memory of the man was his smile. She said that although at times he could appear dour, when he smiled, his entire face lit up. I saw him myself once, boarding a London bound train at Glasgow and I just remember how BIG this man was. What he achieved is a worthy legacy for a great man.
Carol Gibson, UK

Donald Dewar always struck me as the epitome of commitment. Although I did not always agree with his politics, I always enjoyed listening to him in debate. He was one of the few politicians that we should remember for all the right reasons.
Julian Rawle, Japan

A devastating loss. Since coming to live in Australia many years ago, I have watched the ebb and flow of debate on the future of devolution in Scotland. Only Donald Dewar's presence gave me the slightest hope that any measure of independence would ever be achieved. He delivered but it is tragic that he will never be able to complete the job. Scotland's tragedy is that there is no-one on the political stage who comes anywhere near to filling the shoes of Donald Dewar.
Jack Docherty, Australia

Rest in peace Big Donald. Unquestionably, Father Of Our Nation and peoples' champion. With deepest condolences to your loved ones.
Gerry, Glasgow, Scotland


An outstanding and well-loved human being

Sundip Meghani, UK
The British-Asian community, to which I belong, seems to have been equally saddened and shocked by the passing of such a dedicated and genuine person. Against all the odds he fought for, and achieved, greatness for his motherland. An outstanding and well-loved human being, to everyone.
Sundip Meghani, UK

As a teenager, I would often listen to the news when the radio or television was on at home. I recall vividly how Donald Dewer's crisp voice cut through the less thought-through answers, and how his incisive comments struck one as those of a deeply committed man, modest when right, and principled even when wrong. Such people are vital for instilling confidence in the political process, especially in the young, and carry the flag for public service. The limits of influence of such a figure are hard to set, and Scotland can be very proud.
Hugh Roberts, UK

As the child of Highland Scots I had what was a common lifestyle for many of us, due to economic hardships and lack of opportunities back home in Scotland. We lived and worked in the Sudan, Zambia, Libya, St. Lucia, and America. My mother, now 82, told me "I can die a happy woman, now that Scotland has her own Parliament". We spoke often of the players who had made that a reality and in particular we spoke of Donald Dewar, of his decency and courage and what had been his tireless campaign for the Scottish people. His honesty, humility and dedication reminds us of what we lack for the major part in present day politics elsewhere. We Scots have lost a great Scotsman and an exemplary statesman. My mother Margaret and myself, send our heartfelt condolences, to his son and daughter. May Donald Dewar rest in peace, knowing that we thank him from the bottom of our hearts, for giving us back our country.
Maree Macpherson, A Scot residing in USA


Donald had a clear vision of the future of the country and strong determination to realise it

Nanami and Kaoru, Saito, Japan
We are very sorry for one of the greatest losses to Scotland in her history. Donald had a clear vision of the future of the country and strong determination to realise it. We, as friends of his and all Scottish people, would like to express our sincere condolences to all of you, and will go to the British Embassy in Tokyo to play "Flower of the Forest" on our bagpipes.
Nanami and Kaoru, Saito, Japan

Donald Dewar embodied all the qualities that the Scots have - kindness, wit and pride. He was indeed the father of the nation. We should be proud of him as our ambassador.
James, ex-pat in Germany

Sincere condolences, a great loss for Scotland
Robert Hardie MacDonald, Chile

As a Scot currently living in NZ, I was proud to hear of the dignified way in which our Parliament conducted its affairs. This was due in no small part to Donald's influence. I hope his untimely departure does not lead to the lowering of their standards to that of many other parliaments. Thanks Donald, your country will miss you greatly.
John Herd, New Zealand

Dewar understood and embodied the desires of the Scots people. Therefore he was able to realise the vision of his people. May he rest in peace.
Mutale, Belgium

Britain, in particular Scotland and the Labour Party, has lost one of the most honest statesmen, this country has seen in a long time. A man of great vision and integrity. Deepest sympathy to his family.
Derek, ex-pat, Brazil

As a Scot living in France I was shocked and saddened to hear about the death of this great gentleman. Today our country lost a fighter and a friend. He fought for what he believed in and brought us many rewards. I hope that we can make him proud and continue his good work. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
Jacqui Macdougall, Scot in France

From a corner of the world whose leadership is under crisis from its own follies, I mourn the passing of a man whose lasting legacy to Scotland and to the UK was self-determination for a country that deserved it for hundreds of years. May his legacy remain amidst the challenges it faces. May he rest in peace.
Ren Aguila, Philippines


Donald Dewar was a person for Scotland's other politicians to look up to

Stephen Clark, Edinburgh
His death will be a shock to many people. He will be remembered as the man who delivered the 'settled will of the Scottish people'. Labelling him as in any way responsible for the break up of the UK not only shows a lack of respect and decency, but also a basic lack of understanding of UK politics, and is a travesty to his memory. Donald Dewar was a person for Scotland's other politicians to look up to.
Stephen Clark, Edinburgh

We have lost a great character from our political life, a man with whose politics I can easily disagree, but of whose passion for that which he believed transcended party divisions. Donald Dewar was a man who commanded respect, a man who fought for that in which he believed, a man whose honesty and integrity were above reproach. I shall miss his Scottish accent in the news; I shall miss his good humour and powerful debating skills. My deepest condolences are for his family whose loss must be so immeasurably greater than ours. Rest in peace, dear Donald, you will be remembered by us for the rest of our lives.
Steve Browne, USA


I sincerely hope that his successor is as humble about his/ her abilities and import

David A. Mair, A Scot in the USA
Although my own views on Scotland are probably more radical than those of Donald Dewar, I believe my country has lost a fine leader and a great man. Donald Dewar so obviously had Scotland in his blood and we owe him a great debt of honour and gratitude. I sincerely hope that his successor is as humble about his/ her abilities and import.
David A. Mair, A Scot in the USA

I only knew of him via the media but he always came across as an eloquent and sincere individual.
Arjun Kandasamy, UK

What a loss to Scotland and to the Labour Party. He was one of the best
George Scott, UK

My deepest sympathies go out to Donald Dewar's family. We have lost a great honourable Scotsman, who worked endlessly to bring devolution to Scotland. May he rest in peace.
Adam Hill, UK

A real one-off, and a real change from the machine politicians who fill so much of political life. He'd never have arisen from a focus group but his enormous decency meant he reached the top anyway.
Martyn, UK

Deep Condolences to a man who with his hard work made devolution of power to Scotland a reality. The Government which functions in Edinburgh gives the Scots the freedom to govern for themselves in issues which cannot be dealt with in London. I am hoping he will always be remembered as a warm, intelligent person and the father of modern Scotland's' democracy.
Ravi Kumar, India

Donald Dewar was a tireless campaigner for a Scottish Parliament. At times when others in the Labour Party turned away from devolution he continued to work toward the goal. An untimely end to a great man who served the people of Scotland with dignity and strength.
Stuart Mackintosh, US Resident

Donald Dewar was a great Scot, and a great Labour man. He will not only be missed in Scotland, or by Scots, but by those that knew of him, and of his character and deeds. Scotland has today lost one of her great sons.
Shane, Australia


He will be a hard act to follow

Patrick Martin, Ireland
He was a decent, courageous man who behaved as an example of how a First Minister ought to be. Without those qualities, the establishment and smooth running of the Scottish Parliament would not have happened. He will be a hard act to follow.
Patrick Martin, Ireland

Let us all remember Donald for the man that he was: - A tireless worker for his party and the people of Scotland. His place in Scottish history is assured. Rest in peace.
John Murphy, Scotland

Shocked to hear the news. We have lost a humane, honest, man. I shall never forget hearing his speech at the opening of Parliament, which gave voice to the history, tradition and inspiration of Scotland. For many there will be a personal as well as a national loss. Thoughts and prayers go to his son and daughter and wider family.
Dr Gill Goulding IBVM, Sabbatical in USA - resident in Scotland

A great statesman who channelled his energy into rebuilding Hadrian's Wall.
Harry , Germany

Donald Dewar was a decent and respected man who devoted his life to the welfare of the Scottish people. His death is a great loss for Scotland. He will long be remembered for the selfless service he rendered to the Scottish nation and to the Scottish Labour Movement.
Lewis Macleod, UK

My heartfelt condolence to his loved ones. He'll be remembered for his great contributions. May his soul find a peaceful resting place in heaven.
Tenzin Dhongthog, Seattle, USA


He will be remembered fondly as the man who brought devolution to Scotland

Scott Cunningham, Scotland
A universally amiable bloke, this is a sad day for the nation. I hope his children take comfort in the fact that he will be remembered fondly as the man who brought devolution to Scotland.
Scott Cunningham, Scotland

Very sad - my grief goes to his family. I am sure this means live life as you do not know what lies ahead
NYKY, Australia but from the UK

I'm very sorry that Dewar's life ended so suddenly. But let's make no mistake - the Scottish Parliament is a big sham. Scotland gained nothing but losses by it.
Nathaniel Shuttleworth, UK

As a Scot living and working in Hong Kong, I was devastated to learn of the death of such a fine statesman. He will be a massive loss to the future of Scotland. My thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace.
David Gault, Hong Kong


A very clever, caring, knowledgeable, reasoned man

Steve Fleming, USA
I did not know Donald Dewar very well, but I had the great pleasure of his company in an airport waiting lounge once. I recognised him, as he sat down next to me. I had just put down a copy of the New York Times and he asked if he could borrow it. I asked if he was Donald Dewar, and he said yes. I saw his eyes light up a little at the thought of an American recognising him.

The conversation we had made me feel this was a man of great passion and intelligence. His knowledge of America's issues and the links between American business and Scotland fascinated me. We discussed how so many of America's great men were Scottish, as my roots are. A very clever, caring, knowledgeable, reasoned man. His death is a great loss, not just for Scotland, but also for everyone one who has had the pleasure of even a brief acquaintance. My heart goes out to his family.
Steve Fleming, USA

A great loss to Scotland of a thoroughly decent man.
Derek Small, UK

I'm astonished at how quickly this has happened. My heart goes out to all family and friends of Donald, he's going to be watching over this country Upstairs. So let's make him proud of what he has helped create here in Scotland. Keep it real Donald and rest in peace.
Rick Yates, UK

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