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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.
Marc Huiberts, The Netherlands
You were a great leader and we will miss you very much
I believe my country has lost a fine man and a great leader. My deepest sympathies go out to his family.
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.
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.
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.
Scotland can't afford to lose a leader of big Donald's calibre. No country could.
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.
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.
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.
I hope no English money is being wasted on his funeral. Scotland can pay for it themselves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rest in peace Big Donald. Unquestionably, Father Of Our Nation and peoples' champion.
With deepest condolences to your loved ones.
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.
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.
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.
Sincere condolences, a great loss for Scotland
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What a loss to Scotland and to the Labour Party. He was one of the best
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A great statesman who channelled his energy into rebuilding Hadrian's Wall.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
A great loss to Scotland of a thoroughly decent man.
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.
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