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Tributes to Donald Dewar
"He shone and he shone brightly, and that light has gone out"
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Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Scotland remembers its leader
Donald Dewar
Donald Dewar was hailed as a man of the people
People from all walks of life in Scotland have paid tribute to the country's First Minister Donald Dewar, who died on Wednesday.

Company bosses and union leaders were united in grief for the man described as the "Father of the Nation".

Councillors and council officials throughout the country have also joined the growing band of mourners.

Books of condolences will be opened at council offices in Scotland during the coming days.

And flags on official buildings, in both Scotland and England, were at half mast following the announcement of Mr Dewar's death.

Danny Carrigan, Scottish regional secretary of the AEEU, said he was devastated to learn news of Mr Dewar's death.

He added: "I worked with him during his by-election in Garscadden in the 1970s and I got to know him over the many years as a person as well as a politician.

"In my view the respect that he had from all wings of the Labour Party and trade union movement stopped the party breaking up in Scotland.

"His contribution to the Labour Party and movement was immeasurable."

James Kennedy, the Royal College of Nursing's Scottish board secretary, said: "I am very sad to hear of the death of Donald Dewar. Mr Dewar's total commitment to the welfare of the Scottish people was apparent not only in his hard work as a politician, but in his close contact with the public.

"By pushing for and then leading the Scottish Parliament he helped to safeguard and improve the quality of the health service in Scotland.

"On behalf of nurses throughout Scotland I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues at this time."

The president of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, Jim Walker, said: On behalf of the NFUS I want to express our deep sadness at the tragic loss of Donald Dewar.

"He was a straight dealing, honest man of great integrity and a had a wicked sense of humour.

Donald Dewar
Donald Dewar died on Wednesday
"I knew when I went to see him that whether we agreed or not I would always get a fair hearing.

"Nobody could have asked for anyone better to represent our interest at the highest level.

"Despite the fact that he was not a farmer he had a great understanding and affection for the countryside.

"On a political level he will be a hard act to follow, but at this time our thoughts are with his family. I personally will miss him."

Lex Gold, director of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: "Scotland has not only lost a statement of the highest calibre, it has lost a thoroughly decent man.

"He was a man of intelligence and integrity, someone who was not prepared to be governed by short-term considerations at the cost of a wider view of what was right. Scotland will be the poorer for his passing.

"The Scottish Chambers of Commerce sends condolences to Donald's family and friends."

David Bleiman, from the association of University Teachers in Scotland, said: "It was with great shock and sadness that we heard of the death of Donald Dewar, Scotland's First Minister and a great friend of Scotland's universities.

"He was the most approachable of politicians and with his eye for detail took a personal interest in Scottish higher education. He was proud of our 'world class universities'.

"In common with all of Scotland, we lost a friend and not merely a political leader. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

President of the Law Society of Scotland, Alistair Thornton, said: "Donald Dewar was a fine lawyer and a great politician who served the people of Scotland with all his energies both on the backbenches and the frontbencher, in opposition and in government, over a period in excess of 30 years.

Bank flags
Flags at the Bank of Scotland HQ in Edinburgh were at half mast
"He was admitted as a solicitor in 1965 and given an honorary membership of the Law Society of Scotland on 1 December 1998 - the highest honour which the society can bestow.

"He was very much respected as a solicitor both by clients and colleagues alike.

"He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.

GMB Scotland's regional secretary, Robert Parker, said: "Donald was a formidable leader of great wisdom, integrity and honour. He drove forward his vision for devolution with conviction and sincerity, his determination and commitment saw the devolution settlement fulfilled with the establishment and operation of the Scottish Parliament.

"A good honest friend of the working people of Scotland, GMB pays tribute to his tireless work for the nation he loved and our deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this sad time.

"He was one of the great Scottish politicians, a decent man who will be missed enormously."

Glasgow's Lord Provost Alex Mosson said: "On behalf of all the people of Glasgow, I am deeply saddened and shocked by the death of Donald Dewar.

"Donald was a giant among politicians and his place in history is assured as First Minister of the new Scottish parliament.

"Donald was a proud Glaswegian. He was born, bred and educated in the city and gave many years of good service to his Glasgow constituents as an MP and MSP.

"Our sympathies go out to Donald's family at this tragic time."

Glasgow City Council leader, Charlie Gordon, said: "The death of Donald Dewar is a blow for the whole of Scotland as well as his native city of Glasgow. As First Minister he set an outstanding example to the country through the integrity he showed in his leadership.

"I have lost a close constituency colleague, as well as a very good friend, We are all deeply shocked and saddened."

A two-minute silence took place in Aberdeen Council Chamber shortly after the announcement of Mr Dewar's death.

The city's Lord Provost Margaret Smith said: "I think we would all feel this is one of the saddest days, for his family, for politicians and for Scotland."

She said the sadness was felt all the more deeply because of the universal respect he commanded, for his integrity, immense depth of knowledge and insight into people, and a deep love for Scotland.

Councillor Smith added that Mr Dewar's leadership and desire for co-operation as First Minister of the Scottish Parliament produced a harmony which was of benefit to the whole of the country and its people.

John McCormick, controller of BBC Scotland, said: "Donald Dewar was a great friend to many journalists and broadcasters. He had a tremendous grasp of Scottish art and literature and often brought humour to even the most challenging interviews.

"He was always co-operative and never complaining, even in the most testing of circumstances.

"I can't quite believe we won't see him coming through our studios again and staying on to talk of many things after the work was done."

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11 Oct 00 | Scotland
Full text of death announcement
11 Oct 00 | Scotland
Tributes flood in
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