A tribute to David Hill who died on March 19th 2022
THE NEWS OF THE
SUDDEN passing of our friend and colleague David Hill came as a shock to everyone.
But the outpouring of messages of condolence has been overwhelming.
I hope that brings some comfort to his family reading the many kind messages from across the political spectrum.
David Ross Hardie Hill was born on 17th April, 1991.
He passed away on Saturday afternoon doing what he loved - playing rugby with his friends. David was a people person. A true gentleman. He was kind, generous, highly-respected and well-liked.
He was a friend to all, and our thoughts are not only with his family, but those close friends who were enjoying his company on a rugby trip to Ireland, a trip I myself joined them on a few years ago. So, I know how much fun and camaraderie they will have been sharing.
It may be a cliche but David really was one of those genuinely nice guys. David was a huge rugby fan. He was one of the founding members of the Scottish Parliament rugby team, and as it so often does, sport brings together those with differences of opinion and forges unlikely friendships and alliances.
He played scrum half for the Parliament, and for Dumfries Saints and Dundee University rugby club.
He followed the Scotland national team passionately, as a season ticket holder at Murrayfield and away in trips to England, Ireland and Italy, cheering them on in wins and defeats with equal passion.
He was also a keen bagpiper. I recall once telling him I was never overly fond of the bagpipes but I was sure he was most excellent, he smiled back wryly and politely in his usual way, thinking plenty but saying nothing.
He was an enthusiastic golfer and a Man United fan. But politics was his passion too. After attending St Michael’s Primary and St Joseph’s College, in Dumfries, he went to Dundee University to study Politics and International Relations.
Since graduating, David has been a stalwart of the Scottish Conservative Party for almost a decade.
He was a campaigner and organiser for Better Together, and a campaigner with David Mundell.
In the Scottish Parliament, he was part of Douglas Ross’s team in the 2021 election, driving from place to place, donning a blue jacket, leaflet bundle in one hand and tweeting in the other.
He was Head of Office for Tom Mason for many years, and helped Annie Wells when she was short of staff.
Most recently, David was my Head of Office, taking over from another good egg, Andrew Brown.
We often spend more time with our staff than we do with our own families. My endless team Whatsapp messages I am sure drove David to distraction - but he never once complained.
Our staff are always there for us. They shield us. They support us and they humour us. And they do so with the sort of humility and patience that we can only aspire to. We cannot do the job we do without them. Our thoughts and prayers now lie with David’s family,
His father Rodger, mother Sharon, stepparents Lesley and Gordon.
His two younger siblings – Alex and Georgia, and his two nephews - Freddie and Hunter who were all special to him, and he to them.
I take comfort that David’s father told me on Saturday, in our first exchange after learning the tragic news, that, and I quote, “David was living his best life”.
He was taken from us living his best. Doing what he loved. With the people he loved.
David’s legacy will be his passion for crossing political boundaries and divisions with no motivation other than simply to be kind.
That is a lesson we could all learn. Let us be as kind and friendly to one another, as David was to us. Let us all be a little bit more like David, as we go about our business.