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Tribute to David Hall 1968-2010

It is a deep sadness to record the death of David Hall, a first year student of Social Policy and Politics, just weeks after starting his degree studies.

David was a mature student who had completed the University’s Access course and was already making a strong impact on staff and fellow-students in his tutorials. He was taking a long-arranged holiday in Spain with his family when he was suddenly overtaken with septicaemia aged only 42 on 20 October, leaving a widow, Vicki and young daughter, Jordan.

David was born in East Kilbride but completed his school education in Guildford. For some years he was a postal worker but his real métier was pub management and he became a great success at it, firstly in England and then, after moving to Edinburgh, at the Beehive in the Grassmarket and finally at Doctor’s in Teviot Place, well known to many students and staff. He was an activist in both trade unions and trade associations. He loved football, supporting Celtic and Scotland at home and away fixtures. He lived in Leith and was proud of his roots there.

His e-mail name ‘bigdavehall’ summed up his presence and personality. When I met him as his new Director of Studies we discussed how he could engineer his studies alongside his job and more immediately his holiday absence and he had, typically conscientiously, sorted out how he could hand in his first essays. He was a perfect example of the potential of mature student studies.

Dave’s funeral was at Warriston Crematorium on 8 November and the University’s flags flew at half-mast in tribute to him. The more I got to know about this remarkable character the more I have appreciated the impact he had already made before coming to the University and what a loss this is. He had the intellect and personality to make a wider public contribution and I salute his memory.

Richard Parry

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