We have lost a great friend.
All that could be said about David as a public figure has already been said by much greater people than ourselves. Yet we’ve been honoured to know him from several other dimensions. He was an exemplary father to Andrew, Doug and Pete and a wonderful husband and companion to Nicky. As a mate, he was a great and sincere pal and a source of remarkable entertainment. In spite of his intellect, he could relate to ordinary people like few others, and his observations of life and the people he knew were unique, deep and most times, humorous.
His efforts on behalf of the local community have also been widely acclaimed during the past few days, yet you had to know him in that context to understand what drove him. A combination of respect, generosity and admiration for the Zulu people in particular, and the previously disadvantaged in general, was at the heart of the compassion and energy he devoted to their cause. In his expression of these emotions he raised our awareness of how lucky we are to be South African, and what a privilege it is to be part of the heritage he promoted so vigourously.
We guess that in going down, he was doing as he had always done, in the front of the line, at full throttle. He would not have liked us to be grieving over his loss, yet we are sure he would take pride in the knowledge that, through the Land of Legends, which we initiated together, we will honour his work, and with it his love of this wonderful, and occasionally tragic country.
In typical Rattray fashion, Nicky and the family have already made it known that they fully intend to carry on with his great legacy. We know that he knows we will be doing the same, and that we will be adding our own little stamp to the tapestry of the joys of life that he brought to all of us.
So long old pal, until we meet again.