In his own words, Colin Gill was an “experienced time traveller and rebel”.
To comrades he was a gentle, endearingly eccentric man, with a vast knowledge of history, culture and revolutionary politics.
He was a dedicated member of the International Socialists and the Socialist Workers Party for more than 40 years, including about seven years in our sister organisation in Germany.
He spoke fluent German and Spanish but struggled with Arabic, despite staying in Cairo for some months as a student.
He took part in many international mobilisations until ill health got the better of him. He sold Socialist Worker wherever he went and was crucial to a sale outside King’s College Hospital for years.
He was an active supporter of Defend Council Housing in Lambeth and nationally.
In 2005 he wrote the book Topple the Mighty with artist Leon Kuhn, an iconoclastic and satirical assault on the rich and powerful whose statues should be demolished (see » http://bit.ly/9pWEpg).
Colin’s carefully indexed collection of IS publications going back over 30 years meant that his flat doubled as a reference library for local comrades.
Rare publications were often served up with a cup of tea and a piece of cake.
His passion for revolutionary politics never dimmed and in the last conversations he had with comrades from his hospital bed he stressed his determination to get well in time for Marxism 2010.
He loved a good party, had a wonderful streak of mischief and a fantastic sense of humour. He got on well with all ages and entertained comrades and their families with his birthday gatherings.
He enjoyed watching football and was a keen gardener. He also made sure he fed the birds every winter.
Straight talking, generous, considerate and great fun, Colin will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.
Anwar Ditta, a heroic anti-racist campaigner, died last week.