Fifteen years ago today I was working as a TV producer at Scottish Tory Party Conference in Inverness when the news came through. I was on the conference hall balcony about to interview Ken Clarke, and had to tell him we had a problem - his long term sparring partner and now Leader of the Labour Party had died.
I knew John Smith quite well, but his daughters better, and for a few moments I just lost it. But when I came around I saw Ken Clarke was even more distressed than me. And when the announcement was made to the in session and in government Scots Tories, you could hear a gasp of shock, could feel their genuine sadness as they solemnly filed out the hall - the measure of the man.
I had been with Scottish TV's ( now BBC Radio Scotland's) Colin MacKay three years previously for the first interview John Smith had given after his earlier heart attack. I knew from this - plus direct knowledge of how much it had taken my own dad to get back on his feet after his heart attack - how hard it had been, would be.
But by 12th May,1994 John Smith was on the verge of greatness. He had the Tories on the run, politically, intellectually and I'd say morally - though he was never a man to preach, despite his religious beliefs.
But all this was not to be for John, the torch instead passed over to Tony Blair. And history
Exactly five years later - ten years ago today - as the Scottish Parliament's Head of Broadcasting I was again present at history, as I filmed the first ever sitting of a democratically elected Scottish Parliament. This was a day John Smith, Devolution Minister in the 1970's Labour Government, the Labour leader who had bravely led his party into the all-party Scottish Constitutional Convention, had lived for - died for even. His spirit was ever present in the Church of Scotland's converted Assembly Hall , but nowhere more so than in his university friend and long term political ally, Donald Dewar, who saw John's promise home.
This film below I hope captures that moment - our moment, Scotland's moment, John's moment.