Neil Colquhoun RIP

How sad to hear of Neil Colquhoun's passing.I first met Neil at Folk Routes in Wellington four years ago where I was performing as the main guest. Neil was there to launch the re-issue of his book "Song of a Young Country". We hit it off immediately and chatted for quite some time about what it was that motivated us both - the preservation of our respective folk-heritages.
He gifted me a copy of his book and very kindly signed it on the inside cover "To Phil - a fantastic English folk-heritage musician. Thank you for sharing your folk culture - I had a wonderful evening. Best wishes, Neil".
Like me, Neil was a folk-heritage musician, not a folk singer. We both appreciated that the difference lies in what motivates the performer, and whereas folk musicians are mostly motivated by financial reward, folk-heritage musicians are motivated more by a desire to encourage the celebration of their own 'living' cultural roots.
Neil never supported New Zealand folk-heritage being hidden away in private or academic collections as happened in England. He always intended the songs he collected to be handed over to those to whom they rightly belonged - ordinary New Zealanders. His vision was for them to be performed, celebrated and kept alive for future generations of Kiwis. And that is what folk-heritage, cultural roots and ethnic identity are all about.