Tributes after Windygates’ ‘Secret Santa’ dies

David Ede ' Windygates' 'Secret Santa'.
David Ede ' Windygates' 'Secret Santa'.

Tributes have been paid to Windygates’ ‘Secret Santa’ who died last month.

The kind-hearted gentleman, who carried out numerous acts of kindness for people across the village, chose to remain an anonymous benefactor during his five years in the role.

However, following his death last month, he has been identified as David Ede.

David carried out numerous good acts over the years, helping people pay off their bills across the Christmas period, funding hampers for villagers who were ill or who had lost someone, and replacing the flowers and pots at Balcurvie Nursery after their garden was vandalised.

He was aided by Ruth Mitchell, the ‘little elf’ to David’s ‘Secret Santa’.

“He was an amazing man and didn’t want people to know what he was doing,” Ruth said. “He said he was fortunate enough in life to be able to help people.

“He would provide the money. I would tell him about people, and he would ask how much was needed.”

Only a limited number of people knew David was the ‘Secret Santa’.

And while he did not get thanked in person, he was passed on cards and messages by Ruth.

“He got so much pleasure out of it,” she said. “He’d ask ‘are they feeling better now?’.

“He really wanted to help folk that needed the help. He got great enjoyment out of it.

“I didn’t matter whether it was £5 or £500 – if it was going to help, he would do it.”

David’s death means there might not be a ‘Secret Santa’ in Windygates this year, however, Ruth said she hopes the villages takes inspiration from him.

“If I had the money I’d do it myself,” Ruth said. “I hope someone in the village can take over.

“It is such a rewarding thing to do.”

A former sea captain, David had plenty of memorable experiences, including sailing out to the Falkland Islands during the war, and sailing through the eye of a hurricane.

He leaves behind wife Lynda, three children and two grandchildren.