Obituary for Tony Hollick: a very British libertarian activist

It is with sadness that I report the death of the British libertarian thinker and enthusiast Anthony Hugh Hollick who died on Friday 29th October 2016. Aged 74, he had been born on 30 July 1942 in the London district of Paddington. Raised for a time in south London, he went on to win a scholarship to the prestigious public school Dulwich College and from there went on to study at Geelong Grammar School in Australia.

Always an autodidact he was in essence self-educated and never attended university. Over the years he worked with a range of libertarian organisations including the National Association from Freedom (The Freedom Association), the Laissez-Faire Bookshop and the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (FOREST).

One of four brothers, Tony never married. Curious, engaging, yet at times irascible, he not only immersed himself in the world of ideas but he also found endless fascination with the human capacity to combine progress and dignity with all manner of idiocies and diversions.

Brilliant with children and fiercely loyal to his friends, he not only kept in touch with his beloved nephews but was also good at inspiring in the young generally. Always respectful of children as young adults he combined intellectual rigour and compassion with wit and humour. Particularly close friends such Chris, Gerald, Kira and Gerald Hartup Junior will miss him hugely.

While he had long-lived in the Bristol area, he was always good at nourishing friendships irrespective of distance and time. Besides his legendary love of philosophy, his ‘special party trick’ for the young was his knack to ‘take his teeth out’.

Throughout his life, Tony’s enthusiasms and passions remained many and varied. His interests ranged from re-cycling decommissioned US submarines and the future of the United Nations, to powered roller skates and a market for replica guns!

Always a fan of the Adam Smith Institute he once stood up at an early ASI meeting to proclaim:

“Some people spend their lives in this world with all of its imperfections and follies. Some contemplate and imagine and more perfect future world. Uniquely, the Adam Smith Institute builds the rainbow bridge that can lift us up from all that this world is, to all that it might become”.

Always an ideas person, he leaves behind him his next of kin Petrina, his special friends Robin and Carol, and many others who will miss him. Tony Hollick, RIP.