Your story of Robert Van Der Linden in your December, 2012 issue was wonderful, generous and no less than he deserved
Robert was polite, gentlemanly and he had a great a pair of eyes
If Sally was out with Hemi and he saw me he would tell me that she just gone into Franklin Rd or another street.
From time to I would give him some cash but more often I would not.
Ponsonby has had a long history of being New Zealand most tolerant neighbourhood.
Riddell's book and movie The Insatiable Moon which was set in Herne Bay in
the 1990s about a developer buying a half way house accurately
identified the tension, the prejudice, ignorance and the humanity that
surround people like Robert.
I think of long term Ponsonby resident and our greatest Prime Minster
Michael Joseph Savage when speaking about mental health summed it for
all when he said “I refuse to believe that all mental patients are the
same and all we have to do is to keep them away from society. I do not
think anyone has a better claim on the humanitarian than the individual
who is mentally afflicted."
Ponsonby News' previous obituary of Margaret, another street person,
and your acknowledgment of Robert is an important contribution to our
community about the issues on mental health and we congratulate you for
helping to keep ignorance away and tolerance alive.