Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ponsonby News - Robert Van Der Linden

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.

Mike 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.