RIP 85-year old Don Ritchie - he prevented 500 suicides at The Gap in Sydney
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RIP 85-year old Don Ritchie - he prevented 500 suicides at The Gap in Sydney

Sydney : Australia | May 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM PDT
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Don Ritchie, the man who turned back 500 persons from the brink of the precipice and who is known as ‘The Angel of the Gap’ breathed his last at the age of 85-years as reported in news.com.au dated 14th of May 2012.

‘The Gap’ in Watsons Bay, Sydney, is a place which people with suicidal tendencies choose to end their lives and get freedom from their worries.

Don Ritchie, in his lifetime, managed to turn back 500 persons from the edge of this precipice – his methods were simple: a bit of compassion, a warm smile and a hot cuppa. Saving lives was his mission in life.

He was born in Vaucluse in 1926 and was a former navy seaman who later became a life insurance salesman – he died peacefully in his home in Watson Bay. He was named ‘Local Hero’ in the 2011 Australian of the Year award.

May his soul rest in peace.

It is a wonder what a little bit of sympathy, understanding and patient listening can do to those who want to end their lives – a beautiful portrayal of one such case was there in the 1965 movie ‘The Slender Thread’. In this movie, Sydney Poitier plays the lead role and he manages to prevent a woman played by Anne Bancroft from committing suicide.

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prabirghose is based in Nāshik, Maharashtra, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • Angel of The Gap, Don Ritchie dies

      Sydney Morning Herald
    Story continues below "Those who knew him knew he was a very strong person and a very capable person," Mr Ritchie's daughter Sue told AAP on Monday. Federal MP Malcolm Turnbull, whose electorate includes The Gap, added: "A true hero, one of our...
  • 'Angel of the Gap' Don Ritchie dies

      Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    Angel of the Gap' Don Ritchie dies Posted May 14, 2012 17:39:07 Don Ritchie, the man who saved more than 150 people from suicide spot The Gap in Sydney's east, has died aged 85. Mr Ritchie, nicknamed the "Angel of the Gap", lived opposite the ocean...
  • Tributes for suicide spot 'angel'

    Australia mourns 'angel' who saved 160 from suicide Don Ritchie was awarded the Order of Australia in 2006 Australians are paying tribute to a retired life insurance salesman credited with saving at least 160 people from taking their lives at a...
  • Australia mourns 'angel' who prevented suicides

      Leader Post Online
    Australians are mourning the man known as the Angel of The Gap, who stopped hundreds of people from leaping to their deaths at Sydney's most notorious suicide spot. Don Ritchie, who was 85, lived across the road from The Gap, a treacherous coastal...
  • The Gap's guardian angel dies

      Sydney Morning Herald
    Don Ritchie, the man credited with preventing hundreds of suicides through his vigil at The Gap over more than four decades, died on Sunday...From his home high up on Old South Head Road, Mr Ritchie would keep watch and intervene whenever he saw a...
  • 'Angel of The Gap' farewelled by hundreds

      The Courier-Mail
    But it was his love for life that earned him the epithet Angel of The Gap, according to friends and family who paid tribute to the Sydneysider at his funeral service on Friday. Watson Naval Chapel in Watsons Bay to farewell Mr Ritchie, who died on...

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