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 from committing suicide.