BY PETER HANEMAN FOR HIS FATHER AT THE MEMORIAL GATHERING IN THE STATE LIBRARY OF NEW SOUTH WALES ON 17 JANUARY 2002
Ben and his books. From the Sydney Morning Herald January 2002
Ben would probably have been quite embarrassed by such attention today. His natural modesty would have found the event a little discomforting.
Today’s event is fair recognition of the impact he made. this evening there are people from the worlds he loved – books, medicine and Spain. They are rejoicing in his life that made their worlds richer.
Dad obviously loved people – this is clear from the way he touched so many lives. He provided encouragement to many people to strive for more.
People have already spoken and I only need to say again how he achieved so much, contributed to society and helped so many.
Last night I was at Dad’s flat. People might know that Ben had some books. One or two. Last night I was at Dad’s flat looking for a particular book. I jest not! In fact he has books everywhere. In desperation as I opened the dishwasher I found myself thinking to myself: “Please, Elohim, please no books in the dishwasher!” Fortunately, there were none.
Several year’s ago Saba Ben played an April Fool’s joke on my daughter Mica. He told her there was an elephant outside his flat and she should quickly come and have a look. Mica was taken in.
The next year Mica rang Saba Ben and said a lorry had lost part of its load just near our house. A number of cartons were on the road – there were books inside – a copy of Don Quixote had been found. Mica wondered to Saba Ben if he should come and have a look. Saba Ben was taken in hook, line and sinker. But best of all he was proud as Punch that Mica had turned the tables.
In finishing I wish to thank the organisers of this event, in particular Susan Tompkins. This evening is an opportunity to rejoice in a life that made the lives of so many others richer