In 2017, we received an unexpected gift to homeless health. It was at that time that our bequest team was contacted by a pastoral care worker at Matthew Talbot Hostel. She had a client who was keen to put his affairs in order. A pragmatic 76-year old man, he wanted to make a Will and arrange a pre-paid funeral while still in good health.
In gratitude for the hospital staff who had twice saved his life, he intended to leave all his worldly goods to St Vincent’s.
Being of no fixed address presented some practical challenges. However, we found a kind lawyer who prepared a simple Will and arranged payment for the funeral on a pro bono basis. This took a great weight off the homeless man’s mind.
Our benefactor was kind, honest and courageous. A traumatic childhood, in a country with a repressive regime, had left him with a mistrust of authority. He preferred to sleep under the stars in in Hyde Park, but loved and trusted the staff at St Vincent’s Hospital. We’d catch up with him in the Hospital Café on his birthday and at Christmas time.
It’s hard to keep in contact with itinerant people, and we lost touch about 18 months ago. Recently we learned our lovely friend had passed away in South Australia, where he’d worked for many years picking fruit across the state.
There’s no greater gratitude than giving everything you have to benefit people who you’ll never meet. Although he insisted that his gift remain anonymous in death as well as in life, his legacy will help other vulnerable patients who can always turn to St Vincent’s in their time of need.donate now