Went to 50th anniversary of Lifeline, for ex-Lifeline vollies. I was involved for a year in the early 2000s. It was harrowing, once took 4 suicidal calls in one shift.
John Brogden is Lifeline chairman and credited the organisation with saving his life. He was Opposition Leader, with a chance of being Premier, and had had a quick rise to the top. But suddenly everything seemed grim and suicide seemed like the best choice.
Another bloke, Ivan Reicheit, 96, was with the original Lifeline team and recalled how he went out with the Trouble Team (when Lifeline rushed out to stop people jumping off the Harbour bridge). “We got to a man’s house and he was flat on the floor and we couldn’t get in. Luckily, a kitchen window was slightly ajar and I prised it open and climbed over the sink. He was a mature man who owned several menswear shops and he’d lived with his mother, who’d recently died. He said, “You men have everything.” But Ivan said they felt they were nobodies, next to this successful businessman. They waited with him until an ambulance arrived.
Had the most brilliant evening at Mardi Gras Museum, seeing amazing Mazz Image. She talked about how her photographic technique is difficult to teach to others, as it’s mostly an inherent talent. She loves Sydney and will come back here permanently some day. She started off photographing whoever she found interesting.
AND the incredible Lance Leopard was there! We chatted about his writing and he’s planning to do something online. Oh, and the old columns he wrote, some I put online. He said his writing has changed after his near-death experience and he has to keep a close watch on his health etc. He’s very thin, but in good spirits.
(There’s an option to view full-size on the lower right-hand side — click and it opens in the new tab.)
I used to look forward to reading Lance’s columns every week, it was such a highlight. They were in On The Street and Q. I had been a journalist since the early 1980s and was totally blown away by Lance Leopard’s stream-of-consciousness columns and his chatty style and I cut them out as they were very inspiring. Over time, Lance’s writings gave me a vision of how I could write about the everyday social events I attended.