Letters: In defence of Bonsai Bob

Friend of Bonsai Bob recalls all the good things he did

Over the weekend I had plenty of time for reflection on your recent decision to publish a story against a beloved and defenseless old hermit who has lived in our community peacefully for 20 years.

As I drove up to his place, I passed by yet another mess of raw logs after yet another logging truck toppled over at 17 Mile. I would love it if our local RCMP would involve themselves more in monitoring these trucks, but instead it seems the RCMP in this town would prefer to spend their time persecuting the weak and infirm.

Yeah, Sooke, where are your priorities? Bonsai Bob has been a mentor in bonsai to my husband for over a dozen years. I have been to his place dozens and dozens of times and met well over 100 people who also seek him out regularly. The people I met would seek him out for many reasons: for his open friendship, for his peaceful nature, for inspiration, refuge, for advice and good company.

Bonsai Bob was different, living a different kind of life, but in such a good way. Our society would benefit from more people understanding his perspective, living lightly on the earth like him.

Bob has cared for several generations of young people over the years, young people who would come to him for a break from their alcoholic or abusive parents, from their awful home lives to be with this peaceful, Buddhist man living next to the river in a humble cottage without power or the conveniences of life. A man surrounded by trees and living out his days taking care of them, a man devoted to the simple but labour intensive task of making his corner of the world a beautiful place.

How could the RCMP have had the nerve to visit him last week and give him one week to leave town?  It is patently obvious to me that Bob has suffered from RCMP intimidation. I believe you are still innocent until  convicted, and if that is still true, then this paper, and the Times Colonist have failed this citizen in a huge way.  You alienated him and besmirched his good name. Well Sooke News Mirror and Times Colonist, you have sunk to a new low. Way to let the RCMP rule Sooke in a brutalistic, heavy handed way.

I have loved living in Sooke because I love the people here, the community. I love how welcomed my husband and I felt moving here from the opposite side of the country, how real and honest people are here. How we help each other out. But this? Well Sooke, I’m just not that into you anymore, and it’s not me, it’s you.

Sarah Richer

East Sooke

Editor’s note: We  printed only what the police provided for information.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read