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.

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