The Big Issue : Edition 449
10 THE BIG ISSUE 10 – 23 JAN 2014 LETTER OF THE YEAR: 2013 way to the train this arvo? Denis! I could not ask for a better homecoming. Seeing Denis truly lifted my spirits – and of course I bought The Big Issue! Jess, Daylesford, Vic Denis says he really enjoyed catching up with you again, too –Ed. For the past year I’ve been buying magazines from Big Issue vendor Craig, who sells outside the Rialto Towers in Melbourne, but I’ve changed jobs and don’t work in the city anymore. I wanted to let Craig know how lovely it’s been chatting to him, and what a positive man he is, with big ideas and a big heart. Best of luck with all your plans, Craig! Susannah, Hughesdale, Vic Craig’s response: Thank you very much, and to all those at the Rialto who let me into their hearts and who love my advice and my jokes. Thank you and love to all. FACEBOOK FRIENDS Ginger Briggs I bought The Big Ish and the calendar from the guy on the corner of Elizabeth and Collins Sts [Melbourne] the other day. I only had a $10 and he said, “Don’t worry about it; another guy gave me a $2 tip.” I found $2 in my jeans, but he was totally happy to give me a discount. Love those guys. Ginger did pay full price, but was impressed by the kind offer –Ed. Shona Harrower After reading all of these [‘Your Say’ letters], it’s a credit to all who sell The Big Issue. The people you help and your kindness is outstanding. It inspires me to go back to work again and help others and myself. BEST OF 2013 HEARTWARMERS LAST YEAR WE GOT SO MANY WARM AND FUZZY COMMENTS FROM BIG ISSUE READERS THAT WE HAD TO SHARE SOME FAVOURITES HERE. SEE ALL ‘TOP 10 LETTERS OF 2013’ AT THEBIGISSUE.ORG.AU/BLOG/ YOUR SAY ‘Your Say’ submissions must be 100 words or less, contain the writer’s full name and home address, and may be edited for clarity or space. Have Your Say about The Big Issue: • email firstname.lastname@example.org • post The Big Issue, GPO Box 4911, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 • facebook The Big Issue Australia • twitter @thebigissue After a long day, I sat eating takeaway soup on Swanston Street [in Melbourne]. Seeing a tram that was going my way, I jumped up, but it was already moving away. Instead of returning to the seat, I started walking to catch a train at Flinders Street. I’d walked a couple of blocks before realising I no longer had my bag containing my laptop, smart phone and a pile of just-marked student exams. I raced back to the seat but, of course, the bag was gone. Heart racing, I went to the police station, without much hope, only to find Mark, who sells The Big Issue on Swanston Street. He was at the counter, handing in my bag. This gentleman did the honest thing and saved me a lot of grief. If you see Mark, please buy The Big Issue from him! Melvyn, via email Mark says it was an honour to hand in your stuff and is glad you got it back –Ed. This morning Big Issue Bill informed me that, due to ill health, he has to give up selling The Big Issue at Sydney Central Station after 16 years. He is famous around the area for his kind spirit and unyielding enthusiasm. He will be greatly missed, and I know I’m not alone in wishing him all the best for the future. Laura Carolan, Oatley, NSW We have received many letters about Bill’s semi-retirement. He is Sydney’s longest- serving vendor and a great ambassador for The Big Issue –Ed. I first met [Melbourne Big Issue vendor] Denis in St Kilda when I was 19 and working at a bakery to get through uni. Since then there have been other degrees and part-time jobs, and one of the links over the years has been buying from Denis. Having just returned from three years interstate...who do I see on my REMEMBERING RAPH I was saddened to hear about the passing of [Brisbane vendor] Raph. I bought my magazine from him for about 14 years (almost as long as he was selling them). I wanted to take the opportunity to say, publicly, how much I admired him. He was so gentle and unassuming...and how can I forget the ‘Raph salute’? I will miss him very much. Farewell, my friend. Marianne Moss, Taringa, Qld This is one of many letters and social media posts we received from customers and fellow vendors when Raph, who was one of Brisbane’s longest-serving vendors, died last July. I’d like to send a big thank you to Willy, the Big Issue vendor on the corner of Elizabeth and Little Collins streets [in Melbourne]. He looked after me when I fainted in front of him today. Rowena, Pascoe Vale, Vic Willy was happy to help and says he hopes you’re feeling better now –Ed.