- March 27, 2020
Hope you are well and healthy.
As you surmised, it was Ben Mendelson that his grand nephew, Harry, [wrote] about. Ben passed away on March 27 as a result of complications from COVID-19.
We’re all fine and hope you and your family are as well.
1. Ben was a real Mensch, warm hearted and a good friend; it pained me to hear that he died.
The consolation is that, despite the difficulties he underwent in his childhood, he had a good life, with much love from his sister and family.
May he rest in peace and may you all know no more sorrow,
2. My memory is a bit fuzzy; however, if I remember correctly, Ben was a member of Machoz Brisbane, came to live in Sydney app. 1958 and was very active in Betar until about 1960, when he ostensibly left for Aliya via New York, where he lived with his sister and family in Long Island and stayed, ever since, working in the New York branch of Israel Discount Bank.
I stayed with him and his hospitable and warm family a few times over the years but have not been in contact for the last 20 years or so.
Shlomo (AKA John) Traurig, who was in the Mifkada of Machoz Sydney with us (our Gizbar, financial genius, founder and Mefaked of Maoz Coogee and camp cook for many years, always pleasant, cheerful, sincere and a pleasure and honour to work with), was a good friend and in touch with Ben, visiting him in New York many times all these years. He can probably correct my memory and give you more details.
Ben's niece, Roberta, is sure to have some pictures of him; the ones I have, from Betar in Sydney, are tiny and faded.
Paula called me on Saturday morning with news I didn’t want to hear; Benny called me a few days earlier—he sounded & said he is okay and said he was going to work.
I met Benny in 1955+- at Crosslands in Betar camp. He asked if Iwas the cook. Benny wanted to know how I was to cook for everyone. I told him he was going to help me, He then proceeded to bring couple more people. Best of my recollection it was Prof Ronny Sekel and Dr. Henry Briggs. Because Ronny had sharp knife for potatoes. Best surgeons were potato peelers.
Benny & I were never out of touch all these years.
Corona virus was never in Jabotinsky’s vocabulary.
Long life to everyone.
Susan & I live good in Sydney—6 months Sydney & 6 months Chicago. Susan does help with emails but only under protest.
Solomon John Traurig