Freeset - News

A sad farewell to Bono-da

Nov 4, 2009

Freeset's much loved gate-keeper has passed away.

It was with great sadness that we said farewell to our much-loved friend Bono-da on Monday.

He leaves behind his wife Mena, who is a pillar of strength at Freeset. Right now she is spent from the trauma of losing her love. She has the support of her friends and community as she grieves.

Bono-da and Mena loved each other very much. Back in the day he was a gangster, but Mena helped to calm him into a man of great character. Whereas when he was young he commanded respect through the threat of violence, he came to be respected simply because he cared. He was loved and admired by both young and old.

He was a huge asset to Freeset, particularly in the early days after we moved in to the first new building at the end of 2004. He was connected to his community and had his finger on the pulse of the local mood. Not everyone in the area loves Freeset and Bono-da was often able to diffuse situations that might have caused a lot of trouble.

Around 18 months ago he suffered a serious stroke that left him paralyzed down his right side. From that time on he was confined to his bed and his body was slowly but steadily shutting down. He grew progressively miserable as he developed bed sores and his body stiffened. We had to watch as the man we had grown to love was slowly slipping away.

Bono-da had a largely toothless grin, but he was good at sharing it. Up until he had his stroke, if you visited Freeset you couldn't miss him. He would greet you with a big warm smile at the gate, or you’d have to sneak past him because he'd fallen asleep.

We will miss our friend greatly and the way that he enriched our lives.

Our dear friend Bono-da