Monument for part-time homeless lady...only in NZ

Once seen, never forgotten

Maragaret Hoffman
Margaret Hoffman
Since swinging 60s it's provided refuge for vagrants, beggars and an assorted cast of stiletto- wearing sex workers.
For Aucklanders, young and old, Karangahape Rd has long been the spiritual heart of the city: edgy, bohemian, at times slightly bleak and raggedy, but, all in all, pretty obliging.
Not too dissimilar, some would say, to Margaret Hoffman, the 62-year-old unofficial patron saint of K Rd, who died just as she lived - down and out and alone.
It's fair to say Margaret wasn't particularly charismatic or pleasant, but over the years, through sheer presence, she became a part of K Rd's rich tapestry and, for that reason alone, her loss last week is being felt across the city.
To the hundreds of thousands who crossed her path over the years, she was known simply as "Margaret of K Rd" - that snarling, cacophonous, chain-smoking and occasionally offensive kerbside fixture outside St Kevin's Arcade.
"I noticed you for the first time a year ago . . . there you were, fag in mouth and full of attitude. A real character. You added colour to the world. Once seen, never forgotten," wrote Helen Saunders on a Facebook tribute established in Margaret's memory. Already 8000 members and climbing.
But for some reason her death has stirred guilt, sympathy, compassion, or possibly a hint of all three from Aucklanders, who had a strange affinity with this toothless, extraordinarily private pauper.
So much so that, in the wake of her passing, calls quickly came for a monument to be erected in her honour.

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1 comment:

Niamh said...

This news story escaped my attention, so thanks! I feel so chuffed to have adopted this wacky, compassionate country.