One of our dearest supporters, Tom van der Linden, died on June 25, and Requiem Mass will be held for him at 9.30 am on July 12 at St Raphael’s Church, Surbiton. The Mass will be in Latin, not surprisingly, as every aspect of Tom’s devout Catholic life was characterised by a gentle but firm orthodoxy.
He was a member of the ProLife Alliance right from its infancy, and he willingly funded the deposit of one of our candidates when we were registered as a political party.
His generous support continued throughout the years, not just financially but with cogent arguments and enthusiastic encouragement. He was a thoroughly likable man, whose presence at meetings was always a pleasure and of real assistance.
We have been asking members who knew him personally to reflect on their association with Tom, and everybody replies with the same enthusiasm, admiring not just his courteous manner but also his intellectual rigour and ceaseless engagement in the defence of human life. It was a rare month when a letter signed ‘Tom van der Linden’ did not appear in the press endorsing the issues he cared about so passionately.
Just weeks before he died, Tom rang the office to renew his membership, adding poignantly that he did not think he would bother with a bank standing order. That was the last time we heard from him, but it is typical of the Tom we knew and admired. He liked everything to be in order.
Those of us who share his religious beliefs are confident that he will continue to help us with his prayers in the next life. We extend our sympathy to his family, who had the enormous privilege of experiencing closely the example of a very good man.
For any who would like to do so, you may leave comments regarding Tom below.