GdeP as I Remember Him

By Ingrid Van Mater

I recall GdeP from the time I was a young child attending school at Point Loma. He accompanied Katherine Tingley at many functions, and occasionally we saw him briefly when our group of girls went to visit KT. Ascending the spiral staircase to the second floor of the Headquarters building to take her flowers, sometimes we'd meet the members of her Cabinet coming down. On two occasions GdeP and Colonel Conger followed each other and gave us each a tap on the head to acknowledge our presence. It made a happy impression on all of us.

After he became leader, we saw him more frequently -- for example, when he went for his mid-day walk. He was striking, dignified, and tall. When Secretary General Joe Fussell came back with him from his office, he had to walk vigorously and sometimes run a few paces to keep up with GdeP's long strides. As children, of course, this entertained us!

At the Sunday afternoon public meetings, after the speaker's presentation and the opportunity to have a general discussion, GdeP often accepted the invitation to come up to the platform. He spoke many times to a packed audience, and one could feel their attentiveness. In his talks the theosophical philosophy came alive, and he elucidated many of its more recondite and technical aspects. He was an arresting speaker -- eloquent, forceful, with a resonant voice.

The continual demand for his works indicates to me a steadily growing interest in universal thought, and a hunger for truth which continues to intensify and deepen through the years. Again and again he emphasized the importance of living according to the highest ideals we know, and recognizing to the full our responsibilities to ourselves and to the world -- a message we still need as we feel our way into this new century.

(From Sunrise magazine, April/May 2000; copyright © 2000 Theosophical University Press)

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