Don Ritchie Citizen of the Year Who Saved 164 People from Suicide
Don Ritchie Citizen of the Year Who Saved 164 People from Suicide

Australian Donald Taylor (Don) Ritchie lived for 86 years and over 45 years of his life officially saved 164 people from suicide by walking along The Gap.

Richie lived next to a rock called The Gap, a famous rock in Sydney, popular with people who decided to voluntarily end their lives. Don made his mission to save the lives of these people and regularly walked the observation deck, dissuading potential suicides from death that came across to him. He often began his conversation with the usual phrase "Can I help you in some way?" (Can I help you somehow?) Then, in the course of the conversation, Don invited the suicides to his place for a cup of tea.


Don was even awarded a medal for his rescue, the reason for the award sounded like "serving society to prevent suicide." Richie officially saved 164 people, but his family says that in reality there were many more souls saved - over 400.

Don received several other awards - Citizen of the Year from the local government in 2010 and the Local Hero Award in 2011.

When asked why he did this for several decades of his life, Don replied simply “it’s impossible to just sit and watch people do it to themselves”.

Don Ritchie in navy uniform A smile that could light up the room_SMH_15May2012

From the age of 14 (from 1939) Don served on a ship and fought in World War II, witnessed the surrender of the Japanese fleet in 1945.


After the war, he worked as an insurance salesman, settled near the rock The Gap, got married, they had 3 daughters.

Don saved suicides until 2009 (until he was 83) and died himself at the age of 86. There is a separate article about Richie on Wikipedia, his middle name is “Angel of The Gap”.

Rock The Gap

Rock The Gap

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