February 2023: Switzerland / Ethiopia: In Memoria Vic Eugster

VIC EUGSTER – his visit to Lalibela 2016

Remembering Vic in the « here and now » has colours that can be captured more meaningfully in pictures than in words. « Here” means Ethiopia, the highlands of Lalibela, where Vic first boldly set out in 2016 together with his travel-experienced, linguistically agile relative Rita from Basel. As he had been used to public approval and attention for decades and not to be forgotten in the media, he was advised to take pictures that could “sustainably” prove his appearance and his commitment on the spot. Vic, our Vicepresident,  brought back many memorable shots that fuelled his commitment to our Foundation. This became even more evident when he was invited by TeleTop in Winterthur to film a five-part documentary about PBF. Studio discussions in Winterthur contributed significantly to demonstrating and deepening the spirit of the Foundation. In Pascal Meister, we had an excellent young television producer at our side. His unusually great empathy for this country, which is also foreign to Pascal, with its thousands of years of history and culture, contributed significantly to the success of this important task.  In the film, Pascal Meister impressively shows how the warm encounter with Vic affected the children in Lalibela, the elderly and the disabled, people from very different walks of life.

Since the beginning of January this year, I have been back in Ethiopia after a break of several years, living in the centre of the metropolis in a very small Franciscan convent and visiting some places where, after a good five years, I have very valuable human memories with Vic.  Yesterday, as I watched the English version of the Teletop film once again with friends, I felt the living presence of Vic in this country, which today is severely tested. A lot has changed in the meantime, e.g. due to the civil war, but the challenges and tasks still exist, especially for our PBF Foundation, which has been made possible by Vic’s work. Vic is very present in Mesay and Sisay.  Today, in the present, many things of the past are condensed and yet remain completely open to the future.

Peter Bachmann

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