GEORGE NEWS & VIDEO - You could nearly hear a pin drop at the George Library on Saturday 8 May when Richard Albertse (60) spoke about his first book, Vision: The story of a seeing blind man.
Most people in George know him as the blind person who on weekdays walks to his office at a bank in York Street, but on Saturday it was time to learn more about Richard Albertse the writer.
Strict Covid-19 protocols were followed and seats were limited. Among the people attending were his wife Riana, his mother Essie Albertse, his son Richard junior, his daughter-in-law, his granddaughter and other family members.
People who bought a copy of the book at the launch received a card with the braille alphabet, to give them an idea of how a blind person can read a book.
The first copy of the book was given to the George Library.
The book is described as a novel packed with adventure, comedy, romance and drama. It is the story of a man who is slowly losing his eyesight, and how he copes with it.
Albertse said he wanted to convey the message that no matter what the challenge, people should face it and overcome it. "We can overcome it with the grace of God."
It took him about a year to write and he used a specialised screen reader and computer software.
Watch a video below:
Albertse was inspired by Vincent van Gogh, who dreamed of painting and then he painted his dream. He (Albertse) dreamed of writing and he wrote the book.
He stressed that he could not have done it without the possessors of his heart: his wife, Riana, and God.
He chatted about coping with being blind. As a blind person you have to compensate with your other senses.
There are limitations and certain things you cannot do. You have to ask people to help you.
You learn to develop your hearing. You listen to your surroundings. When you walk in a street you also pick up the smells of shops, such as restaurants or chemists. You have to learn to do things differently.
Manager of the George Library Rachel Williams received the first copy on behalf of the library with gratitude and expressed hope that the book is the start of much bigger things.
She described it as a major accomplishment for the city of George. Not only is it a book of triumph, but also of showing what human beings can accomplish. "Richard is a source of encouragement and hope to us," she said.
Watch another video below:
Richard junior, who designed the cover of the book, said after the event that his dad has been a real inspiration for him. One of the things his father taught him is to never give up.
"Sometimes people don't know if my dad is blind or not. His eyes are open. He sees in a different way."
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