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Gordon Bishop, the founder of Joyo Indonesia News, passed away in New York City on July 21, 2007.
I was introduced to Joyonews in 2001 by Jeremy Wagstaff as part of his research project. I was amazed to find out that Joyo dilligently distribute good selections of english-language Indonesian news by email without absence for even one day. I became a subscriber ever since.
During my trip to NYC in summer 2002, I contacted him even though he might not even know me among hundreds of his subscribers. I wanted to meet him to see this curious and mysterious person that not many people know the real name. He was really kind to invite me to come over to his apartment in downtown Manhattan. I asked Budiman Sudjatmiko, who happened to be in NYC as well for exchange visitor program.
I stayed at his place for couple of hours, chatting around about many things. He showed me the subscribers list of Joyonews, including some high level Indonesian officials and US government bigshots. He showed how Joyonews operate from his small apartment (and he complained about AOL service too) It was obvious at that time that his physical condition (he had walking difficulty, and one eye was blind) is almost crippling his daily life, but he endured. He took the time to service us, his guests, with drinks and snacks, and even offered Budiman a place to stay at a vacant room in his apartment.
One thing that really strikes me is that he truly loves his late wife and Indonesia with all his heart. He told me stories about his romance history with the Javanese princess, and showed me the photos of the happy days in Central Java, before the tragic accident struck in 1993 and forced him to move back to NYC. His apartment was full with Indonesian items. But aside to the love and passion to Indonesia, he also spoke out loudly against injustice and corruption in Indonesia in a no-nonsense manner.
I was lucky to be able to meet him, even though I only met him once. It was a meeting that had shown me the human side of Joyonews. The meeting taught me that I haven't done enough thing for my home country, and that there's many ways to make a difference to Indonesia. Being blind, sick, and crippled does not even hinder Joyo to fight for his beloved land.