Although I only met Maurice a few times, he was very close to me. After our first meeting in Zinder 1988 it would take 22 years for us to meet again, but when we finally did (in December 2009), we simply picked up things were we had left them; as if we had seen each other only yesterday.
When I came back to Zinder in May this year, I could not imagine that I would be attending his funeral during my stay.
Maurice had the heart of a loving father for the people of Edenland. He adopted them. He saw firsthand what a blessing the Eden concept was to his people and how it increased for every year. Only a few days before he died, Maurice said to me: “Staffan, whatever will happen – I will never give up the work I am doing. I cannot.”
Maurice in Edenland July 2010 (Copyright Eden Foundation)
Although it is hard to envision an Eden without Maurice, his legacy will go on. What Maurice did for his people over so many years will not be forgotten or deteriorate. His deep dedication lives on in the organism of people that will continue the work.
In 2008, Arne finished a book on Goalistic Thinking, the philosophy foundation of the Eden concept. Maurice shared the contents of this book with his people. The Eden population fell in love with it and began to reflect on the way they lived their lives and how they related to others. As a result, Maurice was able to witness how the social structure of a whole region started to transform in a very constructive way.
Maurice was one of the greatest men that I have come across during a long life. It is a real privilege to have been a close friend to him over so many years. Every time we talked on the phone over the years he always said “I pray for you and Inger every day, Staffan”.
The world will not be the same without him, but his legacy lives on as others now take up his cloak and carry his heart’s desire forward. His people in the Tanout region will never forget him and nor will we.
Chairman of the board of Eden