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Like Clockwork

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Meeting Sir Bob in Diksmuide
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I just posted some pictures of Bob's concert in Diksmuide in the thread someone started in the other section. I wasn't just there for the show. I wanted to meet the man, and get his signature. But not just on anything. 


I have been a U2-fan for over 20 years. And for about a year now, I've been working with pple all over the world to spread the word on ONE - MPH ...


The whole world knows how Sir Bob and Bono have been working together to end extreme poverty. Last year, Bono has used some of his time onstage to campaign for ONE - Make Poverty History. Along with 6 other U2-fans, we used our time at the door waiting for the show to convince 4.000 people to join the campaign. The warm reactions and support from so many amazed me, and lead me to create 'a banner'. A piece of fabric that says : 'zootopians united against poverty'. I started collecting the names of U2-fans who were campaigning for ONE elsewhere in the world and wrote those on it. After the last European show I attended in Lisbon, I send the banner itself out, finding  new people to carry it to the shows, some of them finding inspiration in the things we did, and starting up campaigns locally themselves.  And as we had build up some experience in running campaigns, we could give some back-up to the new ones who joined us.  Meanwhile building beautiful friendships.


How far it has travelled ? Pretty far : Amsterdam, Lisbon, Toronto, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Ottawa, Montreal, Boston, Buffalo, Salt Lake City, Portland, Koksijde, Rotterdam, Monterrey, Mexico  City, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires.


The rest of the tour has been postponed, but the banner continued its journey to Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. After that, 2 Italian girls brought it with them to Rome, where I went to pick it up 2 weeks ago. It's been signed by Bono, Edge and numorous fans and people who help spread the word on ONE - MPH and the Millennium goals.


With the banner home, Bob Geldof's scheduled show in the town where I was born and raised, was an irresistable opportunity for me to try and his signature on it.  The man who started all this humanitary work for Africa with Live Aid over 20 years ago, and who continues to do so ... Here's how things went.


 A week ago, I send the concert organisation an e-mail with my request to meet Bob Geldof. Well, I didn't send it from my account, but from the account hubbie uses for his work (journalist - it sometimes helps to open doors). Hubbie actually knows the man in charge, but not really in a good way. Let's say he wrote a piece about him for the newspaper when he had to go to court. ahum.
Because I feared that man would recognise Pascal's name and say, no way, I also send a mail to Sir Bob Geldof's official website. I thought, if none of those respond, there still are other ways. (OK, how hard can it be in the city where you grew up, where I worked at the city hall for 6 years and know everybody I 'have' to know to find a backdoor).

The very same day, hubbie gets a phone call from the organisator. Says that he'll try to set up a meeting, and tells us to come to him friday at 12.30 noon. I take the afternoon off from work ...

Friday, I come to the fruitcake club on U2's forum Zootopia (hence, Zootopians of course), and what do I find there ? A post from a Mexican friend of mine, Max, with Bob Geldof in his siggy. First thing I think is : ooooo, those weird coincidences have arrived again. I learn it's for Cindy's birthday, who is this huge Boomtown Rats fan. At that point, I relax, because I know things will work out somehow.


At about 11 in the morning, we get another call from the organisation : Bob Geldof won't arrive that early, we have to call him later to know more. As I'd already taken the day off, and it's a beautiful day, I come home anyway. Sit in the sun, to some reading. Forgot to put sunscreen on, so by the end of the day, I have a bit of a lobster look. Wonderful ! grrr.

We call again at 5. No more news, actually, we hear that the manager is giving people a hard time to meet Sir Bob. At 6, we finally hear that we have to go to a certain area after BG's show, and will most likely get to meet him. We have dinner, and head to Diksmuide.

Hubbie takes the camera he uses for work (so much better than the small one we can take to U2-shows), as he's there with his press card, and quite frankly nobody checks anything anyway. We have a few beers and a few chats, and head for the front to watch the concert. For the first few songs, hubbie goes to the press area right in front of the stage, and takes some really beautiful pictures. After 3 songs, he comes back to where I am. We really enjoy the show

Some 10 minutes before the end of the show, we leave. We were told to be at the entrance of the Yser tower immediately after the show. Amazing really, I saw that tower from the backyard of my parent's home. Never thought I'd be there to do this





A few more pple from the press have arrived, I also see Rik Stael, one of the guys who works for Stageco (and who worked at U2's show in Brussels - said it's a great crew to work with - yep, have heard that one before lol). He's there to deliver a 6.000 euro cheque to sir Bob. Some 15 - 20 minutes later, the manager lets us know we can go in. We're all there at the door, they pick me to go as first. There I go ...



Me : It's such a pleasure to meet you. I have something to show to you, and I hope you'll be willing to sign it. (Someone helps me to open the banner)
Sir Bob : wow, what is this ? Zootopians ? what is that ?
me : Zootopians are U2-fans who are on the board of the official U2-website. What you see, is the signatures of people from all over the planet, who have joined ONE - MPH, and many of those have been running a campaign locally to spread the word. Bono and Edge singed it too, and I hope you'll add your signature.

Sir Bob : Bono signed it ? I'm not signing this, and he starts laughing.

me : I start laughing too, and reply : You know what, this whole thing is a story of inspiration. You are the very source of that inspiration. If you don't belong on this banner, I don't think anyone does.

Sir Bob : I'll be happy to.

I give him the red pencil I brought. Put the journal (that has writings from all those who carried the banner on its journey) under the part where he chooses to sign and read : 'they learned everything from me y' know' and he added an arrow pointing to Edge's en Bono's signature. I burst into laughter. Good one

Me : Thank you very much, and I give/get a hug and 2 kisses.

I suddenly remember I had printed a picture of Sir Bob, to have him sign it, to send it to Sammi. So I tell him : one of my friends in the Zoo, she lives in Seatlle .... she's been part of our group who has been campaigning for ONE for over a year now. She's a huge admirer of your work, both musically and humanitarian. Would you please sign this picture, so I can send it to her ?

Sir Bob : what's her name ?
me : Sammi Fredenburg

I give him another pencil, one that won't rub off from a picture. I open it, but one part sticks to the pencil. Hihi, I take it back and take the rest of the top off, so he can actually use it to write. he's of course laughing again too.
(I seem to have this thing with pencils, when I was in front of Bono with my pencil and Ipod in one hand for him to sign it, I wrote all over his hand as I was pulling it back through the fence, ahum.)

anyway, he writes 'for Sammi, Love, Bob Geldof X'
and I thank him again. I turn to go, and then change my mind and turn back to him. I grab his arm gently, look him in the eyes and tell him 'please, don't ever stop fighting for Africa'. He grabs my hand an replies 'I won't' and smiles.

he was so kind, what a sweety .
I was quite calm, but my brain did slow down a bit. I forgot to say I really enjoyed his concert and I also forgot to ask him to sign my copy of the DVD from Live Aid. *bangs head against the wall* Brilliant.



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Like Clockwork

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Like Clockwork

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parts of the banner's journey


banner in Milwaukee



onstage in Philly



onstage in boston



In portland, Oregon. U2's last show of the American leg. Yes I was there. Please don't give me the rolls eyes thing, I've been getting that one for over 20 years. Most people consider me nuts *sigh*. But you know what ?  At all the U2-shows I went to in 2005, I have meet the most amazing people. People who care, who are willing to act. It's been my biggest lesson and also my biggest joy on this entire yourney. And ...  you won't believe the fun we had



in the plane on the way to Mexico



in Chile



in Sydney




 



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Like Clockwork

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And just yesterday, we had a party with some Dutch and Belgian U2-fans in Holland (3 hours drive from home). So this is the most recent picture of what it looks like




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Loudmouth

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I really admire what you are doing. He really is an inspirational man, isn't he? I think he will remember you for a long time. As a teacher, I see his inspiration rub off on very young children and this gives me great hope for the future. Our school is about to pair up with one of the poorest schools in South Africa. A massive challenge lies ahead.

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Like Clockwork

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and believe me when I say that my fellow Zootops are delighted that Sir Bob wanted to sign this thing. Saying that I am grateful that he did would be the understatement of the year. Really.


To us, it has become not only a symbol of friendship, but one for equality, justice, ... for the poorest of the poor in our world.


ONE MAN CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE !!!



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Like Clockwork

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Scottie wrote:


I really admire what you are doing. He really is an inspirational man, isn't he? I think he will remember you for a long time. As a teacher, I see his inspiration rub off on very young children and this gives me great hope for the future. Our school is about to pair up with one of the poorest schools in South Africa. A massive challenge lies ahead.


That is wonderful


hope for the future, interesting you put it that way. It's exactly what I found over the past year.



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The Dutch One

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Wow Gloria, that is a great story. What a wonderful idea, that banner. I was at one of the U2 shows in Amsterdam last year, but I didn't see the banner there.


I'm really happy for you that the meeting with Bob worked out so nicely, you certainly deserved it, with all that campaigning for ONE/MPH!



If I'd known about coming to the Yser tower after the show, I'd have given it a try too... but I probably would have died with embarrasment and not be able to say anything It's just that I still dream of that picture with Bob and me on it...


But then, just going to see his shows is fantastic too. I'll keep doing that as long as Bob is playing!



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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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I've seen the Zootopian stuff before - although I'm not a member of that forum at the moment. It looks like you've done a lot of hard work. You're so lucky to have met Bono. Of course, he's my other hero They are both such an inspiration.

Scottie that's great that your school is linking up South Africa. Did you see the BBC reports in the last few months about the school exchanges. Talking of inspirations...

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Like Clockwork

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Joke wrote:



Wow Gloria, that is a great story. What a wonderful idea, that banner. I was at one of the U2 shows in Amsterdam last year, but I didn't see the banner there. I'm really happy for you that the meeting with Bob worked out so nicely, you certainly deserved it, with all that campaigning for ONE/MPH! If I'd known about coming to the Yser tower after the show, I'd have given it a try too... but I probably would have died with embarrasment and not be able to say anything It's just that I still dream of that picture with Bob and me on it... But then, just going to see his shows is fantastic too. I'll keep doing that as long as Bob is playing!



The big campaign we ran was in Brussels. ahum, sorry, kind of forgot to add that earlier.


I made the banner after the shows in Dublin. Believe me, I felt silly when I made it, actually not knowing what I was going to do with it. Amsterdam july 15th was the first time I took it with me. It was just a few friends of mine who knew about it's existence, I was ... euhm ... quite shy to take it out ... and when I did, security told me to put it away because it was too big.


Back then it was 2 parts. (those were sewed together later on, and I added a third piece to it after Portland because it was too full). Even for the second picture, security was chasing us out, so in the rush, I only took out the first piece to take some pictures.




 And Joke, I totally understand that dream and the possible shame or embarassment. I used to not do these things for the very same reasons. And yet, you want it so much. You know what ? Next time, go for it. The 'no' you already have, the 'yes' you just might get



-- Edited by gloria002 at 18:54, 2006-05-14

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Loudmouth

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Our secondary school (James Gillespies Secondary, of the prime of Miss Jean Brody fame) have just sent a group of children to S.A .with resources and have arranged for a whole crate to be sent over. I am in the JG primary and a class of 9 year olds recently approached their teacher to ask if they could be put in touch with a school in Malawi, as they wanted to help. They also invited the Malawian ambassador to talk to the children. Even in my nursery, we had a discussion with the 4 and 5 year olds and the children decided that we had enough art materials and could send some over. Childrens' logic is we have too much, they have nothing, so we give them some of ours. Maybe children should run the world!


This is Bob and Bono's legacy, long after they are away. HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.


 



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House on Fire

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What a fantastic story.  I had heard about the banner from the U2 board (of which I am member).  How amazing to take it to Bob's concert, tell him about it and get him to sign it as well.

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Dave

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Hi Gloria,


it's a wonderful story, thanks for sharing it with us!


You made me smile when I read this:


"Yes I was there. Please don't give me the rolls eyes thing, I've been getting that one for over 20 years. Most people consider me nuts *sigh*. But you know what ?  At all the U2-shows I went to in 2005, I have meet the most amazing people. "


I know exactly what you mean. I feel exactly the same, but it have been Bob's shows I travelled to and got the rolls eyes thing! So for me, this would read:


"Yes I was there. Please don't give me the rolls eyes thing, I've been getting that one for 20 years. Most people consider me nuts *sigh*. But you know what ?  At all the Geldof shows I went to between 1990 and 2005, I have meet the most amazing people."


I think you've found another bunch of nutters here, so welcome!


Are Geldof fans allowed to sign the banner too?



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Like Clockwork

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Katharina wrote:


Hi Gloria, it's a wonderful story, thanks for sharing it with us! You made me smile when I read this: "Yes I was there. Please don't give me the rolls eyes thing, I've been getting that one for over 20 years. Most people consider me nuts *sigh*. But you know what ?  At all the U2-shows I went to in 2005, I have meet the most amazing people. " I know exactly what you mean. I feel exactly the same, but it have been Bob's shows I travelled to and got the rolls eyes thing! So for me, this would read: "Yes I was there. Please don't give me the rolls eyes thing, I've been getting that one for 20 years. Most people consider me nuts *sigh*. But you know what ?  At all the Geldof shows I went to between 1990 and 2005, I have meet the most amazing people." I think you've found another bunch of nutters here, so welcome! Are Geldof fans allowed to sign the banner too?


hahahahaha, wonderful. Another nutter !!


Signing ... sure you are ... can you see my e-mail here somehow ? would you please contact me with more details on where you are from and where you'll be travelling for Bob's shows ?



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V Deep

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Hey!  How can you forget Tania, Max, Alicia and the banner on Mexican TV? 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI703rJJZB4


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5exul-Eyrpg



-- Edited by franna at 21:08, 2006-05-15

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Like Clockwork

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hihihi, you are absolutely right !!!

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Diamond Smiles

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Jenny here -Jacki's mum.


Oh Gloria, what a fantastic story.  I am so happy it all came together for you to meet Bob.


You had me all teary in the telling.  You must be congratulated for getting the word out even further afield.  Absolutely fantastic.  It's amazing what can be achieved when you step out of your comfort zone.


I'm happy to report that Jacki left a bit of a legacy at her Primary School when she finished there last year, and now the School is much more aware of Bob Geldof and what he is trying to achieve.  And the School is now organizing fundraisers etc and sponsorships of African children.  Very rewarding.


Jacki is involved here in Australia with "The Oaktree Foundation" which is an organisation founded by 2004 Young Australian of the year Hugh Evans.  They are do amazing work for children in poverty and are also working with MPH.


Jacki also sponsors a child in Africa out of her own money.  I am very proud of her.  She is only 13 after all.


We know how you feel about meeting Bob as we were lucky enough to meet him a few weeks ago.  He is so warm, friendly and totally gorgeous.  And how is the presence around him?  You can definately feel it.


Keep up your great work.  You are very Special!!!


Jenny  (and Jacki)


Life is not measured by the breaths we take - but by the moments that take our breath away.


MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY



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House on Fire

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Thank you so much for posting your lovely story and wonderful photos Gloria! You certainly cheered me up today!


I'm a huge U2 fan but haven't ever been lucky enough to manage to get a ticket to see them live. If I ever do i'll be on the look out for your banner for sure! I've also never met Bob Geldof...... (Two reasons for me to be envious of you!)


 


 



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Like Clockwork

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Jacki wrote:



 It's amazing what can be achieved when you step out of your comfort zone. I'm happy to report that Jacki left a bit of a legacy at her Primary School when she finished there last year, and now the School is much more aware of Bob Geldof and what he is trying to achieve.  And the School is now organizing fundraisers etc and sponsorships of African children.  Very rewarding. Jacki is involved here in Australia with "The Oaktree Foundation" which is an organisation founded by 2004 Young Australian of the year Hugh Evans.  They are do amazing work for children in poverty and are also working with MPH. Jacki also sponsors a child in Africa out of her own money.  I am very proud of her.  She is only 13 after all. We know how you feel about meeting Bob as we were lucky enough to meet him a few weeks ago.  He is so warm, friendly and totally gorgeous.  And how is the presence around him?  You can definately feel it. Keep up your great work.  You are very Special!!! Jenny  (and Jacki) Life is not measured by the breaths we take - but by the moments that take our breath away. MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY



and you are very proud with reason !! Wow !


and this line ... hm ... I'm Flemish which means I do most of my reading in that language and don't have beautiful English line to quote. But I came accross this line just a few weeks ago, and loved it immediately. Thanks for reminding me to it  Life is not measured by the breaths we take - but by the moments that take our breath away.

And Kidneybean, I most certainly hope you get tickets next time U2's around !

-- Edited by gloria002 at 21:17, 2006-05-16

-- Edited by gloria002 at 21:19, 2006-05-16

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Diamond Smiles

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Dear Gloria,


Your writing is beautiful.  Amazing, considering English is your second language.


It all reads perfectly and with such feeling and passion.


Love that!!!


Do hope you become a regular on this forum.


Love Jenny


Aim for the stars in all you do - dream big dreams and then make them come true.



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