By Bertil Wedin……..
This is the time of the year when many retired people have to produce evidence of the fact that they have remained alive, because if they fail to do so, they might not receive further payments from their pension and investment funds.
Dr William Dreghorn, the great science and art celebrity who settled in Kyrenia, Cyprus, in 1968 when he was 60 years of age, later adopted the habit of answering telephone calls with the words “Hello, I am not dead yet.”
I presume that any bank or investment fund manager would have accepted these words as evidence enough. That was the time of Western civilisation when officials said “I take your word for it” if you did not have documents to prove what you said about your identity, immigration visa and other matters
It happened twice when I was young and on holiday in foreign lands that I needed extra cash. As credit cards were unknown to me, I simply walked into the nearest bank and requested what I wanted. It was first Credit Lyonnais, Marseille, France, and then Barclays Bank in Kyrenia, Cyprus. I showed my passport to the bank manager and asked him to telephone “my” bank in Stockholm to check that I had money in my account there. In a few minutes I was given the amount of cash I had asked for minus a small fee for the telephone call.