Tramp leaves behind 34,000 pounds in unclaimed pension

July 16th, 2008 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Facebook

London, July 16 (IANS) A tramp whose frugal existence on a roundabout in a British city earned him the veneration of Hindus and Sikhs has left behind 34,000 pounds in unclaimed pension money. Josef Stawinoga, who died in October last year at the age of 86, could have withdrawn the money at any time in the last 13 years but preferred to live out his days in poverty in a tent on the grassy central reservation of a busy ring road in Wolverhampton.

Long revered as an ascetic by local Hindus and Sikhs, Stawinoga became internationally famous last year when a Facebook site set up in his honour attracted 6,600 members from around the world.

Polish-born Stawinoga, who had a two-foot beard and matted grey hair, reportedly went without a bath for more than 30 years and relied on food donated by friends and wellwishers, especially Sikhs and Hindus.

His pension had been held on his behalf by Wolverhampton City Council, which became his legal appointee in 1995. Some of the money was used to pay for his funeral and cremation.

The Treasury Solicitor has advertised for any relatives to come forward to claim the money.

Probate records show that he died intestate without leaving a will and gave his address as ‘Central Reservation (In a Tent), St John’s Ring Road, Wolverhampton’.

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