It’s a sad day for Wellingtonian as the most famous vagrant has died the other day at the Wellington Regional Hospital of unknown causes.
Mr. Ben Hana or Blanket Man was a homeless man who wandered the inner city streets of Wellington particularly in Courtney place and Cuba Street.
Hana is considering a Wellington Icon and a local celebrity as evidenced by the number of media that present him as a subject of interest. In 2007, Victoria University of Wellington Sociology Lecturer Mike Llyod and PhD student Brownyn McGovern delivered a presentation titled “World Famous in Wellington: Blanket Man as contemporary celebrity” to the New Zealand Folklore Symposium.
A documentary film about Blanket Man was made by Errol Wright and Abi King-Jones and Tom Hunt from Dominion Post wrote a story “The man behind the Blanket”.
I’ve been in Wellington for 6 years now and every time I pass by between Courtney Place and Tory Street I always see Mr. Hana on the foothpath sleeping or smoking.