- Nick Gibbs
With great sadness we must announce the passing of Chris Vanssen, known and loved by everybody as ‘China’.
Please note that we have had no official confirmation on the circumstances, what we give here is what we are able to surmise in messages received.
China passed away in Can Misses hospital on the evening of Saturday 17th March 2018. He had suffered a short illness. He was admitted to Can Misses on the Wednesday preceding. A close friend said they believed him to be 72.
Though I personally only had the honour of knowing China in recent years, the universal love and warmth held for him was reflected in a steady stream of ‘can you put us in touch with a man called China’, contacts in our inbox. These dated back to his time in San Antonio West End including the OK Coral, where he clearly made a long lasting impression on those he met, however briefly.
China worked with the Ibiza Sun in its early days, and until 2016 was diligently distributing the newspaper around the island.
An active member of the English speaking Church of Ibiza and Formentera, China was a welcome visitor to Ibiza’s residential homes for the elderly, and I have no doubt that there would be many, many, more selfless acts of care and kindness that could be listed here by the Ibiza community – that was the man he was.
Though my own time knowing him may have been briefer than many in Ibiza, it didn’t take more than one social encounter to appreciate China as a special person, and a few heart-to-hearts more, to realise he was one of the very best. China was one of that very rare breed in Ibiza, totally genuine, no agenda – he had an infectious and inexhaustible level of positivity and desire to see the good in people. And he was bloody good fun too.
A public service of thanksgiving for his life will be held at 17:00h on Tuesday 20th March at The San Rafael Church. We understand there may be drinks after in a local bar.
A very sad day, though if China were here, he would make sure it wasn’t.