To usher in Palm Sunday, the traditional Friday afternoon making of palm crosses drew a record 17 volunteers of all ages, a true cross-section of the congregation (excuse the pun!) Over 300 palm crosses were made in an hour and a half, and the volunteers enjoyed hot cross buns together.
The seasons of Passiontide and Easter were celebrated with a feast of music, in which Cathedral singers were involved in a variety of ways. After the “Easter Cantata” with DSG and St Andrew’s choirs in the week before Palm Sunday, many of the Cathedral girl choristers were in the Victoria Girls High School choir which sang Steiner’s “Crucifixion” at VG, and Charles Antrobus was the tenor soloist.
On Good Friday at the Three Hours’ Service a number of clergy and lay ministers took the parts of various witnesses to the crucifixion, and described the event through the eyes of their characters: Simon of Cyrene, a friend of Judas, the two men who were crucified with Jesus, Mary Magdalene, John the beloved disciple and the centurion. When Claire Nye Hunter spoke as Mary Magdalene, there was not a dry eye in the church, and we all came away feeling yes, “we were there”.
A former Dean, Anthony Mdletshe, visited Grahamstown as a guest of the College of the Transfiguration in Holy Week. He went on to be Suffragan Bishop of Grahamstown and then Bishop of Zululand, and is now retired and living in Pretoria. He came to a service at the Cathedral, and it was good to see him looking well and active.
Congratulations to those Cathedral students who received degrees at the recent Graduation ceremonies at Rhodes, and to Amy Mann, daughter of Chris and Julia, who has now qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Her brother Luke recently had the opportunity to visit Gallipoli in Turkey, scene of a bloody battle a century ago in World War I.
It has been announced that the Revd Nobuntu Mageza has been appointed Personal Assistant to the Archbishop of Cape Town. She and Archbishop Thabo know each other well, as she was his secretary for a couple of years while he was Bishop of Grahamstown. While studying at the College of the Transfiguration last year she was placed at this Cathedral for pastoral experience. We congratulate her and wish her well.
We welcome two new members of the Cathedral family, who were baptised on Sunday 19 April, Danilee Arends and Madison Conroy, and pray for them.
Prayers are asked for Eunice Ncwadi and her family, on the death of her great-niece Nompendulo Magquntulu.
The Cathedral “Seniors” enjoyed a post-Easter tea on 15 April in the Hall. Claire Nye Hunter had devised a quiz with mainly Biblical questions, and the people seated at the various tables competed as teams. Beth Dickerson was the only one on her table who knew that the Epistle to the Galatians is the one in which the Fruits of the Spirit is listed, and she was particularly pleased to hear that her table had come out top in the quiz.
On the previous Sunday Beth had celebrated her 87th birthday. As she had not been in the best of health recently, she reluctantly decided to abandon her idea of throwing a big party, but could not resist organising a series of lunch parties for family and friends on that Sunday and in the days that followed. As it turned out, those were her farewell parties, as on the Friday that followed her health took an alarming turn, and she died in Settlers’ Hospital in the small hours of Wednesday 22 April. The founding Professor of Rhodes Drama Department, Beth was for many decades a faithful and enthusiastic member of the Cathedral congregation, whose gifts were always available to her Lord and her church. Older members will remember her productions of the Carols by Candlelight nativity scenes, and the moving play-readings of scenes from Dorothy Sayers’ “Man Born to be King” at a number of Good Friday three-hour services. Even in her eighties when her sight was almost completely gone, she would collaborate with Jeanette Eve in teaching young members of the congregation how to read lessons audibly and with understanding. These youngsters can be proud to have had the same coach as Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, who was among the theological students at St Paul’s College to be taught by Beth how to project their voices in the pulpit. At Beth’s well-attended funeral on 30 April, Andrew Tracey read out the Fruits of the Spirit, from Galatians.
“People and Places” is compiled by Maggy Clarke. Contributions can be sent as comments to this blog.