Warm congratulations to our senior assistant priest, Claire Nye Hunter, who graduated with a PhD in Theology from the South African Theological Seminary (SATS) in Johannesburg on 23 April. Within minutes of her arrival at the Graduation ceremony she discovered that she was only the second woman in the 20-year history of SATS to graduate with a PhD in Theology, and the first one ever to attend the graduation ceremony, as the other woman was from the USA. She was treated like a celebrity! The subject of her thesis on the Gospel of St John was “Reframing, transforming and deepening faith: John’s pastoral response to a Community in Crisis”. Those who attended Claire’s Lent course on “Jewels from John” earlier this year, would recognize some of the text of her thesis. Dr Bill Domeris, former Rector of the College of the Transfiguration, was her supervisor. And congratulations to another graduate adding to her store of degrees and diplomas: Nompumelelo Magwa-Bobotyani, who received her M. Soc. Sci. in Anthropology from the University of Fort Hare.
Further congratulations go to Advocate Richard Brooks, a member of the Cathedral family who is also the Grahamstown Diocesan Chancellor, on being appointed a Judge of the Mthatha High Court.
The Community of the Resurrection welcomed their Oblates and Associates on 9 April. This was the first such meeting since Isaias Chachine took over as their Chaplain. Paddy Glover, the former Bishop of the Free State who is now retired to Knysna, is the CR’s Episcopal Visitor. He attended with his wife Kirsty, and was the celebrant and preacher. At the meeting in the afternoon Cathy Pringle gave a fascinating talk about her life’s work as an audiologist and speech therapist. This was followed by a presentation of slides showing the visit by Mother Zelma CR and her English friend Sue Hennessy to New Zealand. Sue was there in person to talk about the pictures and describe their journey, which took them to both North and South Islands.
Also back from a visit to New Zealand are Geoff and Margie Antrobus, who have been with their daughter Helen Pfister and her family in Auckland. They took the opportunity to tour the amazing North Island, from glaciers to hot springs. And with flights via the Far East they were even able to include a brief tour of Hong Kong.
Special congratulations and good wishes to Peter and Ann Stockwell, on their 45th wedding anniversary.
Penny and Clive Whitford have now achieved their long-planned move to Somerset Place, and we wish them every joy in their new home, which has a lovely view and a promising garden – but they are happy it is smaller than the one they left behind. Also settling in to a lovely new home with view and garden are Marian and Chris Walwyn. Now that they live down the road in Bathurst, they attend St John’s Church there, but happily for us Chris continues to commute to his post as Cathedral Parish Secretary.
The “Main Street Singers” who gave a lunch-hour concert in the Cathedral on 13 April, are a school choir from Los Altos California. They included Grahamstown on the itinerary of the 31-year-old choir’s first ever African tour at the invitation of Graeme College, and Graeme choirs shared the programme with them. All the members of the Graeme a cappella group, and many of the Graeme choir, also belong to the Cathedral choir. The visiting choristers look and sound professional, and it was an inspiration to watch their happy faces as they enjoyed their singing, and note that every single one of them watched the conductor all the time!
It was good to welcome back Barbara and Wilf Stout, who visited Grahamstown towards the end of April. They are happily settled in Scotland, not too far from their son who lives in Glasgow with his wife and baby daughter. During their visit the Stouts sang with the Cathedral choir at Evensong, and were reunited with some tall tenors and basses who they remembered well as tiny trebles.
We give thanks for the Mothers’ Union’s beautiful new banner, which now hangs in the Lady Chapel on a bracket adorned with the MU monogram. It looks good displayed next to the historic old banner, and unlike the old one which is fragile now, it can be proudly borne in procession.
“People and Places” is compiled by Maggy Clarke. Contributions can be sent to her at email@example.com, or as comments to this blog.