On 29 January the Cathedral was packed for our annual Back to School service at 09:30, with most of the congregation being high school learners in uniform from a number of Grahamstown schools. What a joy to participate in this act of worship, almost entirely led by young people, and with the participation of school choirs and the juniors of the Cathedral Choir. The sermon was given by the Revd David Stansbury, Chaplain at St Andrew’s College.
Congratulations to the newest member of our clergy team. Lunga Dongwana was ordained as a self-supporting transitional Deacon on 10 December in Bernard Mizeki Church, Scenery Park. We pray God’s blessing on this new phase in his already fruitful ministry at the Cathedral.
In one exciting week in December we welcomed not one but two new babies, children of priests at the Cathedral. On the 6th Lusanda and Luthando Madiba were blessed with their first-born daughter, Lulibo. And then on the 10th Samila Dyantyi was born to Sub-Dean Mzi and Lilitha, a brother for Sambesiwe. Congratulations and blessings on them all.
Celia Jameson, beloved physician in this town and member of the Cathedral choir, sadly died on 20 December. Her long illness had not prevented her from carrying on with her practice almost until the end. Despite the usual tendency for large numbers of Grahamstown people to go away for Christmas, Celia’s funeral in the Cathedral on the morning of Christmas Eve was exceptionally well attended, and there was even a choir. Our sympathy goes to her husband Peter Rose and the family. News also reached us of the death of a former Cathedral member who was living in Cape Town, Roger Adams, and Peter Clarke, brother of the late Canon Bob Clarke, died in the British Virgin Islands on 29 November. Dorrie Nuttall, wife of a former Dean of Grahamstown Michael Nuttall, later Bishop of Natal, died at the beginning of November. One of the residents of St Luke’s, Hazel Maclean, died at the end of January. Prayers are asked for their families.
Services over Christmas included a second Carol Service, with the adults of the Choir, on 18 December, and the lively and popular Crib Service on the afternoon of 24 December. Once again Nicola Hunter had assembled an ad hoc orchestra from among her friends to accompany the carols. This time there were some adult actors in the impromptu Nativity Tableau, and a real live baby. The parts of Joseph and Mary were played by Sylvester and Christeice Appollis, with baby Arabella as Jesus.
Christmas 2016 was an occasion for several family gatherings. Paul and June Walters hosted their four sons, plus three daughters-in-law and all the grandchildren, for a belated celebration of their 45th wedding anniversary. Geoff and Margie Antrobus gathered a grand assembly of over thirty relatives in Kenton, at the home of Geoff’s mother Sheila. This included their daughter Helen Pfister and her husband and children from New Zealand. Maggy Clarke has fewer relatives but all nine of them had a family holiday together at Mdumbi in the Transkei, to celebrate her 70th birthday.
The Vandereyken family all went home to Belgium for a family Christmas, but are back again for the new school term. We give thanks for the Bridge the Gap students who completed their courses with Oasis Grahamstown, and pray for the new intake now being recruited to take this one-year course for unemployed young people. It equips them with computer skills, readies them for the work-place, and for some may lead to the chance to train as teachers.
A Christmas circular received from former Cathedral assistant priest Andy Kruger and his wife Heather brings the news that Heather is studying Astrophysics at Princeton University in the USA. Andy has been appointed to Trinity Episcopal Church, Cranford, not far from New York, but is still awaiting the granting of his Religious Worker Visa.
In the New Year the Royal School of Church Music held a Summer School for choristers at St Martin’s School Rosettenville, Johannesburg. Three members of the Cathedral choir attended: juniors Liyema Bobotyani and Liqhame Beja, and Maggy Clarke. This was a special experience, singing with a different group and learning new music, under the enthusiastic leadership of a young Director from the UK, Jonathan Lee.
Revd Claire’s younger sister, Judith Duk, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy on 20 January. Thankfully the op went well and she is making a remarkable recovery. Claire took a week’s compassionate leave to drive to Cape Town in order to offer support and practical help (including lifting her Grade 1 and Grade 3 children to and from school!)
Congratulations are in order for a number of Cathedral people for a wide variety of achievements. Timothy Stephen, our verger, was admitted as a member of the Bernard Mizeki Guild at St Augustine’s Church. The Deputy Chair of the Cathedral Student Ministry, Odi Lehasa, was crowned “Miss Commonwealth South Africa”! Sally Matthews and her son Noah (9), were the first mother-and-son duo to achieve 50 Parkruns in Grahamstown. Special congratulations go to our 2016 Matrics, among them Thandiwe Gabavana, Zintle Mvula and Sivu Citywa who are going on to study at NMMU, while Yondela Kalipa is going to UCT to study socio-informatics. Anda Ntlali hopes to work this year before studying further. Ilse de Vos has been accepted to study Medicine at Wits. Two members of the Cathedral Choir at Graeme College, Sange Loliwe and Kamva Ntapu, wrote Matric. Sange received three As and Kamva one. Well done to them all, and every good wish for the future.
Congratulations to Khonzi Somandi, now in the 3rd year of his BSc at Rhodes. He has written a song which he sings with Lutho Zono, and which can be heard on YouTube: “Dear Black Child”. Lutho, who was a member of the Cathedral Choir while at VP, and went on to Kingswood College, is registering for a BA in law at Rhodes this year.
We pray for a peaceful start to the university year, and blessings on all returning and new students and members of staff at Rhodes.
People and Places is compiled by Maggy Clarke, Please send items of news to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or as comments to this blog.