Grahamstown

People and Places

People and Places is compiled by Maggy Clarke. Please send items of news to her at: webmaster@grahamstowncathedral.org

People and Places for previous months of this year

June 2017, May 2017April 2017March 2017February 2017

People and Places 2016

People and Places 2015

People and Places, June 2017

Idowu Akinloye

A warm welcome to the Revd Idowu Akinloye from Nigeria, studying for his PhD at Rhodes. On Sunday 28 May the Dean issued him with a General Licence on behalf of Bishop Ebenezer. At the same service two new Lay Ministers were licensed, Noncedo Reme-Mnandi and Vuyokazi de Beer. We ask God’s blessing on their ministry, which will include teaching the Eluxolweni children in Junior Church.

A new team of eight College of the Transfiguration students has joined us to gain pastoral experience. They are: Lithemba Busakwe, Wilfred Maritz, Carlos Vaz Respeito, Vuyelwa Mguli, Philile Lobese, Siyabulela Bam, Sthembiso Mbatha and Luvuyo Mvaphantsi. We welcome them warmly and appreciate having them with us in various ministries at the Cathedral.

Sad news is that Mark, the husband of COTT student Deacon Bertha Gowera, died suddenly in Zimbabwe on 12 May. We hold her and the family in our prayers. After returning home for the funeral, she is back with us, and keeping busy with her studies. Just before going to press we learned of the death of Gaynor Miles. We pray for her husband Lewis and the family.

The last weekend of April saw a number of baptisms in the Cathedral. On Saturday 29 April Lulibo, daughter of the Revd Luthando and Lusanda, was baptized by the Bishop. Next day followed the baptisms of Arabella Appollis, daughter of Sylvester and Christeice, Qhamani-Nande Twaku (Zintle’s child), Nqabisa Twaku whose parents are Zanele and Xolela, and Siphokazi Njokweni’s family members Lindela and Lisakazi. We welcome these special children of God into the Cathedral family.

The Cathedral had the opportunity to celebrate Claire and Andrew Hunter’s Silver Wedding anniversary on Sunday 6 May, when everyone was invited to gather in the Deanery garden after the 9.30 Eucharist for tea, cake and champagne. The sun shone and everyone had a sparkling good time. Special thanks to the organizers, Margie Antrobus, Sally Terry, Elizabeth Breetzke and June Venn. Congratulations to Beth Denton on her 90th birthday, and to the Cathedral’s team of knitters at the annual sponsored Hospice Knit-a-thon on 9 May, who won the prize for the most money raised. Congratulations also to Bayanda Mthetho, one of the junior choristers who is in Grade 8 at Graeme College, on his success playing the piano in the recent Eisteddfod, and to Nicola Hunter who was invited to join the “Golden Key Society” on the basis of her academic results at Stellenbosch last year. Two South African male voice choirs which are going on tour to Argentina and Uruguay soon will be giving the international premier performances of works by composers well-known to us, who won prizes in a prestigious recent competition. Gareth Walwyn won Best Arrangement, and A-J Bethke shared the prize for Best Original Composition. Well done!

Colin Lewis (left) and Marijke (centre) with friends in Grahamstown.

It was lovely to see Marijke and Colin Lewis, who were in town for a few days visiting from the UK. Colin did a tremendous amount for bell-ringing during his time in Grahamstown, and Marijke sang in the Cathedral choir and took organ lessons from Christopher Cockburn. These have stood her in good stead as she now plays the organ at her church in Wales.

Prayers are asked for the musicians at the Cathedral. We give thanks for the talents and energy of the Choir Intern Kutlwano Kepadisa (‘Kepa’) who is acting as Director of Music until the arrival of Cameron Luke to succeed AJ Bethke. Kepa is assisted by Anelisa Kelemi, and the organ (and sometimes piano) is played by a roster of local volunteers: Peter Breetzke, Jovan Heynsen, Stephen Holder, John Jackson, Mike Skipper, and Simon Tibbs. The cantors and marimba players continue to be vital in leading the music during our worship. Choral services continue as usual, and the choir and marimbas are busy practising for Spiritfest.

Ten adult members of the Cathedral Choir went to St Cyprian’s Highlands on the morning of Sunday 14 May to sing at the dedication of the “Rose Garden”. This garden has been beautifully levelled and landscaped to accommodate the annual St Cyprian’s Country Fair and other church and community events. It was dedicated and named in memory of the late Dr Celia Jameson Rose, and it was because she had so loved being a member of the Cathedral Choir that her husband Peter invited them to sing on this occasion. In the absence of Kepa, who was attending the Student Ministry Camp, Charles Antrobus conducted the choir. It was a family occasion for the “Antrobi”. Geoff and Margie were there, as regular worshippers at Highlands, and with them were their daughter Shirley Horan and her three sons, visiting from Canada. After a Eucharist at which the Dean was the preacher, Peter and Celia’s daughter Sarah Dunn, from Charlbury, Oxfordshire in England, unveiled a plaque in her mother’s memory. The little country church was filled with up to 100 people, and many of them stayed to enjoy a bring and share picnic lunch. The “Rose Garden”, it was pointed out, was named for Celia, but did not contain any roses! This was remedied by Andrew and Heather Tracey, who donated a rose bush and immediately planted it.

At the same time Claire Nye Hunter and Jane Bradshaw were away at Assegaai Trails with Kepa and a party of Cathedral students, including some from COTT, for a weekend of “food, fun, fellowship, friendship and faith…” There was some drama: a brief stroll before supper turned into a three-hour hike, getting lost in the dark. Jane Bradshaw heard and recognized the call of a leopard, but that information was kept from the campers until they were all safely back at the camp and had enjoyed a good night’s sleep! Thanks were expressed to generous parishioners who gave donations of food or money. As a result several of the students were sponsored to enable them to attend.

Unfortunately Claire came home with tick-bite fever. We pray for her speedy and complete recovery, and prayers are also asked for Di Harvey, who has been in hospital. Thelma Neville (approaching her 101st birthday in July) is becoming increasingly frail. Samila Dyantyi, little son of Sub-Dean Mzi and Lilitha, was taken seriously ill with septicaemia, and had to be admitted to hospital in East London. It might have been caused by the eczema and throat infection he had been experiencing. We give thanks to God that the intra-venous treatment he received brought down his temperature and rescued him from this life-threatening condition, and that he has now been discharged, and come home.

Those who attended the 9.30 Eucharist on the Sunday after Ascension Day will have noticed that we sang a new Ascension hymn, ‘Lord as you ascend on high’ (to the tune of ‘Loving Shepherd of thy sheep’.) This was written recently by John Gardner, and offered to AJ Bethke in response to a need expressed by the Rector of St Stephen’s Pinelands in Cape Town for a hymn which emphasized humanity, through Jesus, being drawn up into the Godhead. Many thanks to AJ for sharing it with Grahamstown Cathedral. News of AJ is that he is doing further work on the new South African Hymn Book, an early draft of which we are already using at the Cathedral. He has circulated his CV to various institutions in South Africa and beyond, and received at least one hopeful response, and we pray for the right way to open up for him.

People and Places, May 2017

Andrew and Claire Hunter – 25 years married

Congratulations to our Dean, Andrew Hunter, and his dear wife Claire Nye Hunter, on the 25th anniversary of their wedding on 20 April. They celebrated this with special friends at Great Brak River, including a trip up the mountain in a “Power Van” and lunch at Botlierskop watching the rhinos, giraffe, wildebeest and impala. And further very warm congratulations to Clive and Penny Whitford, who have been married for 50 years. They enjoyed a splendid celebration of this Golden anniversary, which fell on 8 April, with all their children and grandchildren at a guest farm in the Curry’s Post area of KwaZulu-Natal.We welcome back Dawn Long after a brief sojourn in the UK. It is good to have her here, and back on the servers’ team at the 7.30 a.m. Sunday services. It is also good to welcome Margie and Geoff Antrobus’s daughter Shirley and her three boys, who are staying until early June.

Canon James Hoyle had the unpleasant experience of having his flat at Somerset Place burgled when he was at home, in the small hours of 9 April. Mercifully he slept through the break-in, and only woke when the nurses had already sent for Hi-Tech, who arrived

Clive and Penny Whitford: Golden Wedding

promptly and were able to arrest at least one of the intruders and retrieve the stolen goods. We pray for him.

Prayers are also asked for Val Buchner, who had an operation on 12 April. Chantel Tesner, the Cathedral book-keeper, was bitten by a spider and had to take some days off work, but we gives thanks that she has now recovered completely.

At the end of March the news broke that State President Jacob Zuma had re-shuffled his Cabinet, a move which included firing the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. This resulted in a wave of international shock and disapproval, with ratings agencies reducing South Africa to “junk status”. Within the country also, reactions were immediate. From small towns to great metros there were demonstrations and marches. Grahamstown was no exception, and Church Square outside the Cathedral was the scene of two separate vigils. First on Wednesday 5 April the veteran former members of the Black Sash stood for an hour, joined by others, holding posters remarkably similar to those they used to hold in the struggle years: “Mr Zuma, when will you listen?” read one. (The original had said “Mr Botha…”) The Black Sash women had wanted to join in the very much larger Vigil called for by the Dean for Friday 7 April, but due to their stand being accidently advertised for Wednesday, felt they were obliged to come out on both occasions. The Friday one-hour Vigil was well attended by a wide cross-section of the population of Grahamstown, with some participants wearing the t-shirts of various political parties, and numerous witty and thought-provoking posters. The Cathedral marimbas played beforehand to attract attention, and then at 1 pm the tower bells were tolled and there was silence. The Dean organised and hosted the event beginning in prayer, Bishop Ebenezer Ntlali spoke, and then there was an open mic for anyone who wanted to contribute. Chris Mann got the crowd going with a catchy rap and hip-hop song he had composed. By contrast, “Kepa” Kepadisa gave a sober speech that left us pondering. The singing of “Senzenani?” (What have we done?) was particularly poignant.

Making Palm Crosses: it’s easy when you know how!

Holy Week was celebrated with a succession of moving and meaningful services, at which the adults of the choir sang, the juniors being away on school holiday. The services began on Palm Sunday with a procession from Church Square with palms. A small family of four donkeys turned up beforehand uninvited – hoping to audition for a part? On Good Friday the three hours’ service again saw members of the clergy and lay ministry team adopting the persona of various characters who had encountered Jesus, who gave evocative accounts of their feelings at the time of his crucifixion. The three hours passed quickly, as Nceba January took the part of Judas, and John Jackson was a surprisingly amusing King Herod, with allusions to contemporary politics. Pat Terry imagined Barabbas as a veteran freedom fighter, who having escaped crucifixion, had eventually found himself besieged at Masada, among the remaining few who had determined to commit suicide rather than fall into the hands of the Romans. Claire Nye Hunter entered into the world of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well, and Geoff Antrobus was a desperately penitent Peter. Namso Nyamela’s account of the life of the woman who was healed from a haemorrhage was heart-rending, and lastly we heard from Dean Andrew what it must have been like to be Lazarus.

A different view of the Crucifixion was that of composer John Stainer, and his famous work was presented on Holy Saturday evening by a visiting choir from the UK, ‘Moorland Voices’. Mike and Sue Skipper had belonged to this group when they were living there. The Skippers joined in singing the oratorio, Mike singing the bass solo while Charles Antrobus sang the tenor, and AJ Bethke accompanied them on the organ.

Listening to farewell tributes at the luncheon.

Andrew-John Bethke’s farewells were prolonged, affectionate and sincere. The Farewell Concert mentioned in the last People and Places was followed by a sit-down bring-and-share luncheon on Sunday 2 April in St George’s Hall. This bitter-sweet occasion was celebrated with abundant food, a happy crowd of parishioners, and a number of tributes in speech and song. The hero of the moment was almost reduced to tears when presented with a souvenir album which had been compiled especially for him, containing photos of memorable occasions during his almost five years as Cathedral Director of Music, as well as letters of appreciation from numerous friends in Grahamstown. That same evening the University Madrigal Singers led the singing at a service of Choral Evensong, which included the premier of a new setting of the Canticles: Bethke in F.

Easter Day was AJ’s last occasion to accompany Cathedral worship on the organ, at both the 6 a.m. Vigil service, and the 9.30 a.m. AJ’s parents, Erica and Tony Bethke, had driven up from Cape Town to be present at the Easter services, and to help him transport his belongings back to the Mother City. At the end of each service, the Dean read out a personal tribute to AJ, and after the second service members of the Cathedral team and friends laid hands on him and prayed for God’s blessing on him in the years ahead.

Dr Andrew-John Bethke has written to thank the Cathedral family for their gifts and good wishes. “I wanted to write and thank you all for your generous financial gift and for all the special cards and letters.” Read more …

We join in prayer for AJ, as he goes forward into an unknown future, and for his successor Cameron Luke, that he may soon receive his work visa and be able to join us.

 

People and Places, April 2017

The Cathedral is delighted to welcome Deacon Bertha Gowera, who is doing the fourth year of her Bachelor in Theology at the College of the Transfiguration. This year she is required to spend two seven-week blocks on a “parish placement”, which is what brings her to the Cathedral. She is a Zimbabwean, married to a teacher, and herself worked as a teacher before studying for the ordained ministry.

Cameron Luke

The Dean announced another new appointment on 26 March, that of a Director of Music to succeed AJ Bethke who leaves after Easter. Cameron Luke will be coming to us from Cheltenham in England, where he has been Director of Music at All Saints’ Church for ten years. He already has experience of working outside the UK, having been Kantor (organist) at a church in Nesbyen, Norway, before he went up to Worcester College Oxford to study music. Unfortunately the date of his arrival in Grahamstown cannot yet be announced, as it is dependent on how long it takes the South African authorities to grant him a work visa. In the meantime the Cathedral music will be in the hands of a team of organists and pianists, the Choir School Committee, and the choir intern Kepa (Kutlwano Kepadisa) and marimba intern Asakhe Cuntsulana.

Shrove Tuesday fell on 28 February this year, and Sally Terry and her wonderful team of volunteers of all ages produced a record number of 840 pancakes. Due to the generosity of many who had contributed to the ingredients, the money raised from their sale was almost all profit. The sum raised for the Bishop’s Lent Appeal was a whopping R7,931. In addition to this, the evening was a tremendous social success, with many of the customers sitting down to eat and chat together.

 

The solemn evening Eucharist which marked the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday was unexpectedly held by candle-light, due to a serious power-cut which in the centre of town lasted well into the next day. The result was beautiful and memorable. As members of the choir sang plainsong in Latin and Greek (Kyrie Eleison), we felt united with the church throughout the ages. And then we were brought right into the here and now with African Amens and the Prayer for Africa.

The Annual Vestry meeting saw the re-election of all Churchwardens and Parish Councillors with the exception of Lunga Dongwana, who as a Deacon is now an ex officio member of the Council. We congratulate them, and wish God’s blessing on the important roles they fulfil in the parish. They are: Churchwardens Ronaldo Burger and Ian Meiklejohn, Alternate Churchwarden Paul Walters, and PCC members Jane Bradshaw, Rose Spannenberg, Cathy Euijen, Rodney Bridger and Patrick Pringle. Sister Carol CR represents the Sisters. The Cathedral Student Ministry and ANSOC are also entitled to send reps. When the Dean admitted the Wardens and Councillors on 12 March, he also licensed the Revd Luthando Madiba on behalf of the Bishop. Luthando received a ‘General Licence’ rather than being licensed to the Cathedral, in view of the nature of his work as Media Officer, which involves travelling all around the Diocese.

Our sympathy to the Dongwana family, on the death of Yoliswa’s brother Mpilo Ian Ngxilo, to Sub-Dean Mzi whose aunt Muriel Bam has died, and to Thelma Neville on the loss of her beloved sister-in-law Molly Thorndyke, who died in East London.

On Saturday morning 18 March Andrew and Heather Tracey were attacked in their home by two young men, who hit Andrew and tied them both up. We give thanks to God that their injuries were not serious, and that one of the perpetrators was immediately arrested by Hi-Tech, who also recovered Andrew’s precious laptop. Released from hospital after a few hours’ observation, Andrew was able to go home to Heather the same afternoon, and the two of them attended the 09:30 service at the Cathedral the very next day. We pray for their complete recovery from the trauma of the event.

The CSM students enjoyed a double feature movie night recently, and raised R220 towards their forthcoming camp next term. The Sunday night  “God and the F____ word” series has been well received, with plenty of opportunity for engaging and discussing the input in small groups in the context of the services. A Bible Study group for students plans to meet every second week in term time. The Young Adults “Connect Group” is finally starting at the end of March, rather later than planned due to various unexpected delays – not least that Anna Talbot was part of an overseas music tour with the KZN youth orchestra!

The annual Masicule concert presented by the National Arts Festival and directed by Gareth Walwyn, featured school choirs and singing ensembles from across the city, in a packed Monument Theatre. Among them were the choirs of Nombulelo High School, the combined choir of DSG and St Andrew’s College and Kingswood College Senior Choir, as well as their Band. Kepa conducted the Kingswood choir. Most of the junior members of the Cathedral Choir took part in either the VGHS Choir or the Leopard’s Voice (Graeme College small choir). In addition some VGHS members of the Cathedral choir sang in an a capella group called #_Official. Their choice of ‘Chandelier’ (definitely not church music!) was enthusiastically received, and they must be congratulated on arranging the music themselves.

It is proving hard to let go of our well-beloved Cathedral Director of Music AJ Bethke. As proof of the affection and esteem in which he is held by the parish and the wider community in Grahamstown, a whole series of farewell events have been organised. Some of these will be described in the next issue of People and Places, but to begin proceedings he gave a recital on the organ of Kingswood College, consisting entirely of the works of J S Bach, on the occasion of that composer’s 332nd birthday. It is too easy to take the talents of an organist for granted, when the music is a background to movement or prayer in a service. But in the context of a recital we were given a glimpse of what is involved – playing one tune with the right hand, another with the left, and yet another with the FEET! Next came AJ’s last Evensong conducting the full Cathedral Choir with the Juniors, on 26 March, at which Pat Terry paid tribute to him for the contribution he has made to the choir and Cathedral.

 


Andrew Tracey organised a grand Farewell Concert in the Cathedral on 27 March. To open proceedings, AJ was honoured with a breathtaking fanfare on kudu horns, after which Paul Walters spoke movingly on behalf of the Cathedral community. Kepa, the choir intern, also gave a word of thanks. A number of choirs took part: the Cathedral Choir of course, conducted by AJ himself, the Pro Carmine Singers, University Madrigal Singers and the Rhodes Chamber Choir. All of these include members of the Cathedral Choir. The St Michael’s Marimbas performed, and AJ gave us another wonderful Bach Fugue on the organ. There were solos by soprano Jo-nette Le Kay, with guitar and recorder accompaniment. Poets from among the congregation offered items; Chris Mann performed ‘the Jesus of the Holy Land, a psalm for today’. And what would such an occasion be without one of Pat Terry’s delightfully witty parodies? He and Charles Antrobus treated us to a responsorial psalm which resonated with choir members in particular – e.g. “Some have mouths and open not/ eyes have they and look not. They have ears and listen not/ music they have and read not”. The finale consisted of all the choirs together, with singers from Graeme College, singing a Brazilian song and a final “Hamba kakuhle!”

 

People and Places, March 2017

A warm welcome to all students, new and returning. We give thanks for a peaceful and amicable start to the Rhodes and Cape Midland College terms. The Cathedral Student Ministry has resumed, and the first series of addresses at the 7 o’clock Student Services on Sunday evenings has begun. This has the cheeky title: “God and the F…. word”, e.g. “FEEL like this is where I belong, a home from home.”

We ask God’s blessing on the Core Team, pictured here. Back (left to right): Anelisa Kelemi (worship), Ayanda Dabengwa (tea) Kepa (Kutlwano Kepadisa, worship), Ayabulela Matolweni (Advertising), Odi Lehasa (secretary). Front (left to right): Zenande Landu (Advertising), Nomvelo Masango (Fundraising), Rosa Msweli (chairperson), Rev. Dr. Claire Nye Hunter. Absent: Theo Duxbury, Zikhona Mtwa.

For the second year running, the Makana Choir School has appointed a student intern to

Kepa

assist with the training and mentoring of the young choristers. Kutlwano Kepadisa, always known as Kepa (see above), is a third-year student who took part in a conducting course which AJ Bethke ran last year. Happily, Anelisa Kelemi, last year’s intern, is still around to assist as well. This is a great blessing as we face the prospect of a possible interregnum when AJ leaves after Easter, before the post of Cathedral Director of Music is filled.

It was a pleasure to welcome back for another visit former Cathedral music director and organist Barbara and Wilf Stout. Although they must have been glad to escape the Scottish winter for a few weeks, they were not exactly on holiday, as they were kept busy emptying their Grahamstown house so that it can be let or sold. They succeeded in this task, and left town on 21 February, but they have assured us that they will come back and see us again. Another welcome overseas visitor was Cathy and Patrick Pringle’s daughter Janet, with her partner Mark, from India. Patience Osadebe, a visiting academic from Nigeria, and widow of a Canon of the Anglican Church, has been worshipping with us while she is working at Rhodes Pharmacy Department for a month.

After six years studying at Rhodes, Faith Magwenzi has handed in her Masters thesis, and departed to take up a post in Johannesburg. We wish God’s blessing on her move, and in her new job.

Deepest sympathy to Alfonso and Raquel Michaels, on the sudden death of their twelve-year-old daughter Alanah. She apparently died as the result of a diabetic episode (type 1 diabetes). We also pray for Siphokazi Njokweni, whose aunt died on 27 December, and remember with thanksgiving the life of former organist at this Cathedral, Ivan Kilian.

A

Andrew Tracey

Andrew Tracey was admitted to hospital in Port Elizabeth recently after an episode which left him temporarily unable to speak. We give thanks that he was soon able to speak (and sing) again, and was fit enough to be discharged a few days later. We pray for his full recovery, and for Audrey Holmes, who has been having severe pain in her knee since falling at home in St Luke’s.

On 23 February AJ Bethke gave an organ recital, this time not on the Cathedral organ, but on the newly restored instrument in Commemoration Methodist Church. As that organ was designed and built in the Romantic period, AJ’s choices of music were mainly in that style, featuring composers such Guilmant and Mendelssohn, and ending with the ever-popular Toccata from Widor’s 5th Symphony. What a treat!

The Cathedral bells have been silent recently due to a sad lack of ringers. By contrast on the afternoon of Saturday 25 February, all ten of them were to be heard, courtesy of a band of ringers from England. They were taking part in a tour which included peals on all the ringable bells in New Zealand and Australia before proceeding to South Africa and Zimbabwe. The peal was streamed live on the internet, so Colin Lewis, who was instrumental in the restoration of Grahamstown Cathedral’s bells, and who inspired a wonderful revival of enthusiasm for bell-ringing here, was able to listen to them from his home in Wales. He wrote: click here.

Grahamstown Cathedral bells

The majority of South Africans feel deeply concerned for the state of our beloved country, whether we think of education, finances, or the quality of governance. United Prayer for South Africa (Up4SA), a country-wide initiative of Christians from many denominations, organised prayer services to take place simultaneously all over the country on the afternoon of Sunday 26 February. The Cathedral hosted the Grahamstown service, which was attended by a relatively small but diverse group of Christians.

Later the same evening there was a Choral Evensong with a difference, celebrating the life and works of George Herbert, an English poet-priest who died in 1632. Some of his devotional poems were read, and others sung because they are favourite hymns, like “Teach me, my God and King”. One, “The Call”, was sung as an anthem by the choir to a setting by AJ Bethke. If any of those present wondered why some members of the choir went bare-foot, the explanation is that they had been finding it difficult to remember the rule “black (or brown) shoes in the sanctuary”. An ingenious new amendment to the rule was introduced on 26 February: “black (or brown) shoes – or nothing on your feet….” Even some of the adults were caught out.

 

 

People and Places, February 2017

Lulibo Madiba

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.

Samila Dyantyi

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 10thSamila Dyantyi was born to Sub-Dean Mzi and Lilitha, a brother for Sambesiwe. Congratulations and blessings on them all.

Celia Jameson

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 45thwedding 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.

Liqhame Beja, Maggy Clarke and Liyema Bobotyani, at St Martin’s Rosettenville.

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. 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 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.