Message from the Chaplain: 17 November 2023
Writing on why South Africa should observe Remembrance Day, Allan Sinclair writes:
As a comparatively young country which permitted only a small segment of its population to bear arms, South Africa nevertheless made significant contributions to the Allied causes in both world wars and in the Korean War.
On Tuesday, we held our Remembrance Day chapel. Churches and schools in South Africa have war memorials to remember those of their communities who served and died in the two World Wars. In her reflection, Ms Dingle spoke of the importance of memory and remembering and encouraging us to remember those who have died in the two World Wars and those who have been killed in the many wars and uprisings since then.
Christian communities played a significant role during and after the war, offering pastoral care to families and being part of rebuilding communities. The school website records the following incident on how St Mary's was affected following the end of the First World War and responded:
In the last months of the war, many thousands of South Africans of all races succumb to Spanish influenza. The pandemic, one of the worst human disasters ever, kills up to 6% of the global population. The particularly virulent H1N1 flu strain spreads to every corner of the globe, assisted by the return of millions of soldiers who had participated in the world war. South Africa is not spared. St Mary’s School looks like a hospital, as every bed is filled by those fighting for their lives.
In these difficult times, when some St Mary’s fathers have perished alongside the millions of others, when communities and economies around the world have been devastated and South Africa slides into a post-war depression, St Mary’s College is not spared and fights for its very survival .
As St Paul writes to the Corinthians: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.