Tristan : Pastoral Visit to Tristan da Cunha - 2012
Submitted by Tristan Times (Juanita Brock) 25.10.2012 (Current Article)
This year my visit to Tristan got off with a very good start. The sail from Cape Town to Tristan was on the maiden voyage of the SA Agulhas II, and what a swanky ship it really is.
Pastoral Visit to Tristan da Cunha - 2012
This year my visit to Tristan got off with a very good start. The sail from Cape Town to Tristan was on the maiden voyage of the SA Agulhas II, and what a swanky ship it really is. It is roomy, beautifully designed and has everything a passenger could ever wish to have. Yet, it is not primarily intended for the casual passenger, but is a fully working scientific Antarctic survey ship, owned by the South African Government. We arrived on Tuesday, 11th September 2012.
As soon as my luggage was delivered to the new priest’s House I was invited to a ‘welcome lunch’ at the home of Anne and Joe Green. It was a perfect opportunity to catch up on all the local issues pertaining to the Church.
The first community event was to complete the baptismal Rite for baby Connor Patrick Glass-Green during the public Mass the following Sunday. This was a happy event in more than one way, because a year ago, young Connor born and immediately his health started to deteriorate. When it reached the point, that the doctor did not expect him to live, he was immediately baptised ‘in danger of death’. However, he survived the next few days and weeks, and recovered enough for him to be brought to South Africa for treatment in a large hospital. Happily, today, he looks a picture of health and he not only reached his first birthday, his family (and community) could celebrate that milestone with the completion of the Baptismal rite all at the same time.
The weather, on this visit was particularly cold, wet and windy. This was a pity, as the Government had gone to a lot of trouble to lay on events for the benefit of the visitors. Sadly many were curtailed some what – even one or two were cancelled (Like guided walks), much to the disappointment of those who intended to participate. However, there was one indoor event, not affected by the weather that delighted everyone who attended it. I am referring to the cultural day display held in the new post office and museum building. Liz Rogers, and her companions, demonstrated the art of wool spinning, while Brian Rogers, showed a sample of model ships, of the kind that were used up only a few years ago.
Of course, Tristan would not be Tristan without many parties held in the Prince Philip Hall. On this visit there was a fashion show produced and presented by the children in the local school; there was a ceremony where the Administrator presented the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals to many Islanders who in the course of their work, help save lives at land and sea; There were farewell parties and birthday parties, not only in the community all, but also in private homes as well.
Alas all good things must come to an end, and my visitation was no exception.
We celebrated a special memorial Mass for the late Dorothy Rogers, who died since my last visit, in her ninetieth year, and a ‘Healing Mass’ on the last Sunday of my visitation.
The return voyage was both pleasant and smooth, with the added bonus, that whereas we travelled out as strangers, this time all the passengers had become friends.
Mgr Michael Bernard McPartland, Apostolic Prefect of the Falkland Islands and the South Atlantic Ocean