Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Day 22 - Galeshewe

Todays match:

Uruguay 2 v. Holland 3

Galeshewe is the satellite township that adjoins Kimberley and was originally built under the apartheid laws to house the area's African population. It is still largely populated by African people. The township's existence dates from 1871 and for many years it was known as Number Two Location, until 1952 when it was named after Chief Galeshewe of the Batlhaping tribe. He was an important figure to the local African population and spent many years in jail after he rebelled against the Cape Colony Government several times to protect his people.

Galeshewe rose significantly in importance during the struggle against Apartheid, and was second only to Soweto as a centre of political activism. It was home to Robert Sobukwe, the leader of the Pan African Congress (PAC), who spent the last days of his life under house arrest in Galeshewe, following his imprisonment on Robben Island. Sobuke practiced law from an office nearby. He died in 1978.

The township has a population of ca. 103,228 people

In Kimberley, the Transvaal Road Police Station still stands. During the apartheid years the sixth floor was notorious for many unexplained and mysterious deaths. Among them was Phakamile Mabija who died in 1977 and has a memorial plaque on the wall of St James’ Church, Galeshewe.

The first democratic elections in South Africa took place in 1994 and the following year the Marlow Team started a companionship link with the parish of St James Galeshewe. It is reviewed every five years when new objectives are set. Over the years there have been a number of visits from members of the congregation to Kimberley and Kuruman, and more significantly an exchange visit by the church choirs.

Earlier this year the PCC in Marlow and St James’ Vestry agreed to explore another five years together with a specific emphasis on young people. The reason for this is two-fold. First, Marlow now has Stewart Grenyer as a youth worker and this area of ministry is starting from a small but firm base. Secondly, St James has a high proportion of young people in its congregation (most of whom did not know the apartheid times).

We pray:

  • for the continued Marlow and St James link with its new emphasis on the youth

  • for those still oppressed because of colour or status
  • for those working for the freedom of others across the world
  • for St James, Galeshewe - its ministry and mission
  • for church groups and organisations throughout South Africa
  • Giving thanks for the involvement of young people in the life of the church both in the UK and in Kimberley and Kuruman

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