Your obituary of the late Edmund Capper does him less than justice. As Provost of St Albans in Dar es Salaam and subsequently as Chaplain of St Nicholas, Ilala, he steered the Anglican Church with great tact and skill through the tumultuous period of the coming of independence and the birth of Tanzania. The pressure on those in public positions at that time was intense and he was an important figure-head of the old Establishment who set an example of integrity, tolerance and good humour. He was widely respected by the members of his church – and indeed far beyond it. The Provost always spoke sound common sense and proffered good counsel to the highest in the land and to the lowest. To those of us in the expatriate community during this time of transition, he was a rock – of principle and faith, as well as a genial and wise companion.
R F Eberlie
I am sure other people who have received the last issue will have contacted you regarding the obituaries. As far as I am aware Edmund Capper joined the UMCA in 1936 as a priest in Masasi. He was appointed Archdeacon of Lindi and in 1954 Archdeacon of Dar es Salaam and Rector of St Albans and later the Provost. It was after he left Tanganyika that he finally became a bishop. Most of the report refers to Leslie Stradling who was consecrated bishop on July 25 1945 and arrived in Moshi on December 4. That delay was due to lack of a passage to East Africa because of the war. He became the first bishop of South West Tanganyika in 1952. Certainly the last anecdote – re the goat – is from Bishop Leslie and possibly the confirmation one too.
Peter Stringer UMCA 1954-63
(You and other readers who have pointed out the serious errors in the obituaries section are quite right. The obituary did the Rt. Rev Edmund Capper less than justice because his obituary became mixed up with that of the Rt. Rev Leslie Stradling who died a short while earlier. The confusion can be partially explained only by reference to the fact that both apparently died at the same age, both served several years in Masasi, both were members of the UMCA and they left Tanganyika within a year of each other. But this is no excuse. Apologies to all concerned – Editor).
In TA No. 60 it says that Mark Cotton had discovered the remains of an underground mosque believed to date back to the 6th Century AD. Did not Islam begin in the 7th Century AD? So how come we find a 6th Century mosque in Pemba?
We spotted in the last issue a reproduction of part of Ann McFerran’s article in the Telegraph a few weeks ago. I enclose a copy of an article from the Sunday Times Magazine written by Patrick Wilson. (I like the article but sorry, no more space in this issue. Perhaps next time – Editor). ‘Health Projects Abroad’ (HPA) now offers 120 young people a year the chance to spend three months in Tanzania seeing what it is like to live and work in rural villages there.
Cath Rowlatt. HPA Volunteer Programme Manager
Another reader has written as follows: ‘You did not mention the cholera outbreak in Zanzibar in your last issue. Many people (perhaps 200) died in December 1997. My husband was one of them’ – Apologies and our sympathy on your loss – Editor.