Tuesday 14 May 2013

Honorary Degree acknowledging Southern Africa's Struggling Millions

The following statement was issued by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, on 14 May 2013, following his return from Canada

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ. I have just returned from Canada, where I was humbled to receive an honorary doctorate from Huron University College.

Archbishop Emeritus Tutu often says that it is because he stands on the shoulders of giants that he is able to achieve so much. I, for my part, am aware that it is by the grace of God, that I have come to the place I am now – while at the same time there are so many millions of South Africans who in other ways are just like me, who struggle with inadequate schools and teaching, with sub-standard housing and appalling lacks of healthy water provision and sanitation, and who battle against near-insurmountable obstacles in their daily lives. Therefore, as I said at the graduation ceremony, I ask that each one of them be acknowledged, as much as I am acknowledged, in this award. It is as the representative of those countless individuals – whose names and faces are known and loved by God – that I received the honour.

My particular thanks go to Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of Canada and his wife Lynne, for his welcome, and to Bishop Bob Bennett, Bishop of Huron, and his wife Joyce, and to the Principal of Huron University College, Dr Stephen McClatchie and the Council of the College, for their invitation and for conferring this award

Convocation was celebrated on Ascension Day, a celebration that not only is God with us (as we recall at Christmas, naming Jesus Christ as Emmanuel), but that we are now also with God – the incarnate Jesus Christ for ever praying for us at the right hand of Almighty God. Above all, we know that he prays for the good of all God’s children. This year, Huron University College celebrates its 150th year, and to them we offer congratulations, and prayers that the gift of education may be used wisely and well. We pray for them, as we pray for our own nation, that education may serve for the building up of individuals, communities, and nations, in the service of the good of all.