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Wonderfully Led : A Shared Adventure

An adventure in faith

Barbara Guilbride describes how two ordinary people from very different backgrounds in England were drawn together to achieve extra-ordinary things in Africa.

The differing ways in which married couples first meet have always intrigued me. Each story is unique - no two are ever similar. My husband, Terry Guilbride, and I were a case in point; our lives so distanced that it seems incredible that we could ever even meet, let alone marry.

Terry's father, Capt. Francis Langford Guilbride, an Irishman from County Wexford, went out to Uganda in 1912 to help set up a business, “H.M. Syndicate”. He was also, for several years, President of the Uganda Cotton Association and twice President of the Uganda Planters Association. In 1914 he returned to the U.K. in order to enlist in the army for World War I. He was sent to France where, during five months of active service, he collected a severe wound and also suffered from the effect of gas attacks. Finally he was awarded the M.C. and invalided out.

During his time of recovery he married Isolene Walmesley. She came from a Quaker background. Her father, James Walmesley, was headmaster of the Friends School, Lancaster (later the George Fox School), from 1883 to 1903. When he died, his wife, Caroline Greer Walmesley took over from 1903 to 1919. Isolene and Francis lived in Lancaster and it was there that Terry was born. His brother Pat was born in Kendal just over a year later. As soon as he was well enough, Terry's father took his whole family by ship to South Africa and thence back to Uganda. There, Terry and his brother spent the first six years of their lives. At the end of that time they were sent ‘Home’, away from this idyllic life of freedom, to Albert Villa School in Bristol to, as they described it, ‘grey skies, chilblains and cod liver oil’. Later they went on to King's School, Bruton, where Terry was appointed a prefect and then head boy.         .

With the travel difficulties of those days, they only saw their parents every five years, when they would come over to visit. In the meantime they often spent holidays with their uncle and aunt, Cyril and Eithne Walmesley. Cyril was the waterworks manager in Perth and this inspired Terry to study civil engineering at Glasgow University, whilst his brother Pat studied to be a veterinary surgeon at Edinburgh University.

My early life (Barbara Orchard in those days) was very different: my father Alfred Dean Orchard was an auctioneer (of cattle) and estate agent. My mother, Esther Helen Turner, was somewhat above him on the social scale, coming from a wealthy family who lived in the Manor in Blaby, near Leicester. When my father approached her father, Joseph Turner, to request her hand in marriage, he was asked about his financial position. As my father revealed this Mr Turner replied: “My boy, that wouldn't even keep her in butter.”

Chastened, but determined, my father set about increasing his assets. In the end, he not only won my mother's hand, but owned two cinemas and a rollerskating rink in Hinckley, where he and my mother then lived and where my brother Roger, sister Molly and I were born. As can be imagined, we all made full use of our entitlement to go free to the cinemas and skating rink, taking our friends with us, to everyone's great enjoyment.

My sister and I went to Nuneaton High School as day girls, then as boarders to Lincoln High School and finally to Lowther College, Bodelwyddan Castle, in North Wales. It was a real castle in glorious surroundings (it is now a hotel). It even had a secret passage into the castle from the woods, but, alas, the other end came out in the head mistress's study, so none of us were brave enough to try using it. A wonderful place for a school and I loved my time there.

Finally, my father retired and we moved down to live in Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex. After a brief secretarial course (as I had learned quite a bit in my last term at school) I got my first job with a property owner who operated from his own home and whose increasing workload needed a second secretary.

I had just passed my driving test, but my father was making full use of our car and I could only have it if I drove him to his bowling green and then returned to take him home. Of course I often had to wait until he finished and would pass the time talking to another girl, called Joan Barker, who was similarly collecting her father. One day, when I was at work, I got a phone call from her to say that friends of hers in Moral Re-Armament were meeting her for coffee in the De la Ware Pavilion and she wondered if I would like to join them and hear more about it. I was horrified, and certainly didn't want to do any such thing, so I told her I had another appointment at that time (totally untrue), and rang off. However, she had managed to say one thing that kept persistently coming back to me:

“You know, Barbara, I always found life pretty pointless until I met this.” Joan was already a concert pianist - had given recitals on the radio. Compared with her my life was totally without purpose. I phoned her back and said I now found I was free after all (!) and would like to come and meet her friends.

That meeting was a turning point for me. I was captured by the idea that God had a plan for my life - something only I could do for the world. To find that plan they suggested I spend time in quiet every morning, listening to this inner voice and writing down any thoughts that came to me. The second idea that challenged me was their belief that change started with oneself, not the other person, and that as people

changed, situations and even nations and the world could change. To start this process they told me the best way was to measure my life against four standards: absolute Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness and Love.

I followed all these suggestions and did my best to put right the wrongs in my life and then, one day, Joan suggested I might like to hand my life over to God, completely and permanently. I still remember that moment with great clarity. I felt a sense of peace and joy - a warmth of welcome as though I was loved and accepted. This was the beginning of a wonderful adventure that has continued ever since.

Just about the same time, Terry was having a similar experience in Glasgow University. One day he read a notice on their board about a meeting to be held there. It was advertised as “Bridgebuilders” and he thought it was to do with his civil engineering course and went along. It turned out to be a Moral Re-Armament (MRA) meeting with people from all walks of life speaking of their experiences. Greatly intrigued by what he had heard he spoke to one of the students who seemed to be involved. This man, Archie Mackenzie (later to enter the Diplomatic Service and serve as British Ambassador in various countries) outlined MRA's basic principles and then suggested (as Joan had done for me) that he might try 'listening', think about his life in terms of the four standards and meet again next day so they could talk over what had come to him.

The main problem on Terry's mind at that time was that he knew he wasn't going to pass his exams as he hadn't been working – he’d been much more interested in rugby and playing the flute in the University orchestra. Archie asked him, “What do you feel you should do about it?” Terry thought for a moment, and then said that he felt he should write to his father and be completely honest with him.

Encouraged by Archie, he managed to do this the same day. He used to describe his feelings on seeing the letter disappear into the postbox as a kind of desolation, being certain his father would take him out of university. In time the reply came. With considerable trepidation Terry opened it. To his amazement his father thanked him for being honest and added: “Now I feel I can trust you.” It meant a further period of study but eventually Terry sat his exam again and got his BSc. He then, like me, also decided to put the rest of his life in God's hands.

At this point any plans we might have had were completely interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. My family moved back to Leicestershire, as my father, although retired, felt he was still able to help the war effort. He quickly got a voluntary job in the council department dealing with rationing. I myself, age I8, found I was going to be in the first ever callup of women in wartime. I decided to volunteer and joined the British Red Cross Nursing service - V.A.D. (Voluntary Aid Detachment). In this we had the unusual experience of starting off at officer rank (yet as volunteers only receiving a pittance) and then some way into the war, coming under military rule we were reduced to pri­vates. Not that it made any difference, except that we got a bit more money! It was amazing how we were immediately involved in full nursing although most of us only had our First Aid and Home Nursing diplomas.

Before my first posting, friends in MRA suggested to me that it might be wise to consider whether there were any decisions I should make before setting off into such unknown experiences. I remember that three came clearly to mind: 1) to have a time of quiet every morning; 2) to say my prayers every night and 3) not to go out alone with any man unless I was convinced he was the one I would marry. These may sound easy but were in fact quite frequently a real challenge.

For example, at one point I found myself at a big camp in Aldershot - a jumping off point for military personnel en route for overseas posting. We were accommodated in what they termed “spiders” - a central building with eight legs or rooms, each of which providing space for about thirty beds, connected to the centre which consisted of ablution facilities and toilets.

On my first night there I found the beds were so close together that I had to ask the girl next to me if she could get into bed so I had room to kneel. She very kindly did so, but one of the other girls, who had heard and seen what was going on, objected strongly - actually shouted at me: “What on earth do you think you’re doing? We can't have people praying all over the place. This is the army, not a church.” To my surprise, the· girl I had asked to move responded with equal vigour: “What do you think this war is for? It's for freedom isn't it? If the girl wants to pray, let her pray; you have no right to tell her what to do.” So it went on, back and forth for some minutes. I didn't say anything! From that time on no one raised any objection.

Similarly, it wasn't the easiest thing to sit up in bed in the morning for my time of quiet - especially as I wanted to write down the thoughts that came to me. In the end I solved the problem by pulling the bedclothes over my head and using a bicycle lamp. The only comment I got when somebody noticed was: “Why on earth wake up before you have to!”

Interestingly, holding to this decision had the effect of encouraging other girls to come and talk to me, not just about faith but also trusting me enough to confide their problems and hopes. One, Agnes Hope-Jones, from that particular army camp joined me in the same commitment and became a lifetime friend. Her daughter is my treasured god-daughter.

Terry was of the Quaker faith and remained so all his life. He would explain that his meeting with MRA did not replace his Quaker faith but rather enhanced it. With the advent of World War II, his strongly held beliefs as a conscientious objector were severely tested. He decided that the threat from Hitler was so great he had to join the army alongside the other young men of his age group.

His first days in the army were spent at the training camp at Elgin, where he passed out at the top of his class and was kept back to train others. Eventually the platoon officer told him his name had been put forward for officer training and he was first sent to 142 OCTU Royal Engineers in Aldershot, and on passing out, to a field company at Cawth Hall, Norwich.

In those days India was part of the British Empire and this was his first posting abroad. They set sail in the ship Obbosso and were part of a large convoy of about fifty vessels with a destroyer in the middle and several frigates rushing around looking for U-boats. During the journey they were encouraged to learn Urdu in order to be able to converse with Indian Army personnel. They were given a book called Roman Urdu and as an added help Terry cut up pieces of paper with the Urdu word on one side and the English on the other. He kept these in a matchbox and would throw them out onto the table or other surface from time to time to test himself.

They arrived in Bombay the day Mahatma Gandhi was arrested. As can be imagined this was causing much unrest and upheaval; however they managed to board a train to Poona (Pune) and from there joined the Sappers and Miners in Kirkee. Terry's Urdu was immediately put into action and he said he was grateful for the hours spent learning it.

After a spell in India he was posted to Italy and joined the 4th Field Company of the 4thIndian Division. They landed in Taranto and travelled from there to Monte Cassino, an ancient monastery, high up and dominating the countryside. A fierce battle between the Germans and the American and British forces then took place causing many casualties and the destruction of the monastery itself.

Eventually they were relieved and retreated to San Michele. As Terry wrote at the time: “The next morning after the first sleep in a bed we’d had for weeks, we turned on the radio and heard the glorious music of the Orpheus Choir singing 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring'. It was simply wonderful”.

It was for the bravery of his service during this famous battle that Terry was mentioned in dispatches in the London Gazette. When the war was over many of us who were part of Moral Re-Armament and who had served in the various branches of the services came together at the MRA headquarters in London to seek God's will and path for this new chapter in our lives.

This was the moment when Terry’s life and mine came together.

* * *

Our arrival in London coincided with the first international Moral Re-Armament conference in Switzerland. MRA friends there had raised the money needed to buy the derelict Caux Palace Hotel, and helped with the repairs, it having been used for refugees during the war. In gratitude for Switzerland's preservation from the war, they then gave it to MRA to be used as an international conference centre for peace and reconciliation.

Terry and I both volunteered to work with others to help process the travel arrangements for those who wanted to attend the conference. This was no easy assignment with France still recovering from the war. In fact it involved two trains, transport between stations in Paris as well as two buses. Many people either had passports that were out of date or no passport at all, so it also necessitated constant visits to the passport office - hard but enjoyable work.

Most of us had rather put our lives on hold during the war but now a number of my friends got engaged and married. Although I had no one in mind I began to wonder if that was going to be the path for me. I remember sitting in the little garden in the middle of Berkeley Square seeking direction from my inner voice. Clear as a bell the thought came to me: “If you do get married, Terry is the one for you.” A week later Terry took off for Africa and I didn't see or hear from him for seven years. I remember thinking that I must have been in touch with the wrong station and then putting him and marriage completely out of my mind.

* * *

The seven years passed, full of adventure for both of us and then one day, in London a letter came for me from Uganda. I opened it and found it was a proposal of marriage from Terry. After all that time it came as a real shock. I no longer had any feelings for him, or for marriage and least of all for life in Africa that I knew it represented. In actual fact I could hardly remember what he looked like! Nevertheless that thought I had had all those years ago came back to me with a quiet sense of rightness about it. So I wrote back accepting his proposal in faith and it proved to be one of the best decisions I ever made. My life took a new turning, blessed with the deepest happiness - a most wonderful gift of God.

After our wedding in St Michael's Church, Chester Square in London, and brief honeymoon in Cornwall, we set off for Africa. I had yet to meet Terry's close family, so we flew first of all to Uganda where Terry's brother Pat was working as a vet. I remember it was snowing in London when we left so we were in our winter clothes. Getting off the plane in Kampala was like stepping into a hot shower - so hot and humid. Pat met us and drove us to his home to meet his wife Mary and children. Everything was so new to me, but I especially noticed a grapefruit tree beside their front door. Not a common sight for those of us from England, added to which each grapefruit had a large number painted in black on it. Pat explained this was due to children stealing the fruit and then returning and trying to sell it back to them!

After a few happy days with them we drove across to Kenya, where Terry's mother and father lived - up country in Nanyuki, on the slopes of Mount Kenya. As we were nearing the end of this fascinating journey, Terry noticed that I had become very quiet. I admitted I was a bit anxious about the coming meeting and said: “Suppose your mother doesn't like me?”

All went well, however; we all got on wonderfully. The next morning when Terry and his father had gone fishing and his mother and I were together she said: “I was so anxious about your coming. I kept saying to Francis (Terry's dad): “Suppose she doesn't like me?” I told her I’d been saying just the same thing and we had a good laugh and were friends from that moment.

After enjoyable days together, Terry and I flew on to Zimbabwe and the beginning of our life in Africa.

* * *

Zimbabwe (or Rhodesia as it was then) was still in the hands of the Europeans. An uneasy time as African countries to the North rapidly obtained their freedom. Zambia, (still called Northern Rhodesia), was one of those moving to independence. One morning in his time of quiet listening, the thought came to Terry that he and I should obtain a copy of an MRA film called Freedom, written and acted by Africans, based on their experience of personal change leading to reconciliation in their lives and their nations, and show it widely throughout Zambia before and after their coming Independence.

When this new plan became known, much help was generously given to us. First, a copy of the film and then a brand new projector - a gift from Fritz Philips, of the world electrical organization based in Holland. At that time we only knew one man in Zambia - a miner, Peter Hosken, who worked on the copperbelt. He had had considerable touch with MRA over the years and on hearing of our plan, immediately offered us accommodation in his home. A great help, since, as voluntary workers, we received no salary.

On our arrival, he gave us a warm welcome, but then told us that he had suddenly been required by the mine to go on a course in London and would be there for two years. As his house belonged to the mine we would no longer be able to stay there. This was a real blow and we couldn't think how we were going to manage. However, he helped us to find a one-room flat going cheap and very generously paid the first three months rent on it.

A week later, having waved Peter off at the airport, we began to try and work out how to launch our film shows. In the Copperbelt town of Kitwe, where we were living, there was one cinema. We managed to persuade the manager to let us have it free one night for our first show. Not knowing anyone, we got names and addresses from the telephone book and sent off masses of invitations. We even managed to get a member of the cast, who was in Zambia on a course, to come and introduce the film. Alas! On the night, so few people attended that they hardly filled the front two rows. As an attempt to show the film massively it was a total non-event!

Greatly dismayed we sought guidance as to what we were doing wrong. Two thoughts came to us: “Go where the people are.” and “Let the people themselves do it.” The next day, to our surprise, we were approached by a Zambian headmaster, who had been at the film show and offered his help. What a gift that proved to be. He managed to get the use of an even bigger hall, but this time in the African township, free of charge. He also took Terry round to visit schools, police, army, city council, hospitals etc., and even got the first African mayor of Kitwe to come and introduce the film. On the night, over 500 people packed the hall. At the end of the performance, the chief of police came up to Terry and said: “All the police stations must see this”. Terry agreed and suggested that, as he didn't know those involved, the chief of police might like to organise it. Similarly the head of the Teachers' Union said he would arrange for all the schools see the film - and so it went on. From that moment we never had to organise anything - just respond to demand.

A large boys’ school, with over a thousand pupils, Chiwala Secondary School, invited us on many occasions. Two stories come to mind of the film's effect there. The first is that of a young student called Saul Awawa Syapaka, written in his own words.

“My first contact with Moral Re-Armament was in July, I969. One of my fellow students, who had seen the film Freedom, had decided to form an MRA club. This was the usual procedure in schools in those days - clubs were formed for almost any reason. I went along to this meeting but although he told us about the film he had seen and even showed us some literature about MRA, we really did not know how to apply the basics to ourselves. It was resolved, therefore, that we should approach a couple, Terry and Barbara Guilbride, who had shown a film in our school earlier. As a result the office bearers of the club, which included me, were invited to their home.

“That meeting was an eye opener for all of us. We were told of the basic principles of MRA, the four moral standards of absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness and love, and the truth that if you listen to your inner voice you will be led to the right and inspired plan for your life - or even that of your school or country. We learned that these ideas were not in competition with any other religion but was meant to enliven and invigorate them by strengthening the moral basis of peoples' lives, as well as enriching their faith.

“After this meeting I decided to look at my life in the light of these four moral standards and realised that there were a number of places where I needed to change myself before I expected fellow students or the school as a whole to change. I apologised to my housemaster for having influenced students in my form to boycott a dormitory inspection because we had not been supplied with soap. At that time it was in short supply in the country - it was not even to be bought in the school tuckshop. This apology removed the lack of trust that had existed between the housemaster and myself ever since that episode. Other students began to put things right. Some courageously apologised to people they had wronged. One returned three books he had stolen from the school library. This act had such an effect that he was made chief librarian.

“Applying these MRA principles helped us to be seen as being more trustworthy and responsible. This was evident when, in I973, nineteen of the thirty-seven prefects were chosen from our midst - including the head boy and his deputy, which was myself. We saw this as recognition of what the work of MRA was doing in the school. For the first time in its history a deep harmony existed between staff and students - the former trusting the latter and delegating responsibility to them, knowing it would be satisfactorily carried out.

“Our next thought was to try and see how to get these ideas into other secondary schools. In my position as deputy head student I felt I should form a Secondary School prefects’ council in our city. This plan really took off and it consisted of 112 prefects from six schools. Our objective was to promote good relations between the schools and encourage moral standards and individual leadership qualities amongst the prefects, which the younger students could emulate. To this end, we began by starting with ourselves and putting things right in our own lives and living straight. Our respective headmasters and headmistresses noticed the change in us, and even the local Chief Education Officer expressed his appreciation of the way the prefects were creating a new spirit in the schools and succeeding in their efforts to solve the problems of the students by their willingness to start with themselves first.

“I cannot be grateful enough to MRA for helping me to realise that God has a plan for each one of us and that if we accept His plan He will guide us and help us fulfil our role in helping our trouble-torn world.”

The second story from the same school involves another student called Stanislaus Chilele. In his case it was the standard of absolute honesty that most challenged him. He had been stealing various items from the local supermarket in Ndola. These were the days before Zambiäs independence and most of the shops were still run by Europeans. The thought came to him that he should write to the manager, apologise for his dishonesty and offer to pay for the goods stolen as soon as he got his first pay packet. (He was just about to leave school).

He waited anxiously for the reply. When it came it was not at all what he had expected. The manager of the store thanked him warmly, and asked him to come in and be interviewed so that the full story could go out in the store's magazine. He added that they lost thousands of Kwacha (Zambian currency) every year through shop-lifting and if only there were more people like him they would be able to lower the cost of goods on sale. The interview went very well and the manager said in parting that there was no need for him to recompense the store for the stolen goods.

Some years passed and both Saul and Stan worked closely with Terry showing the films of MRA across the Copperbelt area. We had not yet found a way of reaching the rest of the country. One of the difficulties was accommodation - where we could stay as we travelled around. The solution was completely unexpected.

* * *

Stan was also a Catholic and one morning he told Terry that the Catholic Bishop of that diocese badly needed a secretary as his present one was returning to Europe. He went on to say that in his time of quiet that morning a thought had come to him, that Barbara (who he knew was a trained secretary) should offer her services.

Well! To say the least, I was less than ethuseiastic. Our home was always busy, had become a meeting point - people in and out all the time. I was fully occupied in all this and simply couldn't see how I could take on any more. Terry, however, saw it differently. “You can't just write it off”, he said. “The young man says this idea came from his inner voice. You can't just ignore it. You could undermine his faith. Why not go and see the Bishop and find out what it entails?”

So round I went to the Bishop's House. Being quite determined not to take the job I said to him: “My Lord, I am not a Catholic and I'm sure you would not want someone from another church dealing with your work.”

The Bishop was an Italian and I had heard that the British had interned him during the war. I could well imagine we English were not his favourite people and it must immediately have been obvious to him where I came from so I didn't think it was necessary to make that point. Finally, I told him that I was working fulltime with the films and other activities of MRA and could only come when I was free!

However, he was much more desperate than I realised, and replied: “Oh, I don't think that matters at all - you believe in God don't you?” Quickly adding: “Why not come three mornings a week for three hours?” Rather bemused, I found myself outside again having agreed to this plan. At that time I was only offered the token payment of the equivalent of 50p per hour - possibly a good reason why no Zambian would take up the job!

Quite soon after I started work the bishop retired and was replaced by Dennis de Jong, the first Zambian bishop of the Copperbelt Diocese (the largest in the country, comprised of eight copper mining towns). I had the privilege of working for him for twelve amazing years.

* * *

Perhaps it is right that I should mention at this point how we managed financially. We never felt it right to charge people for seeing the films, though if a gift was offered - say towards our petrol - we would gladly accept it. Terry never received a salary or any kind of regular remittance. As we might have foreseen, we soon had problems with our film equipment. Zambia being such a young country had not yet replaced the Europeans who had run so many things previously and who were now beginning to leave Zambia and there were no repair shops we could use. Terry decided he would take a correspondence course in electrical engineering (he was already a civil engineer). This he did and his new skill was used, not only for our own equipment, but was also sought by the Catholic sisters, fathers and others, who had similar problems, ranging from electric toasters to the church organ! Generously, they usually insisted on paying something each time, so this also helped.

We did also from time to time receive most welcome gifts from friends in the UK and also South Africa. However, Britain was plunged into a recession which resulted in them banning the export of sterling. At the same time it became politically impossible to be seen to be supported by the apartheid regime in South Africa, so we had to cut ourselves off from any help there.

In spite of this, many miracles happened which helped us, including being offered accommodation in the flat at the back of the Catholic hall, just as we were told the place where we were living had been sold to a firm for their workers. Not only was our rent greatly reduced, but (in a time of great shortages) we were then allowed to buy fruit from the Bishop's allotment, whilst the sisters at the convent school allowed us to buy a pint of milk a day (something desperately hard to come by) from their allocation. In return, Terry would collect a churn of milk for them from a nearby farm every Sunday whilst they were in church.

Nevertheless our faith was often considerably tested. At one time we found we were down to only three pounds. But always something wonderful happened and the need was filled. Terry would liken it to that passage in the New Testament where Christ said to his disciples: “When I sent you out without purse or scrip or shoes, lacked ye for anything?” and they said: “Nothing”.

To return to my time working for the new Bishop. He had already seen the film Freedomand was very keen indeed for all the Copperbelt priests to see it. I remember we had two shows, half the priests on one day and the other half the next, so that the parishes would not be completely denuded.

Amazingly rapidly word got round to priests, sisters, hospitals and their schools throughout the country, right up to the Angolan border. We would respond to an invitation, stay with priests or sisters and, as well as showing the film for them, we would at the same time accept invitations from other groups and organisations in their area.

On looking back we could see that none of this would have happened without that inspired thought given to Stan Chilele and we will always be grateful to him for his essential part in it all. Around about the same time, we did a series of film shows at the Kitwe Teachers Training Col­lege and got to know one of the students in particular called Mwelwa Musambichime. He had lived on the Copperbelt all his life and was a real 'town boy'. When the day for graduation came, we were invited to be present. At the end of the ceremony each student was given their posting and the name of the school where they would be teaching. Noticing that Mwelwa looked very glum, Terry asked him where he had been allocated, he replied, “Right up on the Angolan border. I'm resigning!” Terry asked him: “Mwelwa, how many of the country's leaders come from the towns? “Hardly any,” he replied. Indeed most did at that time come from the rural areas. “Well,” said Terry, “you might have the next prime minister in your class”.

Away from all the distractions of town life, Mwelwa really studied hard. Terry used to send him textbooks to help him. Eventually he was accepted at the University of Zambia, getting a degree in African History. He then became Professor of History there and later became Zambian Ambassador to America.

Recently Mwelwa presented a paper, “Frontiers of Environment” to the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Environmental History. In the ‘Dedication’ he wrote: “This paper is dedicated to the kind-hearted Terry and Barbara Guilbride - my second parents”.

* * *

Finally the time came when it seemed right to return to Britain. We left with deep sadness, but also with a sense of fulfilment. During our time there we had, amazingly, shownFreedomto well over half a million people - the culminating point being a showing, on the night of Zambia's Independence, to an audience of 20,000 in Kitwe's football stadium, ending just as the Union Jack was lowered and the new Zambian flag raised. What an experience that was, and what a privilege.

One interesting observation and evaluation of those years was given later by our friend Stan Chilele, now a member of Parliament in Kenneth Kaunda's government. When asked if he felt the showing of Freedom so widely had had any real effect on life in Zambia, he replied: “In my opinion, the large number of people who have seen this film, with its message of change and reconciliation has been a prime element in Zambia's stability and the fact that we have never experienced an army coup, as so many other African countries have done.”

Some years later, when news reached Zambia of Terry's death, it was Joy Syapaka, Saul Syapaka's wife (as he, too, had sadly died by then) who put a wonderful obituary to Terry in the Times of Zambia which concluded:-

“Terry will always be remembered by his friends in Zambia for his immense love of humanity.”

* * *

As already mentioned, the time came when we felt it right to return to Britain. Very soon after we got there Terry's health began to deteriorate. We were living in sheltered housing, expecting to remain there for many years. However, out of the blue we were informed that we would have to move as the wing we lived in was going to become an Alzheimer’s nursing home. It seemed a bitter blow. We had no idea where we should go. I can remember we prayed each day that God would open up the way for us. A few days later one of Terry's Quaker friends, Elizabeth Macgregor, who had heard of our plight, contacted us to say that a double flat had come empty in Oak Tree House, their Quaker-owned residential home. We went with her immediately to see it and found it was just perfect. Within a month we were installed. Terry's health was worsening by now, though he could still get down to meals. When I asked him what he felt about our move, he replied simply: “I feel safe here.”

It is hard to find words adequate to express our gratitude for all the care we received in Oak Tree House. Suffice it to say that we quickly realised that our move, far from being a catastrophe, was an overflowing blessing.

Eventually, Terry was taken into hospital. However, after a time, as he did not improve much, it was felt the best plan for him was to move into a nursing home since he still needed professional help. It was a difficult moment for both of us, as we faced the fact that he would probably never come home.

The manager of Oak Tree House, Barbara Griffiths, told me there was a nursing home, Sellywood House, just ten minutes walk away and very kindly offered to take me to view it. We both felt it was the perfect place - in fact there was no other nursing home within walking distance. However, we were told by the lady in charge that there was a waiting list of three other people. I felt desolated. It seemed so right. I can remember sitting down and simply praying for a miracle. Amazingly, the same day I had a phone call to say that two on the waiting list had been in touch to say it was too expensive and the third had died! As Barbara and I agreed, this truly must have been the work of Divine Providence.

Terry remained there for a year and a half. Many people, especially our MRA (now called “Initiatives of Change”) friends and the Quakers helped us to cover the cost of the fees. We will forever be deeply grateful to them all. We thought of them as God's human angels!

It was a challenging time after Terry died on 14thJanuary, 2013. I did not find it too hard to rejoice for him, now released from all pain and limitations and united with the God he loved and had served so faithfully. It was harder for me to face life without him.

However, I have come to see the need of a new plan for my life as another gift - an adventure in faith - a new direction which I am meant to take. Looking at it this way somehow removes the self pity that tempts me to look back bleakly at all I might seem to have lost. Instead I feel Terry is still very close to me, praying for me and encouraging me to go forward, rejoicing into whatever lies ahead.

John Greenleaf Whittier described this experience with wonderful clarity and vision:

Henceforth my heart will sigh no more 

For olden times and holier shore.

God's care and blessings then and there, 

Are now and here and everywhere.

[Reproduced with permission from John Munro:]

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