Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu turned 79 on October 7 and officially retired from public life on his birthday. Long hailed as a hero for speaking out against apartheid in South Africa, he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1984 for using peaceful means in the struggle against apartheid. He continues to promote peace and justice throughout the world today.
The day after his birthday Archbishop Tutu celebrated the morning mass at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town. Volunteers Direct took the international volunteers and our star pupil Nandipha to this service which they all found very moving. During breakfast after the mass the volunteers were introduced to The Arch and he graciously signed books and posed for photographs. He took the time to chat to Nandipha and she was thrilled to discover that they come from the same Xhosa clan.
Everyone, irrespective of their religious beliefs, is deeply touched by meeting Archbishop Tutu. One of our previous volunteers has now qualified as a teacher and recently became Head of House at his school in London. When the opportunity arose to name the house after a “person of inspiration” he named it The Desmond Tutu House.
“Meeting him made such an impact on me, so it was an easy choice.”
May The Arch continue to inspire us as he enjoys his well deserved retirement with his wife and family.