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Visitors from Romania and Australia

28 September 2010

We’ve been fairly busy the last few days, with several visitors and more expected.

On Wednesday last wee Fr Ciprian Burlacioiu arrived from Germany. He is Romanian, but teaches church history at a university in Munich, Germany.  He came to South Africa for the purpose of academic research into the history of the African Orthodox Church, and especially the role of Daniel William Alexander, who started the African Orthodox Church in South Africa, and spread it to Uganda and Kenya. If it weren’t for D.W. Alexander, the Orthodox Church in East Africa would have been a lot smaller than it is today. So I took Fr Ciprian to the state archives, and showed him how the system worked, so he could check the source material held there. D.W. Alexanders personal papers are held by Emory University in the USA, and very few researchers have been able to consult both those and the material in the South African archives, so Fr Ciprian’s research is quite important for the history of Orthodoxy in Africa.

On Saturday Chris Morrow arrived from Australia. He is involved in veterinary work among poultry farmers, which takes him all over the world. We are both interested in family history, and our common interest is the Cottam family that came from Lancashire in England, though we haven’t managed to find a common  ancestor yet, so we are “almost” cousins. So we took Chris and Fr Ciprian on a quick tour of Pretoria, had lunch together, and took Chris to Skeerpoort, the next stop on his itinerary.

Fr Ciprian Burlacioiu, Chris Morrow, Steve Hayes

On Sunday Fr Ciprian came with us to the Hours and Readers Service at Mamelodi, though as it was a long weekend, many people were away.

Back: Fr Ciprian, Val Hayes. Front: Mary Nthite, Alinah Malahlela, Miss South Africa, Grace Malahlela.

Then we took Fr Ciprian to St George’s Hotel in Centruion, where Fr Razban Tatu holds Romanian services in the hotel chapel.

Fr Ciprian Burlacioiu and Fr Razban Tatu

It was the first time we had met Fr Razban and his family, though we knew some of the members of the congregation who had sometimes visited St Nicholas Church in Brixton when we had a Romanian priest there.

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