2019-08-07 SOUTH AFRICA

Anthony Whiteford


Brother Martin was born on 12 October 1936 in Johannesburg. During the Second World War, the family moved to Cape Town, where he attended St Joseph’s Marist College in Rondebosch. He finished his secondary schooling at the Marist Juniorate in Hibberdene, Natal, before going to the Postulancy and Novitiate at Mittagong, Australia in 1955-1956. At the scholasticate in Pietermaritzburg, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree and later secured an Honours degree in history.

He was a man of faith and prayer, and with his gentle manner he had a positive influence on many young pople as teacher, boarder master, sports coach, librarian and religious educator in various South African Marist schools.

For over 20 years, he worked on the Marist archives, leaving for posterity a set of very fine biographies of virtually every Brother appointed to South Africa since 1867. During his final years at St Henry’s in Durban, He undertook to share his time with the staff at the school. That initially involved joining them for morning tea, but quickly evolved into a far more significant time where he led a number of the staff in prayer and scripture study. From time to time, he would be invited to attend religion classes for the younger ones, gleefully acting the part of an apostle or other important figure to bring home the lesson to be learned. His presence among the school community was much appreciated, and a number of deeper friendships developed in time.

At the farewell Mass for Br Martin at St Henry’s, the chaplain, Father Chris Lockyer, gave him a special blessing, saying “I do not know what the future holds for you, but I know who holds your future.”


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