Legacy lives on

St Mary's Cathedral in Cape Town

Pictured above: St Mary’s Cathedral in the time of Count Alexander Wilmot


Bernard Kohler, from the Cape Town Central Council and the St James Conference in Cape Town was asked recently to thank parishioners for their many donations and support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The message of thanks was well received and the responses were many and varied.

Bernard said that, “One parishioner slipped R1000 into my hand and said, ‘use it for any of your projects’. Three others took my mobile number and promised to donate more items.”

But the most interesting development was that last Sunday a young lady came up to Bernard, saying that after hearing him speak, she had to introduce herself.

It turned out that she is Emma Henry,  a great, great granddaughter of Count Alexander Wilmot, who was the founder of the first SSVP conference in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady Flight into Egypt, commonly known to us in Cape Town as St Mary’s Cathedral. This historical founding event took place on the 17th November 1856.

From then on Count Wilmot established many more conferences in various parts of South Africa and the movement spread to other African states. Emma’s grandmother was Emily Clare Wilmot and her father was Aidan Wilmot, son of Alexander Wilmot.

“Emma has decided to join our conference so as to continue the good work of her ancestor,” said Bernard. What a wonderful way to continue a legacy of caring, which began over 166 years ago. Welcome, Emma – we trust you enjoy walking in the footsteps of your illustrious ancestor.

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