Trevor Huddleston CR Memorial Centre, 71 Toby Street, Sophiatown, Johannesburg, 2092 . Post: PO Box 468, Westhoven 2142.  

Email:   Tel: +27 (0) 11 673 1271   Fax: +27 (0) 11 252 7976

2015:  November, Sophiatown:

Fr Huddleston’s 1955 Isithwalandwe Medal comes home to South Africa

Mrs Mbeki joined THMC founding Patron, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba to receive the original Isithwalandwe medal, which travelled from the UK based Community of the Resurrection (CR) – Fr Huddleston’s religious order – to the Fr Huddleston Memorial Centre, in Sophiatown.  Here work continues to enable young South African’s to develop their full potential, following in the footsteps of hundreds of youngsters who were schooled and supported by Fr Trevor and his colleagues and brothers working across Soweto and the historic western area neighbourhoods close to historic Sophiatown.

The medal, one of the very first medals to be awarded to activists at the historic Kliptown Congress of the People in 1955, now sits next to the post-1994 version, now called Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe, is the highest honour awarded by the ANC to those who have made an outstanding contribution and sacrifice to the liberation struggle. Isithwalandwe, literally translated, means "the one who wears the plumes of the rare bird" and was traditionally bestowed only on the bravest warriors of the people, on those who distinguished themselves in the eyes of all the people for exceptional qualities of leadership and heroism.

Fr Trevor Huddleston

The first 1955 medals were awarded to two others, besides Huddleston - Chief Albert Luthuli and Dr Yusef Dadoo:

A list of all the distinguished recipients can be found here.

It reminds us of the difficult path taken by Fr Huddleston, and many hundreds of other people, standing up for racial and social justice in South Africa, and the journey we still need to continue in our own times, to protect and cherish our freedoms.