Magazine article Anglican Journal

Yukon Priesthasa Heart for Swaziland

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Yukon Priesthasa Heart for Swaziland

Article excerpt

The territory of Yukon and the kingdom of Swaziland couldn't be farther apart--in distance, size, climate and economy. But both are home to the Rev. Canon David Pritchard, priest-in-charge--at least until December--of St. Saviour's Anglican Church in Carcross, Yukon.

Since the late 1980s, Pritchard, 79, has been plying his way every few years between the two continents. And on Dec. 30, undaunted by recent cardiac bypass surgery, he'll permanently leave his northern home for his southern one, where he spent 16 years, married and buried a young Swazi wife, and fathered four children. "I love the Yukon, but I always knew I wanted to live out my life in Swaziland."

His love of this tiny kingdom of 1.4 million people on the eastern edge of southern Africa took hold during the more than 12 years he spent as executive director of the National Council on Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Dependence, an NGO supported by the churches, the UN and the World Health Organization. "Our office was a io-foot by 13-foot trailer. We had no guaranteed funding," he says.

Pritchard, who became an Anglican priest in the early 1980s after retiring as Yukon's assistant superintendent of education, is the kind of person who sees a need and responds quickly--body and soul. "He throws himself wholeheartedly into everything he does," says Beverley Whitehouse, a lay minister and secretary of Christ Church Cathedral in Whitehorse. In 2011, for example, he took to heart the plight of famine victims in the Horn of Africa. Never one for wringing hands on the sidelines, he leapt into action and spearheaded an effort that eventually raised some $43,000 for famine relief in the Horn, garnering an additional $28,000 for the cause in matching federal funds.

On his return to Africa, one of his first tasks will be to help build a solid house for a single mother and her five daughters, who now live in tumbledown huts and sleep on threadbare blankets on floors of packed cow dung. The girls are all being sponsored by one of Pritchard's many causes: the Swaziland Educational Trust Society, a Canadian registered charity incorporated in 2004 to educate youngsters in Swaziland, where schools charge fees. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.