Address, Speech Day, 5th July AD 2019
night at the leavers’ dinner, I drew attention to the fact
that some of them had been together for eleven years- a fact made
plain by a series of photographs shown on two screens after our
meal. I expressed the hope that many of them would remain in touch
and be an encouragement to each other as they entered their different
secondary schools. Having received my early education in England
during the Second World War, and studied in different schools on
arriving in Kenya 73 years ago, I had not really forged lasting
friendships with any of my school mates. I should like to encourage
our Upper Six pupils further this morning by reminding them of the
one Friend who will never fail them-even though we so often fail
When my father took his family to what was then Kenya Colony just
after the war, we took all our worldly possessions with us in large
packing cases and trunks. Some were marked “cabin trunks”
others “not wanted on voyage”. The latter were placed
in the ship’s hold at Southampton; and were not seen again
until we docked in Mombasa, because they were “not wanted
on voyage”. Would it not have been strange if the passengers
on that ship (The SS Alcantara) had told the captain that he was
not wanted on the voyage to Mombasa, and placed him in the hold?
The possibility of arriving in Mombasa in one piece would have been
somewhat remote. Yet many of us have reinvented Christianity, so
that we claim to rejoice in our Salvation while rejecting discipleship.
At one time there was a poster hanging in our Assembly Hall with
words I have never forgotten: “Only those who stand with Christ
in the loneliness of His passion can expect to share in the joy
of His Resurrection”. Upper VI, you have always returned to
Cavina at the end of the school holidays, but not this time. You
are starting off on a one-way ticket. What are you going to keep
close to you in your cabin? What are you going to discard as not
wanted on your voyage? Many make unwise choices. I pray you won’t.
Remember the hymn we sometimes sing in morning assembly:
“Lead us, Heavenly Father, lead us
O’er the world’s tempestuous sea.
Guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us,
For we have no help but Thee.
Yet possessing every blessing,
If our God, our Father be”.
You should know by now that we cannot have God as our Father, if
we reject His Son. He is definitely “wanted on voyage”.
Soon Mrs Mugambi will be giving away the trophies. They look impressive,
don’t they? But they are part of this passing world.
The greatest Prize, the Lord Jesus who endures for all eternity,
neither she nor I can give you. He gives Himself freely to all who
seek Him. We all need Him on our earthly voyage. My final advice
to you is, “Seek Him while He may be found”.