FlashBack: Catalyst Summer 2020
Who do you recognize? Help us dust off this memory by sharing your stories or identifying those in the photo. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions will be shared via the next edition of Catalyst and online.
FlashBack: Responses Autumn 2019
Did you recognize anyone in this photo? We asked our readers to send in their best guesses. We received the following messages:
Don St. Jean
The Flashback photo in your Autumn 2019 issue brought back memories as I and my cohort appear in it.
This photo was taken in Ghana, probably around late 1975. I am fourth from the left, in the then-fashionable checked trousers, part of the contingent of volunteers who went in August of 1974. I taught math in Akropong, an hour north of the capital city of Accra.
We all have a world of anecdotes. Here’s one of my most treasured.
The students at my school had various religious organizations. I once saw a student named Stephen lead a Bible study. He was doing a good job of engaging his peers in discussion and I told him afterwards he’d make a fine minster. He smiled and shrugged it off, having no such intention, and indeed he went on, as I later learned, to do a science degree and work for the government’s fisheries department. By this time I was long gone and no one would have known my whereabouts.
In his late twenties, Stephen met some American missionaries and felt it right to accept their offer of a scholarship for theological studies in the US. He returned to his home and established a church and was occasionally sponsored by wealthy American churches to do preaching tours of the US. He always wanted to thank me for early encouragement but had no way of finding me.
Fast forward to 2002, twenty-six years after my departure from Ghana, when I returned for a nostalgia visit. I toured my old haunts and while I was strolling the grounds of my school a taxi slowed down. I waved it on, saying I didn’t need a lift, but the driver said his passenger wanted to speak to me. I bent over and looked in the window. Stephen? Mr. St. Jean? We recognized each other immediately and he left the cab and we embraced. He was only at the school at that day and hour because he was registering a niece for class. I met his wife and we had an amazing visit.
A couple of years later he was on another tour of North America and I arranged for him to come and stay with me and preach at my church. This remains one of the most memorable experiences of my connection with Ghana.
Just guessing because I was in Barbados after this, but I think that is Peter Ross on the far left and Nancy Adams in pigtails on the far right. It might be Ed Majchrowski peeking behind people at the back center and perhaps Terry Bethune, far right. I am guessing the Asian lady in front is Janet who was married to the director Jerry. This might be 1973 if I am correct.
Alison Armitage (nee McLellan)
I have a few names for you from this photo. Alison Armitage, nee McLellan, fourth from right; Pirkko Halonen, sitting, third from left; Don St. Jean, fourth from left; and Cathy Howe, next to Don.
I recognize many other faces but don’t have the names to put with them. If I do dust off any more names, I will send them along. I also don’t have a clear recollection of when/where the photo was taken.
I recently received a copy of Catalyst (summer 2020) in the mail, and was excited to see a picture from the WARM (West Africa Regional Meeting) at the bottom of page 28.
The last person in the second kneeling row with short dark hair and dark glasses (head only showing), was my roommate of the day, Trudy Finlay (married name Paetkau) from BC. We were nurses, running the Binaba Mobile Health Services Child Welfare Clinic in the Tilli area (Upper Region) in those days. So nice to see!