THE CENTENARY OF THE COMMUNITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST FOUNDRESS SISTER ALBERTA NGUDLE
1914 - 2014
We Sitembele by divine permission Bishop of Mthatha to the Reverend Mother Noluyanda and the College of Sisters of the Community of St. John the Baptist, greetings.
Whereas in 1914 during the First World War a great wagon drawn by sixteen oxen came to St. Cuthbert's, loaded with furniture, hens, chickens, pumpkins and many other paraphernalia of the Sister of Chief Ngudle.,
And whereas it came to pass that it was the arrival of Princess Alberta Ngudle, a teacher who was forty years old and had to wait for twenty-six years before she was finally released by her family, friends and colleagues and bade them goodbye.,
And whereas she was taken as mad and Bishop Joseph Williams and other curious members of the Diocese wondered is she would sustain this new life.,
And whereas she spent six years in novitiate before she professed her final vows in 1919 averting any prospect of temporary vows, because she believed that she was then at a point of no return.,
And whereas the Sisters of the Community of St. Mary the Virgin suggested that this new African Community should be the Community of the Epiphany BUT Sister Alberta was adamant that it should be the Community of St. John the Baptist and so it was because she believed that she was called by God to be "….. a Voice, a Witness to my people, to go before the Lord and prepare His way…."
And whereas for nine busy years of mission outreach, evangelism and teaching at St. Cuthberts she was "His lone ox" until in 1930 when she was joined by two girls from Holy Cross: Sister Tabitha and Sister Hlinzani and later by the daughter of Chief Ranuga of Jenca.,
And whereas Sister Alberta was renowned for her generosity, dauntlessness, great-heartedness and gallantry in the cause of God.,
And whereas the C.S.J.B. Sisters in 1955 elected Sister Tabitha as their first Mother thus showing the modesty of a Foundress who never ascended to that position until her death in 1957 at the age of eighty-three years.,
Therefore the aforesaid Bishop on behalf of the Church of God worldwide and this Diocese in particular join the Sisters of the Community of St. John the Baptist as they together with us celebrate this centenary.
Given under our hand and seal at St. Cuthbert's on this twenty-ninth Day of August in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Fourteen and in the fifteenth year of our consecration.