Dick Hunt's Blog

June 15, 2011

The Mau Mau Chief and Fred Crabb

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 4:02 pm

The Mau Mau Chief and Fred Crabb.
by Dick Hunt, June 15th, 2011.

In my second year in College, we had a new Dean, Ralph Dean (no typo) having become Bishop of Cariboo. The Rev.’d Fred Crabb had come to Emmanuel College after having a demanding position as Dean of a Theological College in Africa, adjacent to Kenya, in the time of the Mau Mau uprising which raged violently at the time. He told me of this experience with a Mau Mau Chief Medicine Man brought about by a strong request from a group of Kenyan Christians. He was asked to come to their village and try to intervene in the slaughter which was threatening their district. This memory came to my mind as I was reading Brian Greens’ book, “Being and Believing” as had my previous story about a Green Cassock. This one was the brave service of a teacher who cycled eight miles to teach his pupils, back and forth each week, through the hostile area of the Mau Mau and many murders.

Fred had little knowledge of the area or of the history of the Mau Mau, only that they were a scourge to the Kenyan people and that many people had been killed. He traveled on foot for many miles with a few men from the group who had enlisted his help. Finally, as they neared a mud hut standing alone in a clearing, his escorts melted away into the trees and left him standing in front of the hut. Fred noticed a wicked looking spear standing on its base in front of the hut. From the point of the vicious weapon there were all sorts of bangles hanging which were obviously parts of human bodies. Suddenly the Medicine Man burst out of the hut and Fred said, “Give me the Spear”. They both sprang toward it and Fred reached it first by a second, grabbed it firmly and the Chief turned and fled into the jungle as if he had seen a ghost. The secret of his power over the Kenyan people was the spear. If anyone so much as saw the spear in the hand of the Chief, he or she would surely die in the near future, and so it was. The Chief was instructing the tribesmen to kill those who came near.

Almost immediately, scores of people came out of the jungle and surrounded Fred and the spear, in great Joy. The spear apparently was the focal point of the power of the Chief over the terrorized people of the area. But since Fred had reached the spear first and survived, it had no power over the people. The people attacked the spear and utterly destroyed it. I am sure that Fred gave me the accurate account of what took place though I have no way of filling in the gaps. I have no doubt about the veracity of what he told me. He was a very honest and believable Christian Leader and became Bishop in Northern Alberta’s Athabasca Diocese.

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