Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rev Norman Holgate

First and foremost the Rev Norman Holgate will be remembered for his tremendous courage. Struck down in the prime of life by poliomyelitis, which left him confined to a wheel-chair for the rest of his days, surely a sore trial to a man of such intense vitality, Norman came to terms with his physical limitations. His uncomplaining acceptance of the position and the unfailing cheerfulness with which he gave himself, without reserve and wherever he could, where a triumph of grace.
Norman made a very real contribution to the life of his local church and to that of the whole Denomination. He was one of the stalwarts of the newly established church at Pinelands, serving as a deacon and as church treasurer. He was blessed with a truly great capacity for attending to detail and was a first class organizer. This made him a key figure in the running of two evangelistic campaigns, and many will recollect his service as hospitality secretary for the 1971 assembly. A man of vision and enthusiasm, he proved also to be a dynamic secretary of the extension committee of the Western Province Baptist Association. The church at Milnerton owes much to his initial vision in getting a work going and later to his perseverance when others would have given up. He was also associated with the establishment of Baptist work at Manenberg and Nyanga.
At denominational level he will long be remembered for the years he devoted to the organizing of the Sunday school Scripture examination and for the meticulous was in which he handled the office of statistical secretary to the Baptist Union.
The scrupulous attention to detail and thoroughness, which characterized his banking practice, was carried over into all his Christian service, and he took with him to the bank his faith in a living Savior, delighting to speak of the Lord, who meant so much to him. In all things he sought to glorify Christ. This living, integrated faith was the key to Norman's personality.
Much more could be said of the Rev Norman Holgate, his sense of fun, his love of home and family, his gift of hospitality, his appreciation of beauty, his enjoyment of music... but he would have had us dwell rather on his Savior; what Norman was, he was by the transforming grace of Jesus Christ; what he did, he did in the strength Christ gave him.
Written by: Syd Hudson-Reed

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