Is there life after Lavinia Brown?
There was a farewell party for Lavinia Brown yesterday, the personal assistant of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She has served him for the last 22 years, which is ever since he became the Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986.
One should never underestimate the role and influence of a personal or private secretary. It is a powerful position which could be used and abused in many ways. For example Lenin’s secretary, also a woman, became a leader in her own right during the 1917 Revolution in
So Lavinia had a good case, but as far as I know it has come to nothing.
Lavinia told her own life story yesterday at the farewell party in Milnerton,
When the Archbishop has been unable to come to an event it has happened repeatedly that the organizer has asked Lavinina Brown to step in instead.
But nevertheless, the hard question is, now when she is leaving the office at the end of the year, what will happen? Desmond Tutu is now 77 years old. As Nelson Mandela said to him at his 75th birthday, having seen Tutu trying to play soccer with some kids in
There is life after Lavinia Brown and she knows it. Excellent new staff have come into the Tutu office lately and there is some excitement about this fact as well. Lavinia will certainly, after a few months of furlough, during which time she will teach university courses on a cruising ship, start a new career, and the incredible insights that she has gained during these 22 years with this remarkable man will come in handy. We hope Desmond Tutu doesn’t mind.
To end off, there is a background to the catch phrase, “is there life after Lavinia Brown?”. The truth is that when Desmond Tutu had his last bishops’ meeting just before his retirement in 1996, one national newspaper had as rubric and the question was concerning his Anglican Church, then called “The Church of the Province of Southern Africa”: Is there life after Desmond Tutu? It could never have been easy to succeed Tutu as archbishop, but the church has not lost its life. It is proven, beyond any reasonable doubt that this church has life, is all-embracive, acutely aware of social and political problems etc. A number of our Anglican students who study at our university attest to the same. The service of Desmond Tutu has meant a great deal.