OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH BY H.E. CATHERINE MUIGAI MWANGI,
AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA -
“THE TURKEY WHICH REALLY WAS A ROOSTER”
ON 6TH DECEMBER, 2012
AT KIMMAGE MANOR, DUBLIN
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted to be part of this wonderful occasion that gives insight and recognition to my beloved Country Kenya.
It is fitting and indeed significant that this ceremony is taking place here in Kimmage which has been and is home to many Reverend Fathers who have worked and lived among the people of Kenya for many, many years. Father Hogan, whose book we launch today being one of them.
As you may be aware Kenya and Ireland have a long, long history. Irish Missionaries and Humanitarian Organisations have lovingly and with unbelievable dedication and commitment contributed tremendously to the welfare and wellbeing of people in my country especially amongst the less advantaged and mostly marginalised communities. The Missionaries were the first to embark on promoting education in colonial Kenya.
These messengers of goodwill did their work in very harsh environments. Father Hogan’s book will attest to this. Their sacrifices contributed to the strong foundation of Kenya’s education system. Many in my country have passed through these exemplary Institutions. I myself personally benefited from this goodwill. I am a Loreto girl of the Loreto Order of Ireland.
I was a student at Loreto Msongari. My school neighboured in fact, literary shared a fence with Saint Mary’s School where Father Hogan was a teacher then the Principle from 1982 to 1995. I do not have to tell you I am sure you can tell that Father Hogan and I were not there at the same time, he was there way before my time…not. Father Hogan has written at length about his time in “Saints” as his previous school is referred to, but I noted that he did not mention the many Msongari girls hearts that were broken by his young men.
As I said before, and you seemed not to believe, Father Hogan left Saint Mary’s School before I joined the neighbouring Loreto Msongari so I first met Father Hogan in my early days in Dublin, I guess sometime in 2008. He was then part of SPIRASI, the Spiritan Asylum Service Initiative, an organisation working with asylum seekers and refugees to provide them with education and integration support. Father Hogan invited me to several activities and functions for SPIRASI and I was always amazed at the work that this organisation was doing and especially the enthusiasm and commitment that Father Hogan brought to this initiative. And that to me is what Father Hogan represents. Enthusiasm, commitment and passion for whatever he does. As you have opportunity to read “The Turkey which really was a Rooster” these attributes, crowned with humanity will be evident.
Father Hogan. I am honoured that you have asked me to launch this African book in English script. I say that because the style of writing is truly African. It reads like it is told. Story telling is embedded in our traditions. Our cultures, and values, and beliefs are passed on from generation to generation through stories, and each one has a moral or lesson to teach. Father Hogan you have managed to capture the spirit and rhythm, the mood and style of Kenya. In its simplicity and authentic style this book has brought to life your relationship with Kenya and its people.
Reverend Fathers, ladies and gentlemen, I present The Turkey which really was a Rooster! And Tom’s other stories from Africa by Tom Hogan.
Happy reading. God bless you all.