Death of Merfyn Temple at 92

15:34 16 January 2012

Merfyn Temple.

Merfyn Temple.

Archant

Retired Methodist minister was first white man to join Zambia’s United National Independence Party and was jailed at the age of 86 for publicly criticising dictator Robert Mugabe.

A Honiton man, who was jailed at the age of 86 for daring to criticise dictator Robert Mugabe, has died.

Tributes have been paid to retired Methodist minister Merfyn Temple, described as an inspirational member of the community and someone who was never afraid to stand up for what he believed in.

Reverend Temple died in his sleep at Abbeyfield’s Hill House care home, Combe Raleigh, near Honiton on Thursday, January 12, following a stroke.

He was 92.

During his life, Mr Temple demonstrated a passion for issues of fairness and justice, and played a significant role as a missionary in Zambia for 30 years.

He completed an epic cycle across Africa and was featured in a 1950s film about his work in Zambia, where he was affectionately known as Muluti Tempulu.

Two years ago, Mr Temple published the first volume of his life story, Zambia Stole My Heart.

At the time, he told the Midweek Herald how he became the first white man to join the United National Independence Party.

He did so after being handed a note, which accused missionaries of being in cahoots with the Zambian government.

The letter claimed “Bible grease” was being used to keep Zambians “soft”.

It changed his view of Zambia.

He was an outspoken critic of dictator Robert Mugabe and was jailed by the tyrant in 2005 after he openly criticised his leadership.

Mr Temple was instrumental in the erection of an international peace pole outside of Honiton Baptist Church, where floral tributes have been gathering.

He was also among the first to support the Midweek Herald-backed Joe Gilson Mobility Scheme, donating his mobility scooter when he moved to Abbeyfield in High Street.

Mr Temple was the first vice chairman of the Senior Council for Honiton, whose members are saddened by the news of his death.

Tony Simpson and Tony Smith, speaking on behalf of the senior council, said: “Merfyn was a distinguished member of the senior council offering us his considerable experience and wise counsel whenever needed.

“He believed in the dignity and worth of each member, but also believed we gained strength from working together for the common good.

“He was passionate about issues of fairness and justice for older people and for our community.

“He was not afraid to stand up and be counted for what he believed.”

They added: “We shall always remember his smile and positive manner.

“We shall greatly miss Merfyn, but we are inspired by his contribution and presence among us.”

Before his death, Mr Temple was penning the second volume of his autobiography.

He was a devoted husband to the late Audrey and a loving father and grandfather.

Two thanksgiving services are to be held in his honour, in Honiton and London.

Related articles

1 comment

  • The news of the passing of my old colleague, Merfyn Temple, closes a chapter in Methodist witness in Central Africa. Merfyn was a fine example of the dedicated practical missionary who reached his people wherever he worked.

    Report this comment

    Kafuemanx

    Monday, January 16, 2012

Other News Stories

11:30
Tim Dallaway wins the All Stars Invitation Race at Red Marley Hill Climb 2015. Photo by Eric Miles.

Tim Dallaway, of Fern Lane, was one of 16 riders personally invited to compete in the All Stars Invitation Race at Red Marley Hill Climb.

Read more
07:50
Seaton resident Jimmy Purvis gets a surprise 90th birthday performance by Uplyme Morris Men

Uplyme Morris men descend on sleepy Seaton street

Read more
Yesterday, 15:15
Learning how to cook tasty meals for one

The charity is inviting people to join its Cooking for One group and learn to spice up their menus.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:59
Seaton Neighbourhood policing team with Natwest Bank officials and customers of their new mobile service

Seaton officers will be at the new mobile bank to offer help and advice

Read more
Yesterday, 12:35
Pictured with Jane Bremner from the club and shirt sponsosrs are club members Paul and Judith Moffitt with Tabitha Young, the club's youngest member.

Members have been provided by club sponsors Wood Farm Caravan and Camping Park, at Charmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:59
Conservation volunteers at Holyford Woods.

Pond near Colyford is being developed into an important habitat for woodland critters

Read more
Sunday, April 19, 2015
The Exeter Morris Men performing at Exmouth's Bicton Inn. Photo: Paul Strange.

Morris dancing is one of the most English of pastimes, so it’s only fitting that people attending a St George’s Day festival should have a chance to see it in its full glory.

Read more
Saturday, April 18, 2015
The River Axe, at Axminster, which is being polluted by a smelly discharge. Picture CHRIS CARSON

Environment officers appeal for help to track down source of Axminster river pollution

Read more
Friday, April 17, 2015
The Honiton police team have seen a drop in annual crime.

In all, 41 crimes were reported between Monday, March 9, and Sunday, April 12.

Read more
Friday, April 17, 2015

District bosses are warning residents about a council tax refund scam.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder