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My inclination to write prose-poetry is always stimulated by something in my environment and, in the process of writing, I try to connect that stimulus to something in my personal history and in the history of the society I have been a part of since my birth in 1944. The society I have been a part of has been an increasingly global, planetized society, a society rapidly becoming One World if it is to survive.

This evening on the Australian TV channel ABC1 Jonathan Dimbleby1, British presenter of current affairs and political radio and television programmes, was on the second leg of his journey across Africa. In this case, in the case of this prose-poem, the stimulus to write was Dimbleby’s experience in Tanzania and particularly his reference, brief as it was, to Julius Nyerere, an apparently modest man from the little I know about him, who assumed the office of President of Tanganyika in December 1962 and died in October 1999. -Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1 TV, “An African Journey With Jonathan Dimbleby,” 8:30-9:30 p.m., 16 November 2010.

Dimbleby was born one week after I was born in July 1944 and one week after the failed assassination-attempt on Hitler’s life. The allies were finally turning the corner in their eventual victory in May 1945 in WW2.

I hardly knew you1, then, in ‘62
when I was starting out on that
journey to two dozen towns on
two continents and trying to get
through nine grade 13 subjects,
running-that-gauntlet through
Ontario’s matriculation system.

Indeed, I hardly knew you when
you died in October ’99 & I had
just taken a sea-change, an early
retirement, to an old town on an
old continent to a house beside
a river and very near the ocean.

I was most impressed by what
you did in July 1963 issuing as
you did instructions against the
pomposity in public life.2….Well
done Julius! The Universal House
of Justice had just been elected &
the full institutionalization of that
incredible, charismatic Force was
successfully completed. A unique
victory was won3 in April of 1963
as I was about to write those nine
grade 13 exams to pave my way to
university in those earliest years of
my life. And ’63 was also a unique
victory for you, Julius and for what
became the Tanzania Dimbleby saw
tonight as summer was about to come
to the Antipodes where I have lived
for these last forty years of my life!!

1 Julius Nyerere, first President of Tanzania, previously Tanganyika, from 1961 until his retirement in 1985.
2 Pius Msekwa, “Tanganyika’s Independence Struggle,” First Magazine: Forum for Global Decision-Makers, 2010.
3 Century of Light, A book prepared under the supervision of the Universal House of Justice, Baha’i World Centre, 2001, p.92.

Ron Price
16 November 2010
Posted at: Deep Politics Forum