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Messages from the Rest of World

  • Dear Friends/Family, I would like to share a contribution page with you which has been created in the $bookTitle$ book. To view the page please click on the following link: $findContributionLink$ Online Book for Brother James Kimpton https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Kimpton/Contributions/Find/RestofWorld0/brotherterencekayfsc
    https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Kimpton/Contributions/Find/RestofWorld0/brotherterencekayfsc

    Brother Terence Kay, FSC

    UK | 1 Nov 2017

     

    TRIBUTE TO JAMES KIMPTON from Brother Terence Kay fellow De La salle Brother and life-long friend. Brother James, who has become something of a legend in our times was a visionary: a follower of Jesus, who laid down his life for his friends. As a youngster, James, became inspired by the example of St John Baptist de la Salle, who as a young man gave up a life of ease to dedicate himself to giving an education to destitute children in 17th Century France. The young James Kimpton, was perhaps a romantic at heart who took 'The road less travelled by' and as a youngster barely into his teens left home to begin training as a De La Salle Brother. No doubt, his decision was influenced to some extent by the spice of adventure but selfless dedication was there as well. During this time he developed a great devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and on receiving the Religious Habit took as his name Brother Lionel of Mary. Later, he reverted to using his family name. The young Brother Lionel was attracted to a life of prayer and recognised its fundamental importance in his life. In 1943, while still in the Novitiate he became a prayer-partner with the Carmelites in Upholland, near Wigan and throughout his life he had recourse to their help, which often came in the most unexpected ways. Studying the writings of St de la Salle he became deeply impressed by the Founder's emphasis on the spirit of faith in the life of a Brother; seeing the hand of God at work in all the events of life. Like De La Salle, James saw Christ in the children in his care and frequently made reference to this fact in his correspondence. Brother James, was artistic and possessed an aptitude for painting. One of my early memories of him was as my art teacher nearly seventy years ago in Bournemouth when he set the class the task of putting down in form and colour the inspiration we received from listening to the music of Fingal's Cave from the Hebrides Overture. I have loved that piece of music since and knowing James as I do can understand why he chose it. I also remember him when with great exuberance he entered into a snowball contest, regardless of the wet and cold coming to the aid of those getting the worst of it. He was physically tough which would stand him in good stead in his work ahead. On the move again, after several years teaching, he left England for Sr -Lanka where he immediately espoused the cause of the poor and downtrodden. He established together with fellow teachers students and past pupils a Catholic Action Group - the Regina Mundi Sodality - which worked in the slums of Mutwal, Modera and Matakuliya distributing food, clothing, cash and advice and for those without a roof over their heads, built homes. A centre was built to co-ordinate all these activities. James set about another project, establishing a printing press at the Brothers' house in Mutwal employing visually impaired youngsters which continues to this day in another part of Colombo. The venture was an outstanding success not the least being from the commercial aspect and became one of the principal printers on the Island. It was evident that Brother Lionel had the 'Midas Touch' in making a success of businesses he established or took over. After 'twelve happy years' as he expressed it, in Sri Lanka he was on the move again. This time the shores of India were beckoning. It is important to remember that James had joined a world-wide Religious Congregation and that innumerable Brothers before him of many different nationalities and that included many eminent Indian Brothers had established links that he was able to use in establishing his works in India. James, wrote of his arrival in India: "I distinctly felt that I had arrived where I belonged all my life and things clicked immediately". Ever generous, ever giving, his work for the poor continued and his flair for design and organisation found outlets in his work with Geoffrey Bawa in setting up Boys' Town and in his furniture workshops and sales outlet in Madurai. Even with all this work for the underprivileged he felt moved to work with the poorest of the poor and this led eventually to the establishment of Reaching the Unreached. Here, I will end my tribute but what I would like to say in conclusion is that in my opinion one of the best fruits of James's legacy is that his work has united so many in caring for each other and making the world a better place. Brother Terence Kay

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Messages from the Rest of World

  • Dear Friends/Family, I would like to share a contribution page with you which has been created in the $bookTitle$ book. To view the page please click on the following link: $findContributionLink$ Online Book for Brother James Kimpton https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Kimpton/Contributions/Find/RestofWorld0/ianbradyformervolunteerin1981andchairofrtuintheuk
    https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Kimpton/Contributions/Find/RestofWorld0/ianbradyformervolunteerin1981andchairofrtuintheuk

    Ian Brady, former volunteer in 1981 and Chair of RTU in the UK

    UK | 1 Nov 2017

     

    I first met Brother James Kimpton in 1981 when I went out to Boys' Village as a volunteer. My first impression was of a man with boundless energy and drive. I was in my early twenties, he was in his fifties and I simply couldn’t keep up with him. I used to be exhausted after a days work and he would still be ready for more. There were 72 orphaned boys at Boys' Village then. Brother had asked me to go out to drive RTU’s first mobile ambulance. This was to allow RTU to reach out to as many of the small villages in the area as possible. At that time, leprosy and TB were widespread and also many village children died of malnutrition or dehydration. As the months went on I realised working with Brother meant you just got stuck in wherever you were needed. Over the years I ran the sponsorship programme, organised their sports activities, helped out on the housebuilding – and drove the ambulance. At the end of my stay I even managed the batik shop run by the leprosy patients. Brother led a simple life, wanting a lifestyle as close to those living in the poor villages we were surrounded by. He expected everyone working for him to do the same; live in a simple hut, eat the same food as the villagers, and spend as much time in the local villages as possible. There was so much to learn from Brother and I owe him so much. He was dogged, driven, determined to reach out to the poorest. He would get angry with petty officials who got in his way, angry if things didn’t happen quickly enough. He set high standards – he lived out his personal values every day. Through all this shone his love for the children and the poorest in the villages. He had a simple, but deep, devotion to Our Lady and a strong belief in Divine Providence. He would build houses, open new schools, drill more wells, increase the health outreach confident that the money would come in. He told me never to worry about money – where God guides God provides he would tell me. And he was always right. He kept very few possessions. However he did like his Enfield Bullet motorbike. People knew he was coming to their village as they could hear the sound of the bike from far off. When he did relax he liked to paint – particularly up in the hill station at Kodaikanal when he went to stay with the Sisters at Presentation Convent. I also enjoyed the odd occasion when I persuaded him to go out on a Sunday with his binoculars to do some bird spotting with me. He also loved of an evening to sit and listen to classical music on his Walkman – although now and then he would through his Walkman away as he thought it was too flashy. I got to know Brother again 10 years ago when I visited with my wife and younger son. I couldn’t believe what he had achieved in that time. Four Children’s Villages, thousands of houses built and wells drilled. Schools built in dozens of villages. He had just started reaching out to a new group of villages in the Bodi area. He was supporting St Anastasia at her Hospice at Jeevan Jyothi. He was reaching out to disabled children through the work of Murugan and RUADT. I asked Bother how I could help – and before I knew it he was on the phone to his old friend David Cassidy in Bournemouth and I was on the Board of RTU in the UK. Within a couple of years I was the Chairman. Over the last few years I have watch Brother physically decline – but his love and concern for the people in the villages he loved so much never waned. He was so pleased to have Fr Antony to lead on taking his work forward. I attended his funeral and was overwhelmed by the numbers flocking to pay their tributes to him. He had changed the lives of so many people. I learned so much from Brother and owe him so much. He changed the lives of so many people for the better – including mine. It was an honour and a pleasure to have known him. I will miss him so much. It falls to us all now to make sure his great work continues to grow. Ian Brady, Chair of Trustees of Reaching the Unreached in the UK

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