Waldensian Review No 130 Summer 2017 - Page 13

happy, but I guess different, with Bill. Until a few years ago, he would still cycle from Coton to Chesterton to collect his Waldensian calendar, generally in December. We’ll miss him! Erica Scroppo Randolph Vigne (1928–2016) We got to know each other in Torre Pellice in 1989 when, during the cel- ebrations of the 300th Anniversary of the Glorious Return, Randolph Vigne had brought the greetings from London of the Huguenot Society, of which he was President, and also the official greetings from President Mit- terand and of the entire then French Government. Randolph Vigne. We became friends, and as a result, I invited him to speak to the Annual Meeting of the Waldensian Church Missions, of which I had become the Executive Secretary in September 1988. We on our part established contacts with the Huguenot Society, of which we became members. I knew that he had been politically active at an important level in the South Africa of the Apartheid era and I knew that all our South African friends of his gene ration knew him, but I had no idea of his importance, which sadly I only became aware of when I read his obituaries and the long articles – real mini biographies – that the important English newspapers dedicated to this extremely significant figure in the creation of a post-Apartheid South Africa and Namibia. Randolph Vigne was born in Port Elizabeth in 1928 into a distinguished family of Huguenot refugee origins, and from boyhood he had felt driven to combat racism, injustice and suffering. After taking his law degree at Oxford – where he also distinguished himself as an athlete – he returned to South Africa, where the Nationalist Party had introduced Apartheid. Joining the opposition to this government, in 1954 he joined the newly formed Liberal Party, which kept itself distinct from the African National Congress because this was Marxist. Randolph worked for a publisher in Cape Town while also being elected Vice-President of the Liberal Party, which however suffered a major electoral setback in the 1958 Polls. This led Randolph to the conclusion that the idea of defeating the Apartheid regime through democratic means was pure folly. After the 1960 Sharpsfield Massacre, he became convinced that non-violent opposition was no longer sufficient, and he took part in the foundation in the same year of the NCL [Committee of National Liberation] and in 1962 of the magazine New 11