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Opinion - Tribute to Reverend William Julius Daniels

2021-10-01  Reverend Jan Scholtz

Opinion - Tribute to Reverend William Julius Daniels
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I classify a moment of silence like a heavy nimbostratus cloud overhanging a specific geographical location – and as dark as it is, bringing joy to farmers while posting a threat and great fear to “masses, such as me, who are homeless in the loss of Dr Julius”. 

As I always say, it was, it is and it will never be an easy task to bid farewell to someone you have known through the grid of life, such as the likes of Julius. 

I met the late Dr Julius in Lüderitz in 2007, where he was preaching at a funeral of one of my family members. Just by listening and looking at him, I could sense the great wisdom and knowledge bestowed on him in serving others. 

Occasionally, I met him; one such meeting on 20 March 2019, on my way to the 29th Independence celebration in Windhoek, where I stopped in Rehoboth to pay him a courtesy visit.

After directing me to his home in Block D and giving me a warm welcome to his residence, we proceeded inside, where he began telling me the very inspiring story of his life. 

He was born on 11 January 1938 and was ordained as a church minister in 1971 and continue as a full time minister of religion in 1972 as a Reverend in South Africa where he served different congregations.

According to that conversation, he came to Namibia in 1982, serving as a minister of the Uniting Reform Church until his retirement. 

The body of Christ has lost a dedicated and pivotal role player in the ministerial industry, who diligently served the interest of the Christian community across the broader region of the country and beyond. 

You could always see the passion for education – even in his late 80s. 

Inspired by his enthusiasm to study, I asked him how he came about to enroll for doctorate studies at his age, and he said to me with a smile on his face that “Age is just a number, and you can do anything if you have enthusiasm’’. 

I have learned with shock the passing on of a mentor, adviser and a great theologian, whom, together with me had planned to embarked on a gender-based violence campaign until his untimely death. 

He was so dear to me that every time I overnight at his house, we sat hours in his study room and there was never a single time I left without a book from him; I was very impressed by his life story and was like Saul at the feet of Gamalial (leer aan die voete van die leermeester Gamaliel).. 

According to Sri Chinmoy, “Death is not the end; death can never be the end. Death is the road; life is the traveler – the soul is the guide”.

And so we say with the psalmist, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints!” (Psalm 116:15). Precious because their death is not death but life through faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

2021-10-01  Reverend Jan Scholtz

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