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"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember him."


MEMORIAL SERVICE OF ALLAN KING (1996) Led by John van Niekerk


Greeting: Good morning school, Mr Taba, The school management team and guest. I am very privileged to open this special assembly, in which we honour one of our fallen old boys, Allan King


Prayer: Dear Lord. I thank you this morning for giving us the blessing of your word. I thank You for allowing us to celebrate the life of your son, Allan and the lives of all those who have fallen. I pray that you open our hearts this morning and empty away the noise of the world so that we can hear the message of comfort that you have sent. Father, this morning we are filled with grief and sorrow and I pray that you fill us with your love, with your warmth and that you blanket away the cold of passing. Father, this morning I pray that your name be shouted through the halls of the earth and your kingdom come to deliver us from evil. I thank you for your abundance of blessings. Amen


Scripture:

John 11:17-35 Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

This is the word of the Lord: Praise be to God!

Amen


Sermon:

Our text deals with the death of Lazarus, a very dear and very close friend of Jesus. From our text, there are two points that we need to highlight. The first is verse 25: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. We are here this morning to pay tribute to our Brother, our Friend, our Colleague, our Teacher and a son of Kimberley Boys’ High. Death is hard, to lose is sore and pain can be unbearable but we need to be able to find comfort in John 11 for Jesus said that He is the resurrection and through Him we would live even after death.

But what is a body? What is a life? Psalm 73:26 sing: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. And the writer of Romans 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. But this is very little comfort for a mother sitting here heartbroken asking why. Why is there pain in a world created by God? Why is there death? Where was God when this happened?

This weekend my family laid to rest my 86-year-old grandmother. We had a very intimate funeral service on the farm after which we placed her and my grandfathers’ ashes into a memorial wall on the farm. 86 years, a full life but I wanted to hold her hand for another 86 years. I wanted to tell her that I loved her many more times. Allan was but 42 years old.

I met Allan in 2010 during my teaching practice at CBC. Our paths crossed again in 2017 when I started at Kimberley Boys’ High school and then in 2020, and he called me fat…the jerk. I remember the vast pools of knowledge and the grace in which he taught. I remember walking past his class, listening to videos I made and with him adding in-depth analysis on subject matter I barely thought of. He filled this staffroom with laughter and listened to every tear.

He has touched every staff member and I can honestly say he was my friend. 2020 was tough, on the world, on education, on us but also on Allan. The two of us often sat in the PC lab discussing the deepest of topics, tearing up at each other’s life stories, at the battles we both fought and the ones we were still fighting. He was a master of Shakespeare, duke of Didactics and a King of friends.

It is easy to struggle with faith when the world says to you, Why! Where must we find answers? We can look to our text verse 32-35:

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.


Mary asked Jesus the same question we all ask? Why did You not save Him, where were You? You have the power and majesty to save him. And what did Jesus do? At the sight of his friend, Jesus wept!

When Allan King died, Jesus wept! The Lord was there, with Allan, holding his hand. The Lord felt every synapse crying for help. The Lord listened to every heartbeat and the Lord wept! The Lord is with us now and forever. Emmanuel

Though we feel pain and our hearts are broken, let us rejoice in knowing Allan’s heart is now healed in eternity and what a blessing it is to know what awaits us. Let’s not say good bye to our Allan, but that his journey, inspire us to reach the gates of Heaven and embrace our loved ones in the ever after. Let us hold on to John 11: 25“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. Jesus did resurrect Lazarus to walk with him on earth, yes that much is true, BUT Jesus will resurrect all our beloveds to walk with him in the heavens. Life is not just a phase of our existence, life is the journey we take to reach our destination, the ever after with our Lord.

May we remember Allan and those we have lost, may we live our life to the fullest, my we honour our vows and fight our battles. May we reach our happily ever after.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank you that we could hear this message and find comfort in your word. Bless us this day so that we can take what you have said to us and keep it, live by it and forward it to those that need it. Lord, we think of those who need you, use us as tools to build your kingdom. Use us as weapons to safeguard your work, use us as beacons to shine through the darkness. Bless us and guide us. In your name I pray. Amen


Tributes

1) Poetry Club A tribute to Mr A King - A Morris I met a king. Bold in his talk and confident in his walk. Free spirited he is light in the dark. With intriguing humour that most uptight can’t help to but Laugh


I met a king Different from other kings In the north and the South Archeologically searched all over but still can’t find one Like the one we got, Had


I met a king And, His lessons and jokes will forever linger in our hearts. Let the thorough and tongues sing For the king, Wisely lived but his Legacy still lives I met a king A king beyond the world kings


2) Miss Oliphant

Mr King you will be gone but never forgotten. You will be remembered for your brilliant mind and passion for teaching that you had. We will cherish the memories that we have of you and hold it near and dear to our hearts. You are safe in the arms of the lord and knowing this gives us comfort.

We will not forget who you were, for you were kind and loving and cared deeply about your students, friends and loved ones.

You left your mark, both physically and emotionally and this mark will forever be engraved within us.

Mr King you will be missed, gone but never forgotten. Your memory will be lived on through us.

I love you Mr King. Always.

Ms Oliphant.


3) Mrs Lombard

I had the pleasure of meeting Allan John King when CBC and Boys' High collaborated to present Hairspray the Musical. My role as co-producer meant involvement at all levels of the show. I didn't know it at the time, but I was watching a true master at work. The kids, cast and crew all loved him. He was loud, boisterous, hilarious and passionate and we became fast friends. We went on to work together on many more productions including Little Shop of Horrors, 3 and a half musketeers, Young Frankenstein and Cinderella - a peculiar pantomime, the latter written and directed by Mr King himself.

He wasn't much for socializing, but he adored being the centre of attention. Giving Allan praise in any form was always met a little bit of humility and a lot of appreciation. The world truly was his stage.

It wasn't long before he started working at KHS and hearing his laugh in the staff room was a daily occurrence. He got on famously well with everybody he met and worked with, and always had a kind word to say (especially behind their backs or in their defence). I don't think I can remember him saying a single negative thing about anyone (unless it was glaringly obvious and the ugly truth) - he was never mean.

He was tough though, and had high standards for his students and his cast. The kids knew that if Mr King believed they could do something, then they dare not argue, for Mr King had a knack of picking out rough diamonds and helping them shine.

Mr King and I were close friends. We would wind each other up in hysterics using witty word-play peppered with sarcasm and double entendres. He was school smart, word smart and street smart and one of the most well-read people I knew (he borrowed all of my books). He was so open-minded that I managed to get this classical and musical numbers lover become a fan of some pretty heavy rock bands like Disturbed and System of a Down. We would listen to and criticize various works of art from music and memes. We shared an interest in horror and psychological thrillers. One of our favourite things to do was send each other videos that end in jump scares. Back then it was funny to almost give each other a heart attack, now it would be a joke in poor taste.

Even through all of the hilarity, there was always time to unpack our hurt and sorrows. When you spoke to Allan about your problems and hardships, he wouldn't just hear you. He would truly listen. And my woes were lighter when you shared them because I had in Allan someone who could actually help me bear the load of my darkest times, and I would help him bear his.

I miss you, Allan. I'm so glad we kept in touch since I left Kimberley and that our friendship stood the distance test. I'm so glad that you found your way back into teaching because it is something that came so naturally to you. I'm so glad you had healed your relationship with God to such a point that he deemed it necessary to welcome you into his grace and reunite you with your dad.

There are so many people whose lives have been touched so profoundly by your spirit, and I am proud to have been your friend, co-worker, confidante and ally. Rest in Peace Allan


4) Mrs Yiadom

Allan King, a colleague, a dear friend, my computer tutor and Mr Yiadom's 'baby boy'; it was with shock and sadness that I learnt of your passing on Thursday morning. You were an excellent English teacher, a thespian and a beautiful human being. Thank you for always being ready to fill in for me at trying times in my life. You were so full of life your passing came as a shock. May your beautiful soul rest in the Lord. Mrs Yiadom

Moment of Silence

Let us lower our heads in honour of Mr A King!

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