Fr Michael Lapsley, a South African Anglican priest and social justice activist, born in New Zealand, will be in Wellington this coming weekend for a conference to be held at Victoria University.
Lapsley was active in support of the liberation struggle in South Africa and was critically injured in an assassination attempt by parcel bomb in Zimbabwe in 1990. He lost both hands and an eye.
Since then he has dedicated himself to the reconciliation process and heads a trauma healing centre in Cape Town.
Two exhibitions of photos by Auckland photographer John Miller – entitled “Redeeming the Past – my Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer” – will also show as part of the conference,
One, a tribute to the many New Zealanders who stood up for the struggles of the South African people, will depict two decades of activism in 100 black and white images. The other will focus on the 1981 Springbok Tour and show as a continuous loop of 300 colour slides.
The exhibitions, created by Wellington digital printer Out of the Box, have been supported by MFAT and the New Zealand Rugby Union.
The conference, “When Hope and History Rhyme” is part of an international series of events to mark the centenary of the African National Congress.
Local contributors to the conference include Peter Harris, Pat Hohepa, Ripeka Evans, Mike Law, Margaret Hayward, Russell Marshall, Ted Thomas, Geoff Chapple, Rosslyn Noonan and Jock Phillips. New Zealand sportspeople who made a stand on the issue will also speak – All Blacks Bob Burgess and Graham Mourie, and athlete Anne Hare.