October 17 - 23 , 2003


 Coastweek   Kenya

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Coastweek - - It was with great shock and sorrow that we heard of the sudden death of Mary Mwakundia on Mon. Sept 30th.

Mary was the personal secretary to the Fort Curator, Ali Abubakir as well as being the public relations officer for Fort Jesus.

Mary had worked at Fort Jesus for 23 years.

I first met Mary in 1984 when I came to Mombasa and joined the Friends of Fort Jesus.

I soon got to know her very well as I went to work in the library at the request of Omar Bwana.

We became firm friends and have remained so ever since.

I got to know her family, especially Judy, who came to work in the library when we moved to Old Law Court.

Judy sadly died a couple of years ago.

It was always a joy to meet Mary.

I would never have dreamed of going to the Fort without going to see her.

Her spontaneous smile and warm hug meant a great deal to me.

Mary was an exceptional person, exemplary in both her personal and her professional life.

Her work at the Fort was outstanding, and she was that rare person who had been awarded the Museum's highest promotion as a secretary, not because of who she was, but because of the quality of her work.

Mary was totally honest, totally reliable, totally committed to doing a good job, ruled by her Christian principles.

I cannot think of a single criticism of her !

Any enquiries, any messages, Mary was the one to be relied on.

Her contribution to the 'Friends of Fort Jesus' over the years is immeasurable.

Friends of Fort Jesus have lost a highly valued friend and I am sure it is true to say that the Fort Jesus administration will never be quite the same again.

Our sincere condolences to Ali her husband and Josephine and Miriam her two daughters.

We thank God for her life and for her example to us all.

- Marlene Reid, Mombasa.





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