Dear Sir – Wm. King, 28 of 28

Rev. Wm. King, (Raleigh Township Centennial Museum)
Rev. Wm. King, (Buxton Museum)

William King was to live another 22 years after the sinking of The Hungarian. As part of his retirement from active ministry the following tribute was made:

Rev. and Dear Sir:

We the undersigned inhabitants of this settlement, deem this, the eve of your departure from us, a fitting occasion to express our due appreciation of the many favors you have shown us for the past thirty years, not only in your capacity as a Christian minister, but also as a true friend of our race – favors so many and so great that we can neither enumerate nor adequately express them in words…

You founded this settlement for the express purpose of alleviating our sorrows and ameliorating our helpless condition, and today this tract of country which we found in a state of primeval antiquity seemingly unfit for habitation of man – is, under you patronage and king counsel, converted into a fruitful land, contribution supplied not only to our homes, but also to distant lands, and affording habitations of comfort to us and our children as well as hundreds of hundreds of the human family. ..

Your illustrious deeds have endeared you to us, and proved to the world that, with equal advantages, the coloured race is as all other races of mankind…

Our sons who have been educated under your kind care, your watchful eye and your Christian teaching, are now filling positions which do honor to the coloured race.

(Taken from Look to the North Star by Victor Ullman.) 

Rev. William King died peacefully on January 5, 1895 at the age of 83.  Representatives of all the blacks of Kent County met five nights later at the home of Chatham Alderman Henry Weaver where they adopted a resolution which contained the following: “Generations of the future, looking back in perspective upon the work accomplished and for that reason, perhaps, better enabled than we of today to grasp its full significance, must enshrine his name and memory in their hearts, earnestly striving to be true to the principles he so strikingly exemplified in his own pure philanthropic life…”

Carol’s final note on this month-long tribute to Rev. King:

As one of the “future generations” they were speaking of, I can say that William King gives me great, great hope that we can indeed transform the factors which are pushing climate change forth. He also gives me hope that First Nations, as a whole, can reclaim their place as strong and vibrant people. With both in their rightful place we will all be the better for it!

Thank you Rev. William King. You have been an anamchara – friend to my soul –  across the many generations.

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